There are three fundamental elements to communicating your message:
In face-to-face presentations, the most important element is the visual. Be mindful of the impact your physicality has on your audience. Standing gives you more authority and helps project energy through your voice. Stay animated and, by all means, keep your sense of humor!
In meetings, most people love it when you write down what they say. I think it demonstrates engagement with the speaker, but a former law firm partner once told me to “stop writing and start thinking.” So know your audience. Nevertheless, I was and remain an avid, detailed note taker, who has become more disciplined in reviewing and using my notes.
Of course, the elements of communication are interrelated. You should make an effort to match your tone to your words, and to vary the tonality of your speech.
As I’ve said before, Words Do Matter, yet people (other than the lawyers taking notes) will likely forget your exact words. But, you can maximize the impact of your verbal messaging when you use the word “you” A LOT (see above), and you refer to the importance of other people’s time — like thanking you for taking the time out of your busy day to read this!
Having insight into how you communicate with/relate to others has never been more important than now, in the digital age, where we seem to be rapidly losing these abilities. Having good communication skills is the driver to building good relationships, and good relationships get you jobs.