From the Blog

When you look at successful people, they may have varying talents, which explain how they succeeded. A great voice and or talent can lead to a career as an entertainer; a knack for invention can make a person a great scientist, and philosophical knowledge and intellect can make someone a great leader. Yet, none of these people can be a success without having good communication skills.

1. They Have to Network

With any successful person, no matter their profession, they have to network with other people on a regular basis. As such, they have to be able to write and speak with a variety of people on a variety of subjects; whether it is pitching their book or movie to a publisher or producer, or trying to convince housewives to buy their new labour-saving device.

2. They Have to Make a Sale

To succeed in life means to make a sale, and not necessarily the simple sale of a product. Politicians have to ”sell” themselves to their constituents; writers and actors have to sell themselves to agents and producers. To do that, they have to be able to communicate what it is about them or their product, or idea etc that is better that someone else’s.

3. People Have to be Comfortable With Them

There’s an old saying about not shooting the messenger. It means that you don’t blame the person who brings you bad news for the news. Nevertheless, people won’t like someone who gives them bad news, and also they are not inclined to buy or support a person who cannot communicate well with them.

With successful people, they need not be pretty (witness the appearances of some Rock singers), but they have to project confidence. When they make their pitch, they speak clearly; they stand up straight, head held high, and they look people in the eye. They project their voice and speak in a pleasant tone.

They do not shout and scream, and they do not result to profanity and vulgar acts. When writing, they’re clear and articulate, and not overly wordy and their writing is easily understood by the vast majority of the public.

4. They Have to Present Their Idea

With any successful person, they invariably have some sort of idea and/or product to present to a client or buyer. Whether it’s a new book or a business plan; the pitch for a new TV series or an attempt to get a part in a show; they have to convince someone that they’ve got a great idea or talent.

This means either writing a great pitch letter or treatment or putting on a great presentation or audition. In either case, good communication skills are needed.

5. They Often Go Against “The Flow”

Truly successful people are often “ahead of the curve” when it comes to business, music, cultural trends and so forth.

The successful writer or producer comes up with a new idea for a movie or TV show; the successful business leader sees a new opportunity or market, and the successful inventor comes up with a new device to fill a need. No matter what, they often have an idea that is ahead of its time.

How many people could have foreseen that “The Blair Witch Project” would be a huge hit?

How many people knew that Yahoo, eBay and YouTube would make millions?

And how many knew that personal computers would need user-friendly operating systems and that Windows would be the key to that?

All of these were done by people who were ultimately successful and had to convince others of the validity of their idea. To do that, they had to communicate that breakthrough idea in a manner that others could understand, appreciate and believe in.

6. They Have to Listen, in Many Ways

This ties in with point #5.

Many successful people “listen” to the marketplace, whether that be the business marketplace, cultural trends, movies and television shows and so on. By being a good listener, whatever that might entail, they can see things: trends in pop culture, demographic trends that might hint at what people will need in the future and they can simply listen to what their clients say they need.

Being a good communicator means more than talking or writing; it means listening too. You can be the greatest inventor in the world, but if you don’t listen to what people want, you’ll fail.

Thomas Edison invented an electric vote counter and tried to sell it to Congress, but they did not want it; they had no desire to speed up the voting process. Edison had not “listened” to the marketplace.

7. They Have to Stand Out

To be a success, a person has to stand out from the crowd; those that blend in do not rise to the top. People like JK Rowling, John F. Kennedy, and Laurence Olivier (to name only three), are all successful, and all have (had) the ability to communicate well in some way.

Great authors like Rowling and Conan Doyle take the same words that anyone has available and weave tales that keep us on the edge of our seat and flipping pages as fast as we can read. Statesmen like Kennedy and Reagan could inspire and excite people with just a speech. And then singers and actors can make girls scream with passion and grown men weep with just their words.

8. They Can “Change Gears” in a Heartbeat

When pitching a new business deal to a bunch of investors and then trying to sell it to new clients, successful people know how to say the same thing, yet say it differently.

When trying to relate to a bunch of teens, throwing in some recent movie or pop culture references can work wonders, as can dredging up some nostalgia when presenting something to an older crowd.

This can also tie into the form of communication they use. Some people are good at writing, others at speaking, and then there are modern multi-media: movies, flash files, wav files, even twittering. Successful people have the ability to adapt their message to whatever media is best suited to the situation.

9. They Give and Get Respect

When trying to pitch something, whether it’s an idea or a product, successful people do it properly. This means communicating in a way that shows respect to their audience.

You do not see such people using a great deal of profanity, vulgarity or insulting language. They do not belittle their audience or talk down to them.

10. They Project Optimism

When successful people talk about just about anything, it’s often with a “glass half full” sort of attitude. No matter what they are trying to achieve, they speak in a positive manner, always looking to the future, always looking at how they can improve things.

There’s an old saying that speaks of building a better mouse trap, and then the world will beat a path to your door. Well, the greatest invention in the world or the next great novel won’t lead to success if you can’t communicate to others as to just how great your creation is.

This is where good communication skills help in building success.

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at:”>great communication skills