Make Your Mark

Communication in the First 8 Seconds

I recently spoke with a friend that I met when I lived in Shanghai, China from 2006 to 2008.  “Leah” was the China Country Manager for a small manufacturing group out of the USA.  She was educated in the USA and continues to be a passionate believer in the power of effective communication.  And… while in China, found that her speaking skills had eroded.

Even though I was leaving China to return to the USA, I encouraged her to review Bates Communications archived articles and videos for ideas. Even with her busy schedule, she became an enthusiastic student.

After her contract was finished in China, she returned to the USA and continued to work on her speaking and effective communication.  She even started a “speaking school” for children in her community, with a focus on having fun while speaking.

Flash forward to the present.

Although Leah has an excellent command of the English vocabulary, she knew that something was missing.  She wanted to show her confidence in the first few seconds of talking with and individual or a group.

The first strategy to increase one’s executive presence in the first 8 seconds:

  • Mastering our speaking rates using power phrasing, purposeful pauses and other chunking techniques.  [ – ] =  a micro second pause.
    • Example 1: “ The sight of the magnificent, [1second pause] fragrant, [1second pause], magenta rose, almost – took – my breath away.”
    • Example 2: “It is common sense – to take a method – and try it. [1second pause] If it fails, [1second pause] admit it frankly  – and try another. [1second pause] But above all, [1second pause]  try something!”  FDR / Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Pausing between two of three adjectives and / or verb phrases builds clarity and power speaking skills across multiple types of responses, and, will help remedy other small variances in one’s accent with our listeners. It gives them time to “edit”, thereby grasping the content more readily.

Comments are closed.