Decker Communications publishes an annual list of their best and worst communicators every year. It usually is taken from the biggest stories and personalities and their presence. It’s always an entertaining trip down memory lane from the perspective of a speech coach. This year’s list gives us a look at why some of the train wrecks from the past year were that way and reminds us of how words done well can inspire and move us. It’s worth your read.
There are two bigger lessons worth our review here.
- Great communication is not an accident. And bad communication is completely avoidable. Communication is a set of skills that anyone can improve and a place where simple truths yield magnificent results. If you don’t get better this year (aspire to make their list next year!), it’s because you just don’t make it a priority.
- Analysis of speakers is one of the best ways to improve your awareness and sharpen your skills. Their list is fun to read, but it represents hours (days!) of work and a honing of a critical eye. Anyone can do this as well. You see speakers all the time — it wouldn’t make much sense for Decker to name their weekly coffee companions to the list (none of us likely knows them!) but you can learn about great communication in your annual sales meeting next week as well as the birthday party tomorrow, the church service this weekend, or the TV anchorman at any time. Figure out what works, and why, then purpose to use the positive skills to enhance your own abilities.
Of course, analysis alone does not make you better. Practicing the right things until they become habits is the way to true greatness (at anything). But you communicate every day, and the truly great at the craft do it with the intention to effect greatness with their every word. You can, too.
Get better this year.