Producing Perception through Communication

We have no control over others’ perceptions of us. Or do we?

Ultimately, we cannot control others’ perceptions but we can certainly influence them.

Whether we are communicating through presentations or with customers over the telephone or even with our colleagues and clients in our day-to-day interactions, no one wants to be perceived negatively. Negative perceptions affect career paths and very often, because of the lack of confidence they instil in clients or customers, they affect a company’s profits.

Often these skewed perceptions are simply a result of ambiguous or inadvertent communication.

Communication is frequently taken for granted. Usually, we only focus on what to say rather than on how to say it. Naturally, what we say is important, however, non-verbal communication has an enormous impact. Our tone of voice, the pace at which we speak, our body language and vocal projection all contribute to our overriding message.

When we communicate under pressure (e.g. in a presentation or dealing with an irate customer over the telephone), our manner of communication changes. There is a multitude of things that can go wrong – we may speed up our pace of speech or fidget when we get nervous, creating the wrong perception entirely and not representing ourselves as confident, capable people with value and expertise to offer.

Essentially, the key is to develop the ability to use our voices and body language to support our intended messages, so that we have a positive and persuasive influence on the perceptions of others. The best way to develop these skills is through training that is based on practical, experiential learning, however, there are some important tips can start you on you on your journey to producing perceptions that are positive.

7 tips for producing positive perceptions:

  1. Structure your thoughts
  2. Listen
  3. Breathe
  4. Stand tall
  5. Pause
  6. Start only when you are ready to start
  7. Project your voice

By Michelle Macdonald (Managing Director, Confident Communicator®)