“Excuse me, I think you have something in your eye. Nope, it’s just a sparkle.” ~ Anonymous pick-up artist
I was watching a presentation about human resource administration. Boring, right? I thought it would be mind numbing, but it wasn’t. It was engaging, informative, and even funny. How was this happening? The speaker just had a sparkle in his eye that transformed his presentation from boring to soaring.
We can all sparkle like my HR friend in our communication. It doesn’t have to be a presentation; we can sparkle in conversations, walking down the street or even ordering a cup of coffee.
Here are the 12 Most Spectacular Ways to Make Your Communication Sparkle:
1. Share your passion
What makes you sparkle? What passion do you have that when you talk about it you light up a room? Don’t hide what you love. Share it with the world. You’ll be amazed how people gravitate towards you when you do.
2. Be interested
The flip side of sharing your passion is being interested in what another person sparkles about. Sharing your sparkle inspires others to share their sparkle too.
3. Express gratitude
Thank you. Two tiny words that in my opinion are not genuinely said enough. The people in our lives do so much for us and yet we mostly likely don’t say thank you enough. In that spirit, a public thank you to my Fiancée for making me coffee every single morning. I never say thank you for it, but I really should.
4. Look people in the eye
When I am at Starbucks, I have an awful habit. I sometimes don’t make eye contact with the barista taking my order. I’m fussing with my wallet, getting my credit card out, or looking at the menu. I’m doing everything but looking at the person who is helping me. Making eye contact screams “I see you!” and don’t we all just want to be seen.
5. Listen — no really listen
People not only like to be seen, but they like to be heard. Put away your smartphones, turn off the TV, and just focus on what the other person is saying. Listen emphatically.
6. Smile and mean it
The Killers sang, “Smile like you mean it” but I think you should really mean it!
Here is your mission if you choose to accept it: the next time you are walking down the street genuinely smile at the person crossing your path. If they don’t smile back, smile at the next person or the next. When that smile is returned, it uplifts your spirit and puts a sparkle in your step.
7. Praise the praiseworthy
Did someone do a really great job on a project? Tell them. Read a blog post that rocked your world? Tell the author and share the post with everyone you know. Fall madly in love with a painting? Tell the artist what it means to you. Showing someone that you appreciate their art has untold benefits.
8. Expect nothing in return
Don’t dole out praise, express gratitude or even smile at someone expecting something in return. Don’t tweet a post hoping the person will tweet one of yours. Do it because you want to, not because you want something out of it.
9. Be honest
People appreciate the truth even when it is hard to hear. Be honest and say what needs to be said. For the love of all things good, if someone has a piece of spinach in their teeth, skirt tucked into their underwear or toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoe, TELL THEM!
10. Have I told you lately that I love you?
I hate that sappy song, but Mr. Stewart has got a point. Telling someone how we feel is one of the most difficult things we have do. Sharing emotions is putting your heart out there and taking a HUGE risk. The bigger risk though is NOT saying how we feel. Go ahead! Tell the people in your life how much you care about them.
11. I’m sorry
We are human, and we screw up. Sometimes we mess up big time and hurt the ones who are the closest to us. Saying a heartfelt “I’m sorry” won’t fix everything, but it is a step in the right direction.
12. Do your best
Some days it is harder to sparkle than other days. There are mornings I wake up with a grey cloud hanging over my head and not just because I live in Seattle. My attitude sucks. I do my best to shine, but sometimes it takes that unexpected smile, compliment or thank you to make me really sparkle. We are never perfect in our communication, but we can always do our best.
It won’t be easy, but I challenge you to do one thing today that makes your communication sparkle. In fact, I’d love to hear about it and the impact it made. Share your shining moment in the comments below!
Featured image courtesy of derekskey via Creative Commons.
Speech Coach and Presentation Skills Trainer, Dr. Michelle Mazur, guides driven-to-succeed business professionals and independent business owners to ignite the smoldering fire within to speak up, speak out and make their impact — one compelling presentation at a time. Clients get noticed, promoted and paid more by overcoming their reluctance and learning to speak with authenticity and confidence, no matter how big or small their audience. To learn her proven approach to get ready for opportunity now — visit her website.
In education, we used to recite the following mantra in classrooms: Good, better, best - never let it rest til your good is better and your better is best! Having this spirit not only in how effectively one communicates, but in all aspects of our lives ensures success! Thanks for sharing this post, Dr. Mazur.
I think #9 makes sense only if the information makes a difference. If you can help a person avoid embarrassment by telling him about the spinach in her teeth, by all means, speak up. But, if you tell a person her roots are showing (at any place outside a beauty parlor), your honesty is just plain mean. Keep sparkling, Michelle!
This is a great "12 Most"–I loved it! But when I read #9 (Be Honest), I immediately thought about when Ricky and the Mertzes bet Lucy she couldn't go a day without fibbing. Lucy won the bet but not without hurting a lot of feelings! So perhaps there's a shade of gray in that one...
Following point 7. Thanks for the post. I think I do most of these. Sometimes felt if I was overdoing (say emailing a bunch of friends about an article I like and never hear back from them) and wondered if they consider it a spam. But, I feel more confident now - I am sharing my spark :-). Thanks
@Kim Stebbins Have you seen Ricky Gervais' "The Invention of Lying." It's about a world where you could not lie or really hold back. Even in advertising - no lying! I think the difference between lying and being honest is all about tact. Plus, sometimes as Thumper said...if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all...
@ynsaripa You are more than welcome! I think it is awesome that you are instilling more positivity or inspiration in your friends life. Email away. You never know when that email can turn around a day for one your friends!
@rosemaryoneill I know. It is fun to do! In Seattle, we have the Seattle freeze - people are not to social. It's hard to get them to make eye contact, but when I do and just smile. I usually get a smile back. It's awesome!
@Michelle_MazurI haven't seen that, but I have read about it and it's on my list. Especially in advertising is lying bad (well, it's always bad, isn't it?) But I agree that tact is key. One doesn't always have to be brutally honest when gentle honesty will do. As to Thumper, I thought my mother invented that one!