“Communication is a skill that you can learn.
It’s like riding a bicycle or typing.
If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”
– Brian Tracy
If you want to have more success in your life and business,
learn to become an effective communicator.
If you’re not one who spends lots of time working on yourself, that needs to change today. If you expect to change the lives of others in a positive and meaningful way, it begins with you.
My Language Mentor
When I was a kid, I was blessed to have my mom as a role model of how to use the English language.
My mom had many flaws, most of which were brought on by having to raise eight children by herself, with no money and even less hope – but the one thing she could do well is communicate.
It seemed like not a day went by without mom correcting our English.
If you would say “This part is broke” – mom would quickly chime in in and say “No, actually the proper way to say that is “This part is broken.”
For some reason, I had the hardest time saying the word ‘escape.’ I would always put an X where the S was and subsequently made the word sound like ‘Excape.’ This drove mom up the wall. She would make me say ‘escape’ over and over again until I had it right.
Sometimes this would go one for what felt like hours, until the S was securely planted after the E.
Crazy how these thoughts stay with you for 40+ years.
When I was six years old, I would go through the dictionary and find a big word I wanted to conquer.
My huge win in 1974 was ‘physician.’
I would study that word over and over again until I got it just right.
Then, I would have everyone in my family time me how long it would take to spell the word correctly.
As I look back, there were a couple character traits at work inside of me at an early age:
– The need to conquer a new frontier
– The need to be recognized for it
– The competitor in me wanted to spell it as fast as humanly possible.
After awhile, it wasn’t just about learning a new word, it was about how fast I could spell it and how much of an impression I could make on the masses with this lethal one-two punch of knowledge and speed.
As ridiculous as I thought it was to focus on ‘broken’ and ‘escape’ at the time, I’m thankful mom forced me to be a better communicator. I believe that had much to do with my great sales career and rise up the corporate ladder between 1990-2005.
And subsequently carried with me as part of my EverydayIsSaturday.com portfolio of audios and videos.
I remember sitting in board rooms with other corporate stiffs who had undergraduate degrees, MBA’s, etc.
Then there as me.
Twenty college credits to my name, most of them gym or health class – hanging right in there with everyone.
If I needed a $100 word to make a point – I would drop it in the middle of a sentence for emphasis.
If a quick-witted comment or joke was needed, I’d reach into my joke bank and make a withdrawal.
That’s another gift mom blessed us with was a quick wit and sense of humor.
If you ever want to earn a ton of money speaking from stage, learn this saying “Funny is money.”
When you can make people laugh, their guard goes down and your like-ability goes up.
You don’t have to be Jay Leno or Joan Rivers, no need to begin studying stand up comedy.
It’s all about timing.
Know when it’s appropriate to make a joke.
Know your audience.
Know the climate.
Then inject some well-timed humor.
Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.
– Mark Twain.
Today, you scroll down your favorite social media news feed and you can quickly spot and effective communicator.
Look at this Facebook post from my friend Dave Lakhani.
Dave is describing a late night visit to Albertson’s,
when he suddenly found himself a bit too close for comfort with an assault rifle-toting local:
“Dear open carry advocates,
I’m a strong 2nd amendment supporter and your right to walk around sporting an AR15 tactically slung across your non tactical body, in suburbia where a majority of crime and terrorist attacks play out throughout the United States on a nearly nightly basis.
Even in the Albertsons where I occasionally go at 11pm to purchase my apocalypse survival items like deodorant, laundry detergent and kale.
But when your tactical rig is so stressed that the webbing with which I could tow a vehicle snaps like a rubber band and your weapon clatters to the floor after first catching a shelf flipping the barrel toward my head and then coming to rest pointing at my feet, I hope you’ll support my right to demand that your tactical ass be disarmed immediately and that your weapon not be returned until you complete weight watchers and firearms training from a competent instructor.
This seems to be a reasonable request from me, the unintended target or your gross incompetence.
Oh and PS,
When you weapon is flying away from your gravitational pull next time, feel free to set down the half rack of beer instead of tucking it under your arm while you fumble with your rifle and sling like a teenage boy encountering his first front clasp bra.
I hope my description of you is adequate. Because while I desperately wanted to take a picture of you I feared that in your attempt to pose you might kill both of us.
That is all, cue the Skynyrd.”
A thing of beauty, is it not?
I felt like I was walking the aisles of Albertson’s right there with Dave.
To be transparent, Dave is a master of persuasion and an A+ communicator but his upbringing is no better than mine or yours.
Dave was raised in a cult and is self-taught in the area of communication.
And his self-education has earned him amazing personal and business success.
If you’d like to view Dave’s original post on Facebook, here’s the direct link.
What does all this talk about communication have to do with you, your business and your success?
I can only speak from my own experience but I can tell one thing with absolute certainty:
If you want to build a long, sustainable brand – become a master communicator.
There’s a time and place for tweets and texts.
I love twitter.
Some would accuse me of being a Twitter-aholic, due to the time I spend gathering news, opinions and communicating with followers.
But you have to be smart enough to know when to say ‘tommo’ in place of tomorrow.
Or when to keep ‘lemme’ in your back pocket and instead reach for the oldie but goodie, ‘let me.’
If you run an online bushiness, you no doubt will be sending emails, posting to social media platforms and attending meet ups & live events.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, become an effective communicator.
You don’t need to be Maya Angelou or Martin Luther King Jr to make an impact with your words.
Just be a better version of You than you were yesterday.
Smarter, wittier and wiser.
“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.”