To be successful in life, it is important our communications be heard. Here’s four key factors why your message is not getting through.
If you’re not happy with your communications in either you personal, business or public life, read on.
How to Improve Your Communication
In life and in business, our ability to communicate is absolutely essential. We rely on our speech, our writing, our messages, mail, adverts, and so on, to not only carry our word and our instruction. It is vital that they are heard and have an effect.
However, often that is not the case. Sometimes, no one hears us at all. We are looking to communicate a message to the wide world, but often no one hears. Maybe you have the same issue in your business, your personal life, or at work. Maybe it’s not even mass communications. Maybe you just want to be heard by friends and colleagues.
Communication is a key skill to achieve success. If you are struggling to get results, struggling to be heard, maybe you need to think about how you are communicating.
So, what can we do about it?
What’s the solution to not being heard?
- You need to consider your message. What are you saying and why do people need to hear you?
- You need to consider your audience. Who will hear you and why do they need to hear you?
- You need to find your unique voice. How do you speak in a way that will be heard?
- You need to be bold and speak with conviction. Are you ready to be heard?
The simple solution:
When we have a clear message of value, spoken for a clearly defined audience and delivered with a unique voice, that is spoken with conviction, we will be heard.
1. What you need to say
We want to be heard. It is a fundamental need. That is the reason we have a voice and so many millions of beautiful words. This is why our minds race with inspiration and our hearts ache. We are feeling and thinking beings and we must share that with our community.
However, do we need to be heard?
That is the first vital question that we need to ask. Does anyone need to hear what we have to say?
Do people really need to hear our personal confessions, our rants, or complaint, or this or that interesting thought. Maybe, maybe not?
Also, if we are saying the same old thing that everyone is saying, then maybe they don’t need to hear us. It’s already being said.
So, what is our message?
“Give voice to what you know to be true.” — Eve Ensler
Speak what you know to be true.
- To be heard by those around you, you must speak your personal truth. To cut through the noise and be heard, you must speak and say the truth you feel, even when it goes against what others believe.
- To be heard by your community, speak your truth in the service of others. Add your voice to help those who you want to be heard by. You may not be the only voice, but you may be the voice they hear, the voice they need to hear, or simply the lucky voice they find. The point is you must speak the truth they need to hear.
- To be heard by many, speak the truth that no one else speaks. This is the gold you are looking to find. Say what no one else is willing or able to say.
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” — Malala Yousafzai
This is when your voice is powerful and when it will be heard. When you have the voice to speak the truth; truth to friends, truth to the community, truth to the world, that is when it will be heard.
2. Find and know your audience
We cannot speak effectively to everyone. It is impossible to say anything deep and meaningful and expect everyone to hear.
Everyone is different!
The millionaire is different to the servant. The white man has a different history to the black man. The middle class investor sees the world totally different to the working class grinder. The sinner has different values to the saint.
If you try to speak to them all, with one message, you will fail.
How do you succeed?
You must know who you want to speak to and you must tailor your message to them specifically.
“Writing is more about telling other peoples’ stories than your own”
― Carla H. Krueger
- You need to know your audience and know their needs and wants.
- You need to relate to them and earn their trust.
- You must allow them to know you and be able to find you.
Once you know your audience and they know you, then you can speak your valuable message. You can not simply walk into the room and expect everyone to listen, to fall in line and follow you.
This is the problem many online writers face. They believe, just write something with a catchy title and a good structure and you’re on your way. However, this does not get people to hear you. You must speak directly to those specific people you want to hear. You must show them who you are, earn their trust, learn their needs and speak something they need to hear.
You need to speak directly to a specific audience. You must develop trust and learn to relate to them. Then, when you can speak a valuable message, in their language, they will be able to hear.
3. Find Your Voice and be heard
Then when we know our audience, our people, those we wish to help, we can speak our valuable message and become immersed in the community.
Then we must find our unique voice.
- We must know how we speak — in text, in images, in voice or with song. What shall be your medium? The blog, the podcast, the news or the sermon? With each of these you need to know the techniques that will get you heard. The headlines and feature images, the catch phrases, metaphors and stat’s. You must develop a voice that will be heard.
- We must know our language — do we speak in heavenly parables quoted from the bible, or with the simple words of common fishermen and carpenters. Do we wax lyrical, quoting the classics, or do we use the charts, figures and the numbers of the scientists?
- We must also know our style — do we speak in words that leave our audience in fits of laughter, or with hell fire and brimstone that leaves them running with fear? Is it with hope, with passion, with logic or wonder?
Work on your voice. Make it the voice that you were born to speak. Deliver your message, to those that will here, in their language, and they will hear you.
4. Speak with conviction to be heard
Finally, if we wish to be heard, we must speak with conviction.
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” — Audre Lorde
We need to find that courage to speak and allow ourselves to be heard. This comes when we have a clear and worthy message. When we speak our truth and we believe our words totally, we will have the power to shout it, even at our enemies.
When we tell lies, they come as whispers. The truth speaks loud and proud, because we believe in what we are saying.
However, when we speak with conviction to a broad audience, we must be prepared for the arrows of those who do not agree.
As I said, no one can speak effectively to everyone. If you preach religious freedom, the religious will react. If you call for liberation, the conservatives will yell. If you speak equality, you raise the ire of the privileged minority. So it goes, for each individual and every tribe will have conviction in their own beliefs and values.
So, if you wish to claim a voice and be heard by many, such as blogging, you must be prepared for the ‘slings and arrows’, and the sniping and trolling, that goes along with speaking to many.
SO speak boldly and take courage from others
Think of those great voices who had a great message and who wanted to be heard. They had great messages. They spoke with passion and wisdom that we all now accept as gospel.
- Jesus Christ — nailed to the cross
- Abraham Lincoln — shot in the theatre
- Martin Luther King Jr — Shot down in Memphis
- John F. Kennedy — Shot
- Malala — shot
These great voices, and many, many more, spoke out bravely and were punished by others who reacted with a different kind of voice.
I’m not saying that you should aspire to speak on such a level. Though some of you may dream of speaking to the whole world. Either way, I know many of you want to be heard. If you want o be heard, then you must be ready for those who will disagree.
However, if you have a great message to tell:
“Speak up and speak clearly. I want to hear what you have to say because it matters. Let’s listen to each other and respect one another’s opinions.” — Felicia Johnson
Final thoughts on how to be heard
So, my friends, if you, like me, are struggling to be heard, know your voice is your God given right. I urge you find it and use it for good.
I know the pain of feeling voiceless. Even now I’m preparing to edit, to finish, to publish, and I feel that doubt, that I poured my heart out and I’ll be hearing more crickets.
However, it doesn’t matter. This morning I woke with the pain of the voiceless and so I decided that that was my message. Speak to those out their who want to break through but who fear no one will hear them. My message was simple:
Find what needs to be said. Speak to those who need to hear. Say it in a voice that only you can have. And say it loud and proud, knowing you are giving your voice in the service of your fellow man, and woman.
All the best my friends and thankyou for reading.
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Joe Brown is a teacher, a writer, and an amateur investor. He studied English Literature, Modern History and Creative Writing at university. Joe also completed a graduate diploma in Education and completed 2 years of an Economics degree. He writes to inspire others to achieve their own personal goals in life.