In observing many presentations, most of them quite poor, I have come to the conclusion that there are four keys to successful oral communication, which apply just as much to one-to-one communication as one-to-many communication. I call these the Four Aims of Presentation because you will need to achieve them all if you want to pass your message(s) effectively.
- Be heard
- Be understood
- Be respected
- Be remembered
In a nutshell, here is why each of them is important.
Be heard – because if the listener cannot hear you properly, they will not receive your message properly and cannot be expected to understand you.
Be understood – because if you are heard but not understood, then the message received will not be the message you were trying to communicate.
Be respected – because if you are properly understood but the listener has no reason to accept your message and believe it or act on it, then likely your message will not have the effect you desire.
Be remembered – because if your message is heard, understood and accepted but the listener forgets it the next day, then it will not have any lasting effect.
If you can succeed in each of these four aims, then your message will have been passed successfully. If any one is missing, then likely it will not achieve your objectives.
Of course, this is easier said than done. In future posts I will go into more detail on each of the four aims.