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The 10 commandments of communication

by Alan Knott-Craig: Successful entrepreneur and best-selling author, chairman of HeroTel, a wireless broadband provider, and founder of Project Isizwe.
1. Clarify your ideas before communicating. Before pushing out information, make sure you’ve simplified the message and tailored for the audience.

2. Focus the message. Don’t try achieve too much with each communication, just pick one goal and push that.

3. Consider the environment. Maybe it’s a big office, maybe your bosses are there, maybe it’s blue collar workers, maybe it’s outside. You must customise your message to the physical and human surroundings.

4. Bounce your message off others. That way you can improve the delivery, and have the buy-in of key players before delivering.

5. Beware your tone and language. Your facial expressions, your body language, the words you use, all combine to detract or add to your message.

6. Consider the other person’s interests. People are most responsive to a speaker who is taking their own interests into account.

7. Follow up. Give opportunity for feedback to ensure the message was understood.

8. Communicate for tomorrow, not just today. People find it hard to meet expectations if they don’t know the long term plan.

9. Your actions must support your words. If your actions contradict your words, your audience won’t listen.

10. Be a good listener. Listen to your audience: words, body language, tone, dress. It’s all there. If you listen carefully, you’ll know what to say.

Useful resources:
The Big Almanack
Alan Knott-Craig is a highly successful entrepreneur and best selling author. He is based in South Africa and passionate about starting businesses in the telecoms, media and tech sector.
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