Do you think before you speak? Or do you wing it? I’m in the latter group and find that, even with formal presentations, I do better without a lot of rehearsal. This is how I’m wired. Others need to prepare more carefully.
Regardless of which group you fall into though it is critically important to achieving your desired result to be intentional. What I mean by this is, whether you rehearse your specific actions or words ahead of time that you have a clear goal or end in mind in every encounter, meeting, customer interaction, sales call…well you get the idea!
A friend with a lot of business experience in China related the following proverb to me which I think answers the question:
“The words you haven’t said, you control them. The words you have delivered they control you”
When you hear something that is true it jumps out at you doesn’t it? This is absolutely true isn’t it? So, if we are to control our words – and very importantly the impact they have – we need to be intentional.
As I mentioned some of us are better unscripted but this should never mean unrehearsed! By this I mean that even if I don’t know exactly what I plan to say, or how I plan to react to what someone else does or says, that I’ve thought about, played it out in my mind and anticipated it. I do this because I have a result in mind for the interaction. I’m intentional about it.
I want to control my words rather than be controlled by them!
Now, this is easier said than done! It takes forethought and it takes discipline to be intentional. But I find that when we are we are much better communicators, whether the audience is an employee, a prospect or a family member. Be effective. Be intentional!