150. Quick Thinks: Communication Tips from the Classroom and Around the World | Think Fast, Talk...

150. Quick Thinks: Communication Tips from the Classroom and Around the World | Think Fast, Talk...

Introduction (00:00:00)

  • Legendary baseball player Hack Wilson emphasized the importance of good advice and common sense beyond talent.
  • Celebrating the 150th episode of the podcast, focusing on good communication advice.
  • Host Matty Abrahams and guest Shawan Jackson, an expert communicator and executive director of Vocal Justice, share communication advice taught to MBA students and insights from listeners worldwide.

The Role of Effective Transitions (00:01:25)

  • Shawan Jackson discusses the importance of transitions in presentations to enhance audience understanding and engagement.
  • Four types of transitions:
    • Rapid transitions: Simple and quick transitions like "first," "second," "next." Useful for impromptu speeches or Q&A.
    • Relational transitions: Longer and more poetic transitions that connect ideas seamlessly.
    • Recap transitions: Helpful in longer presentations to reinforce key learnings by summarizing a segment before moving on.
    • Narrative transitions: Connecting ideas through personal stories or anecdotes.
  • Shawan emphasizes the effectiveness of these transitions and shares a personal experience as a tour guide, highlighting the importance of transitions in keeping the audience engaged and preventing confusion.

Techniques for Using Slides (00:04:11)

  • Start with the story or narrative you want to communicate.
  • Ask yourself where slides would help your audience.
  • Use the mantra "less is more" when deciding what to put on a slide.
  • Use images over verbiage when possible.

Listener Advice: Knowing Your Audience (00:07:23)

  • Know your audience to understand their needs and interests.
  • Consider the "what's in it for me" factor for your audience.
  • Think about how your audience should feel, know, and do when crafting your message.

Techniques for Understanding Your Audience (00:08:34)

  • Understand your audience to set goals and craft relevant material.
  • Consider their knowledge level, attitudes, and areas of resistance.
  • Research the audience through Google searches, feedback, and gut-checking with event planners.
  • Use polls or questions to gather information during spontaneous speaking engagements.
  • Balance audience needs with your authentic communication style.

Listener Advice: The Power of Silence (00:10:49)

  • Holding silence can enhance listening and understanding of surroundings.
  • Silence demonstrates active listening and thinking.
  • Silence allows time for people to think of or muster the courage to ask questions.

Practicing Silence in Communication (00:11:22)

  • Silence can be a powerful communication tool.
  • Pauses demonstrate power and can be made less awkward by setting expectations.
  • Silence can be used to think about challenging questions before responding.

Addressing Communication Pet Peeves (00:12:45)

  • Avoid starting responses with context or backstory.
  • Use the PECs framework: Point, Explanation, Complication, Summary.
  • Avoid rewarding every question with "good question".
  • Focus rewards on insightful questions.
  • Avoid using "does that make sense" repeatedly.
  • Explore alternative ways to check if your message was understood.

Listener Advice on the Importance of Listening (00:16:07)

  • Listening is the most important tool in communication.
  • Over 80% of communication is nonverbal.
  • Meditation helps connect with advice and improve nonverbal communication.

Strategies for Effective Listening (00:00:00)

  • Listening is more important than speaking in effective communication.
  • Good listening involves understanding the underlying meaning (bottom line) rather than just the surface-level information (top line).
  • Active listening techniques, such as paraphrasing and note-taking, can help improve listening skills.
  • Listening is crucial for building trust and demonstrating empathy.
  • Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues, such as emotions and context, when listening.

Conclusion (00:19:39)

  • This episode marks the 150th episode of the podcast.
  • The guest, Shan, shares valuable insights on improving communication skills.
  • The host, Matt, expresses gratitude for the collaboration and learning experience.
  • The podcast is produced by Stanford Graduate School of Business with the help of various individuals and organizations.
  • Listeners are encouraged to spread the word about the podcast and follow them on social media.

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