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Getting your message across in conversations

By Richard White – Master Trainer: Think on Your Feet®, Writing Dynamics™ and Grammar on the Rocks™.

Conversations, unlike formal presentations and written documents, give no time to prepare how to get our message across. In conversations, we can’t try different ways to convey our point or refine our words. So, how can we get our message across more effectively?

In the moment…

…conversations are by far the most common form of workplace communication, but they are largely improvised so we have to speak “in the moment”. We can marshal our facts and assemble the evidence beforehand but attempts to compose the actual words and rehearse them in advance risk making us sound clunky and unauthentic. To be convincing in a conversation we have to shape what we say to match the immediate context – we have to fit in with the flow of what’s being said.

The key!

Structure is the key, it helps us to quickly organise our thoughts and then communicate them in a clearer, more efficient and more impactful way:

  • Being clear – helps our listeners understand us.
  • Being efficient – means everyone saves time.
  • Making an impact – gets our listeners’ attention and they are more likely to remember our message.

But, as we said above, conversations are improvised so we need to structure our thoughts as we speak, adapting our message to the flow of the conversation.

Learning to Think on Your Feet®

The Think on Your Feet® workshop teaches six structures that, once learned and practised, can be used in conversations to organise thoughts and get messages across with clarity, brevity and impact. The workshop also provides four supporting structures to bring your message to life, a tool to help you be more relevant to a particular audience and techniques for dealing with the difficult or unexpected questions that often crop up. It’s an invaluable toolkit to help be more effective and remembered in conversations or any situations when you’ve no time to prepare. Find out more at www.indigobusiness.co.uk/toyf.


More about Richard White
Richard White is a certified master trainer in Writing Dynamics™, Think on Your Feet®, The Skilled Presenter™ and Grammar on the Rocks™. He is also accredited to deliver Dr Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats®, Lateral Thinking™ and Power of Perception™.

He brings a wide range of practical business experience to his training. He has worked in a corporate environment as an engineer, before spending 15 years managing customer service, marketing and sales departments. He subsequently held a senior position on people development programmes in BT. His corporate career gave him both first-hand knowledge of day-to-day management issues and the opportunity to play a leading part in many cutting-edge projects.