Now I know this isn't the nicest way to start a personal blog. This really is my very first post.
But I feel a professional obligation to teach people to communicate effectively, so here is my first big tip.
This tidbit I'm about to share is the reason I get paid. It's what separates me from all the other yahoos in the world writing slop and calling it a message.
Ok. Here goes.
Communication is not about you.
There. I said it.
I know it hurts, but really, do you ever stop to consider the person on the other end of your communication?
Many wonderfully intelligent and interesting people fail at this most important skill.
When communicating in any form, always consider your audience first. This is relevant in both professional and everyday communication -- written, verbal or video.
What does this mean in practical terms?
In an everyday conversation, it means asking questions more than you talk, giving information in ways that the other person can easily understand it, and focusing on topics the listener actually cares about rather than what you want to share.
Professionally, it means stopping to listen when you ask "how are you?" It also means eliminating jargon when you're talking to people out of your industry (or better yet, forget jargon altogether. We don't need new words). And lastly, it means being succinct with messaging so you can stop wasting people's time.
Now I've just given away the secrets of my industry. My career is over. Darn.