Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, was known as “the great communicator.”
One of his most famous statements was made while making a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany on June 12, 1987. During this speech, President Reagan threw down this challenge:
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Think back to some great communicators like Reagan, Martin Luther King Jr., or John F. Kennedy. What made them great communicators? It wasn’t that they were great orators, had flashy teeth, sported perfect hair, or demonstrated a flawless writing style. They had the following:
Courage – they weren’t afraid to speak out against the status quo and challenge conventional wisdom.
Conviction – they felt strongly about their ideas and wanted others to know their viewpoint.
Clarity – their message was simple, concise, and easily understood.
Credibility – they were trusted by others and walked the talk.
So what happens when one or more of these attributes is missing?
- Subtract out courage and you have a leader who will just go along with the crowd.
- Subtract out conviction and you have a leader whose opinions will change as the wind blows.
- Subtract out wisdom and you have a leader who will make bad decisions in the heat of battle.
- Subtract out clarity and you have a leader who is difficult to understand.
- Subtract out credibility and you have a leader who can't be trusted to do what he says he will do.
Courage. Conviction. Wisdom. Clarity. Credibility. Five attributes that are essential, regardless of whether you are speaking in front of hundreds of people, writing a report to your boss, or running a PTA board meeting. Five attributes that build the foundation of someone who gets his or her point across effectively.
That someone can be you.
The remaining chapters of The Truth About Getting Your Point Across... and Nothing But the Truth will help you to better get your point across in a number of professional settings, including running meetings, delivering presentations, conducting interviews, and giving feedback. You’ll get some very practical advice and helpful tips to being a more effective communicator. These tips combined with your courage, conviction, wisdom, clarity and credibility can make you a great communicator who communicates great things and knows how to get your point across in most any setting.
Are you up for it?