If you speak in a way that makes it difficult for people to understand you, lacks polish, or just isn’t very engaging, you may think it’s ok. No big deal, right? I’ve heard people say, “a lot of my friends speak worse than I do … what difference does it make?”
A few considerations before you conclude it’s no big deal:
- Have you ever thought about “listener fatigue?” If people can only listen to you for a short time before they disengage, how does that impact what you say?
The idea behind “listener fatigue” is that most of us have short attention spans. We can only focus on one source of information for so long before we lose interest. Do you really want to shorten that length of time even more by speaking unclear and indecisively, forcing your listeners to struggle to understand you?
- If your listeners “give up” because they are mentally fatigued and can’t continue to absorb your content, have you ever thought about what you lose?
– Others who speak more clearly may get credit for ideas you voiced but didn’t clearly communicate or people didn’t “hang in” long enough to hear.
– Promotions and business opportunities / connections may pass you by because people didn’t realize you were the “best fit”.
– People will mistakenly believe you are not knowledgeable or confident and not give you credit for what you say or buy in to your ideas.
This could really cost you …
… and it’s preventable!
If you learn to speak clearly, confidently, and with impact, people will listen longer … be energized by your words rather than “tired out” and listen longer. This allows you time to create buy in, loyalty, support, and confidence.
It’s the reason people work on their speech, clarity, delivery, voice quality, and presence.
-Rebecca Linquist & Bud Everts