Communication skills are part and parcel of effective leadership. Your ability to clearly communicate information to your teams and clients can get you places as an MSP business. Although many may be inherently gifted in this area, it is both possible and highly recommended to work on improving your own communication skills.
Ask Yourself Hard Questions
Any improvement you may seek to make must begin with an honest reflection of your strengths and weaknesses as far as communication is concerned. Ask and answer some difficult questions. If you have some trusted colleagues or mentors, you can also ask for their honest assessment. Rate how well you communicate, how clear and concise you are, how engaging and interesting you are, and how your audience usually reacts to your presentations.
Think About What You Want to Communicate
Effective communication goes hand in hand with being crystal clear about the message you want to deliver. This is where planning and practice can be very useful. If you only have a limited amount of time to speak or present, what is it you most want to say? When you focus on what is important rather than filling up a time slot, you are on your way to effective communication.
One useful method to use in presentations is the PIP method. In it, you first highlight the purpose of the presentation, then the importance, and then a preview of what is to come. This helps you focus and also lets your audience know you mean business. You can also solidify this by ending with a summary of the main points.
Consider Your Audience
One of the areas many communicators fail in is neglecting to consider who the audience is. If you are speaking to a team of IT personnel in your MSP business, know what is important and relevant to them. Listen to their views and input and put those into consideration. Personalize your presentation.
Another important thing to remember is that people have a limited attention span. Don’t drag on without checking that your audience is still with you. You can make it more engaging by spicing things up with interaction, discussion, a joke, or something out of the box. Time your presentation well and be willing to deviate from the script if it means connecting with your audience and communicating with them better. Don’t bombard them with visual slides because many times this is an overload or simply hard to follow. You should instead focus on what you are saying and how you are saying it. Practice confidence expression, gestures, and posture.
Practice makes perfect applies to communication too. You can improve your communication skills and become a better leader in your MSP business when you honestly assess your current approach, focus on what you need to deliver, and factor in your audience and what resonates with them.