Summary of George Stephanopoulos’ Masterclass on Purposeful Communication
9 key takeaways from the anchor of Good Morning America and former White House Communications Director
- Communication is the heart of how we relate to each other. It’s in the way we think, talk, move our bodies, and carry ourselves in the streets. Everyone can benefit from knowing how to communicate clearly, be both honest and sensitive, have difficult conversations, be confrontational when necessary without being a jerk, and be able to truly listen. How to listen to what people are saying with what they’re saying as well as what they’re not saying. All of these are crucial in achieving your full potential.
- Preparation is key. Before any meeting, find out who’s going to be there, what’s going to be talked about, and what each person wants to get out of it. Do deep research on the topic of discussion and plan out what you want to say and know exactly why. Being confident in your preparation will make you more confident when you speak and be better able to defend your points when they come under scrutiny. Prepare your mindset by remembering the other person might be just as nervous as you. Try meditating right before to calm your nerves. Know that it doesn’t always work out even if you did everything within your power to prepare, but it’s okay, because the worst that can happen is that you’ll be embarrassed for a while but it’ll always pass.
- Say just enough. Have a list of a few crucial questions that you must ask, ones that you want to make sure you have worked in during the course of the interview. You want to say enough so that it clearly demonstrates what you’re trying to say and why you’re saying it in a concise way. You also want to be careful not to say too much that you inadvertently influence the other person’s answer by seeming like you already have a certain response you expect from them. In that case people might just end up saying what they think you want to hear.
- Pay attention to body language. The person’s facial expression, how they move their body, the look in their eyes, their overall demeanor. Especially with people who are very well trained in public speaking, who prepare meticulously about what they want to say, and speak in perfect sound bites, it’s even more important to pay attention to everything else…