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Organize Your Communication


By JoJo Tabares

We all know that organizing your day will increase your productivity. It allows you to keep a record of things that you need to do and prioritize them to make better use of your time. It keeps you on track and helps you to organize your day. A planner is an essential tool for the busy woman whether she has a business, a career or an active household!

But, how many times have you had to return a phone call and forgot to mention an important point? Have you ever had a hard time formulating your thoughts in a letter? Did you ever email anyone and come to find out that they didn't quite understand what you were asking? And then, how much of your time was spent trying to clear up that communication?

We all know that effective communication is important, but what does that really mean in practical terms for busy women? Here are some tips that I use to help me make the most out of my communication.

1. Phone Calls

Before you dial that number, make some notes on a piece of paper to remind you of the points you wish to address. Don't write complete sentences, but rather write a bulletized list so that it is easy to refer to while you are talking. Write the person's name at the top and, if this call is for business, some notes about that person that you remember. Have you ever called someone and, while it was ringing, forgot who you were calling? This technique helps with those "senior moments". Good communicators are great listeners and your notes can help you communicate that you were listening to them when they mentioned that their Aunt Sally was in the hospital last week. How? Because you will remember to ask how Aunt Sally is doing!

2. Use an Outline

Before you write anything (a letter, an email, a report or an article), you must organize your thoughts. The best way to do this is to use an outline. This ensures that your thoughts are complete, presented in a logical order and are easy to understand before you begin to write. You will notice that the writing goes much more smoothly when you do this too! An added bonus for those of you who don't like writing as much as I do!

I can always tell when someone didn't organize their thoughts before hitting the keyboard or picking up that pencil because their communication is a jumble of disjointed ideas that hit you from all angles and leave you wondering. A confused mind will not act. If you have confused your Uncle Edward, he might not understand that you want him to watch the kids next Tuesday night. If you have confused your boss, she may not give you that project or that corner office you were trying to ask for. And if you confuse your customer, he will not buy from you!

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3. Email

Now that you have organized your thoughts, make your email posts easier to read by organizing their appearance! Remember that we live in a microwave society. People don't want to read a 6000 word essay on what you have done today…especially if it is all one big paragraph!

4. Presentations

It is generally acceptable to carry notes or index cards up with you when you are making a presentation of almost any sort. What is not acceptable is to read it verbatim while holding the cards up in front of you obscuring your face. Organize yourself for your presentation.

A little organization and preparation goes a long way toward making your communication more clear! It will be less stressful for you, less frustrating for your audience and give you the best chance over-all to say what you mean. Happy communicating!

© JoJo Tabares
JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication and has over 20 years of experience in the field. She is the author of the Say What You Mean series of studies on effective communication skills. For more information, please visit her website, Art of Eloquence at ArtOfEloquence.com.

 

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