How to be an effective communicator - Business Works
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How to be an effective communicator

Jo-Ellen Grzyb, Director, Impact Factory At a time when businesses are being required to do more with less, communicating effectively and with confidence remains central to business success. Jo-Ellen Grzyb, Director of training consultancy Impact Factory and qualified psychotherapist addresses why many people fail to engage an audience due to their lack of presentation and communication skills. She investigates how presentation skills can impact an audience and how delivering a pitch that is compelling and enjoyable will increase confidence levels and enhance team performance.

In order to transform yourself into a truly effective and influential communicator, you need to take yourself to the very edge of what is possible. Do not play it safe and remember that one size does not fit all because every audience member is different.

Standing in front of a room full of people is often a nerve-wracking and stressful scenario, but it is vital to capture the audience's attention from the outset. You should aim to make the session unforgettable, entertaining and stimulating because it is the audience's job to sleep and your job to keep them awake. First, get their attention, make it relevant, give a clear central message, provide an example and say what you want them to do. To get your message across effectively, think about what you are trying to achieve, the information you want to convey and what you want your audience to do as a result of your presentation.

Make an impact


  • Individual: why are you giving this presentation?
  • Message: what do you want to communicate to you audience?
  • Preparation: practice out loud and warm up
  • Audience: who are they and why have they come?
  • Conviction: express your passion and they will care as much as you do
  • Technical: use PowerPoint for graphics or simple clear messages and use hand-outs for detailed information.

Body language is relevant to all aspects of work and business where communication can be physically observed among people. It is your job as a presenter to subtly read the non-verbal signs of engagement or distraction of your audience and react accordingly.

Although hand gestures and facial expressions can help to convey the meaning of your words, they are also the first indicators of your nervousness when speaking in front of an audience. If your words indicate you are confident, but your body language implies you are not, such as fidgeting and avoiding eye contact, your audience will sense the difference straight away. Repetition of a phrase or a gesture can be very off-putting and unless the phrase is poetic or deistic, your audience will soon get bored and lose interest. You should therefore avoid making distracting motions and change them into meaningful movements.

Draw your audience into your presentation so they are not merely passive listeners by asking them to comment as they are your source of feedback. This is a good communicating technique because as human beings we engage and participate more when we are moving around and interacting with those around us.

Ed Milibandís speech at the Labour Conference was a clear step in the right direction. Memorising such a long speech was striking and although sometimes it seemed over-rehearsed because of repetitive hand gestures, the feat itself was impressive. If you can memorise speech comfortably, do so. However, feeling as though you ought to could add more stress. It is far better to speak comfortably and clearly on each point, emphasising that preparation and practice can boost your performance which ultimately determines your level of success.

When giving a presentation or a pitch, you should dress appropriately, but more importantly you should dress comfortably. You will fidget less and by wearing comfortable clothing you will feel more confident in yourself and the speech you are delivering.

Be seen

Visual presentations can often distract from the core messages and are only useful when an important message or idea cannot be delivered verbally. As long as the presentation isnít too long, complex and doesnít use any unnecessary visuals, your audience will leave feeling interested and educated.

The majority of people who deliver unsuccessful presentations do so because they are nervous and want to get through it as quickly as possible. But you must remember that good communication is a good conversation, even if you are the only person speaking. Believe your work is working for others and remember that your audience is willing you to do well and wants you to deliver an entertaining and informative presentation. Overcoming these obstacles is a matter of practice and raising confidence levels and as long as you have mastered effective communication and presentation skills, anyone can become an influential communicator.

Effective communication in business is a must and as a result of understanding your audience and an abundance of hard work and preparation, anyone can effectively inform, influence and impress an audience by delivering a compelling and reactive presentation.

To contact Jo-Ellen of for more information, please visit:

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