by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Communication, Global Business, Make It Happen Tipsheet, PresentationsTagged as: Comprehension, Globalization, Language
I once worked for a brilliant leader… whose mother tongue wasn’t English. To my horror, I discovered that he didn’t always understand every word that I spoke or wrote. With increased diversity and a more global business environment, expect this to happen more and more frequently.
The challenge selling a concept to a non-fluent person is that if they do not fully understand you, they will not buy into your ideas. And if they don’t buy into your ideas, they won’t buy you: a critical issue if you are looking to sell yourself into a special project, sell a service, or sell a product.
The problem is compounded by the fear of embarrassment; very few people are keen to admit a lack of understanding. They reason that this could be interpreted (by you) as a lack of intellect or a lack of business acumen.
So how do you make sure that your message is heard – and understood? Keep these points in mind:
The value of simple communications is that your message will be better understood by everyone – whether their mother tongue is yours or not. This is true when speaking to your professional colleagues. And it is also true when delivering a high-stakes presentation, facilitating a critical meeting, or running a workshop.
Go through some of your writing: a proposal, an informal email, and perhaps your website. Then make it more understandable by checking it against the list. Use the same guidelines for your next presentation.
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