Back in the blog saddle after some exhausting days off. Plenty of content to share, as I didn’t take off from observing.Conversation and an observation lead to today’s tip. Many conversations are impromptu events and can leave you grasping for content, not to mention the normal challenge of delivery. As much as you are able, minimize this shortcoming. One place this rears its head is on phone conversations. When you are calling someone else, you should have an agenda ready to go. All too often I hear messages where it is clear the caller didn’t have any idea what they wanted to say in the event of getting the machine and not a person. Even live phone conversations can suffer from this — people who have a topic in mind but no apparent purpose in the conversation other than to “discuss it”. The solution is to practice or at least jot down the topics and points that you would like to cover. This is valuable even when you are receiving a call, but of course you’d need to know the call is coming.If you know you’ll be getting a call from HR to discuss your request, have your points at the ready. Same for when your mother, your babysitter, a potential buyer, a possible client, or your accountant rings (you’re paying by the minute for that conversation!). This does not negate the place and purpose of small talk or a casual opening, but people seem to appreciate it when you actually have a point.When you’re caught off guard, answer as you are able, or excuse yourself until you are able. Sputtering or talking until you think of something to say doesn’t impress anyone.
Prepare content as much as you are able before communicating.