You can prepare a pitch all you want but if your body language and tone of voice doesn’t “speak” to your client, they won’t “hear” you.
Robyn Hatcher, founder of SpeakEtc, says that how you sound accounts for 38% of your message when you are in front of your listener and 84% when you’re speaking over the phone. How do YOU sound when you speak to clients, are you confident or do you stammer? Do you whisper or enunciate or use certain, unnecessary words like “um” or “ah” over and over again? Do you talk TOO MUCH without giving your client a chance to talk to you?
What about your body messages? Do you smile or lock eyes with your listener or do your eyes dart around the room? What about your stance? Do you slump, sit or do you stand confidently but not too close? And your hands… do you speak with your hands, gesturing to your work or just moving them periodically.
Public relations is just that – relating to the public, speaking and acting toward people in a meaningful way about your brand and business. We express ourselves to our friends, family, co-workers and new acquaintances and we interact with each of these groups differently with nuances that can help get our points across.
Realize also that talking and communicating are different.
Thanks to Robyn Hatcher, an expert guest for Broadcast Louder in Public Relations, for these great tips!
Tips for Communicating Better in Person:
1-Don’t undervalue what you have to offer. Creatives sometimes feel that because they have been given a gift, others won’t appreciate it, when in fact they will, so share what you are doing!
2-If you are nervous and a bit tongue tied before going into an interview, think about someone who loves your work and what that person’s characteristics are, then somewhat take on that persona and it will give you more confidence.
3- Don’t just ramble on and on, engage the interviewer from the start. Ask them a question, compliment them, if you shift the spotlight from you to them, you can then circle it back to what you want to feature and talk about.
4- Learn what your bottom line is and how to bridge. What this means is what is the one most important thing you want them to remember from the interview. That is the “bottom line.” If they ask something you’re not ready to answer, learn how to quickly (30 seconds) answer the question and then bridge it back to your bottom line so you are repeating the important part.
5- Make sure that your in-person presentation matches your creative work!
Tips for Interviews & Communicating on the Phone:
1- Listen closely to their tone of voice, the verbs and adjectives they use and those will be key in knowing how to respond.
2- Stand up when talking because you will have more energy.
3- Have a mirror nearby and smile while talking because they can hear that smile on the other end.
4- It’s not always about answering their questions but what brand information you want them to know and remember and write about.
5- Think of words as musical notes, not just black and white lines on a page. Words need to be spoken with passion and artistry so you are engaging others.