Who taught you how to communicate?

A message for Ziglar Show fans

Hi everyone, I’m Kevin Miller, host of The Ziglar Show and today you and I have the opportunity to upgrade our true performance. Nobody teaches good communication skills. This falls under Personal Relationships skills. There aren’t 1 out of a ten thousand parents who do. There aren’t 1 out of ten thousand school teachers who do. And…it’s not an inherent skill. You may have more of a propensity to do a better job than others, but on a scale from one to ten, the best “Natural communicator” might be a 4 or 5 compared to the truly learned communicator.

We don’t expect good communication skills these days. But oddly, there are few if any people who are listened to by many, who did not have specific communication teaching and training. Zig Ziglar invested gobs of time and money to learn how to communicate well. Show me anyone with a top ranked podcast, anyone who is paid to speak on stage, anyone with radio or tv show exposure…and odds are 9,999 out of 10,000 they have gotten specific teaching and training in effective communication.

SHOW NOTES:

Zig Ziglar says to build a healthy self-image we need to know how to communicate
– I usually think of communicating as a vehicle to achieve things, but to Zig’s statement… I can’t recall anyone I know who is a good communicator, who doesn’t have a fairly healthy self-image. Not perfect. There are many people on stage in some form or another who have insecurities, for sure. Sometimes it drives them there. Nobody is fully whole. But to do what they do, they have some significant strength. The kind it takes to effectively stand in front of one person or 1,000…will give you profound opportunity and success.

Folks, I’m a writer. That’s where I flourish. My thoughts and ideas and revelations and epiphanies come with pen and paper or keyboard and screen. But here, via audio…it’s a great vehicle to spread that message. I’m comfortable here, if I’ve done my gifting in writing out some scripting.

On stage in front of thousands, I do a good job. I’m not comfortable and it’s not a great desire. But I do it for the sake of the message. And as such, I must do my training to do it well.

Confidence in communication

But let’s really look here. As Zig says, confidence is what we build communication on. Folks, let me tell you, don’t take that at face value. There is more than one side to what he’s saying.

Confidence that allows you to effectively communicate is not just a confidence in yourself. If I’m inherently confident in myself, but you ask me to deliver a message on a topic I don’t understand or don’t believe in and am not confident in…my personal self-confidence will be thwarted.

Second, even if you believe and know your topic, but you aren’t versed and prepared to deliver it well, your confidence is eroded.

In some ways, I’m asking you to forget about your inherent, personal self confidence.

Take a person who is terrified of public speaking, but whose child has gone missing, and they’ll stand in front of a crowd at a mall with a loudspeaker and do some fairly effective speaking. That’s an exaggerated example, but it showcases a reality.

Believe in a message, know it. Script and prepare and study delivery. Then…you’ll get on stage or in front of a room or even in front of one important person, and though nervous and not perfectly confident in yourself, you’ll be confident in the effort.

You don’t have to be an extrovert to communicate well

Please hear this. I am a classic introvert. Many people on stage are. Many comedians are. But they have a desire in them to deliver something to people.

Whether a podcast in front of a mic, a desk in front of one person, a room full of 20 people or an auditorium in front of hundreds or thousands…you can be confident in your message and ability to deliver it, even if at your core you feel like an imposter…in which case you desperately need to listen to episode number 426. Now.

Next, and of great importance…please don’t let this go and think you know and understand it. Zig says one of your most important communication skills is…listening. Wait…what? Communicating we generally think of as…exporting. Speaking out. Telling. Teaching. Pouring. But listening is…importing. Hearing. Understanding.

Understanding is more important than listening

The primary communication skill is listening because again, communicating is connecting, and connecting is caring and understanding the recipients, so you must first…know what they want.

In this message Zig breezes by this, but it’s a big deal. You can NOT communicate value, unless you truly know what your recipient truly needs. Folks. IN one of my businesses, I sell an expensive health related service. My closing rate is very high. First, it’s a very rare offering. That helps. Second, I’ve written content on a website that filters people. When they finally get to me, they are well qualified. But my methodology is so simple. I thank them immensely for contacting us. I ask how they found out about us, which usually gets them into their own story. But then, I just ask them…”So, you are here because you have a need. Tell me what’s going on with you.”

Integrity

Folks, nobody likes to much of anything more than talk about themselves, especially in a trusting, fairly intimate setting. So whether they take 10 seconds or 10 minutes, they tell me what they need. Which offers me on a silver platter, the opportunity to respond with exactly what they want and need.

Which in having integrity, also allows me the opportunity to not waste their time or mine if what they need, is something we can’t offer. Which is classic Zig Ziglar! Selling is caring. And you must care enough to not make the sale for you, but care for the customer. But my job feels so easy, as all I do is listen…and it allows me to craft my offering around the need they fully stated.

Care for the person you are communicating with.

It’s a tactic and strategy. And it’s called…love. Caring. Listen to people. Know what they need and want. Truly. Then be honest with what you can offer.

Tell someone you can’t give them what they need and then help them find someone else who can, and you’ll create a raving fan. Someone who will refer others to you. It’s counterintuitive to “selling”, but completely logical in actually caring for others.

So Zig goes on to talk about the value of taking a public speaking course. Folks, again, public speaking is not a joy of mine. It makes me nervous. It doesn’t inspire me. But man, is it powerful. And again, you can harness the skill with one person, or three. It teaches you how you can win or lose an audience of one or a thousand. And you are benefiting or suffering from this…every day.

So people listen to you? Truly? Do they ask you for counsel?

Here is a big deal folks. Being a listening ear has value. Bless you if you are a great listening ear for the needy and hurting. Those that others won’t care enough to suffer with.

But that is not the same as being someone who people come to get counsel from. That people come to, to share, but for the reason of getting actual help.

People seek counsel from those they not only trust to have wisdom and insight, but from those they trust. I know many very wise people who have great knowledge and truth, but who unfortunately, I don’t trust to actually listen to me so they can help lead me to truth that is relevant to what I need.

Back to the selling I do in the healthcare industry, if I just start spouting off on what we do and what we can offer and how great we are and how we can save the world, and I don’t know the needs of the person in front of me, it’s Russian Roulette. A waste and risk of my time and theirs. Shut up and listen.

This is hitting on some soapboxes for me. Cause folks, I hate to see a great message and offering buried under bad presentation. People DO judge a book by it’s cover! I’ve seen the most anointed Christian messages killed in books where the author relied on the divine miracle of god to part the sea, which God did once, and ignored the wisdom that God entreated us to in his Bible…hundreds if not thousands of times!

Ok…deep breath, back to Zig…I love this. People give somebody who can stand up and speak, without collapsing, credit for an intelligence they do not necessarily possess.
Learn how to stand up in front of people and deliver a message, what it will do for your self image is absolutely remarkable. And he doesn’t just mean what it will do inside of you for your self image, but in what it will do for the image others have of you. I know this. I don’t always think of myself as a great communicator, I question and doubt myself a lot. But when strangers and those close to me testify that I really reached them, I can’t help but accept it, and admit…well shoot,I guess I have some value here. Which increases my ability!

Strategies for talking to people

Now Zig gets into talking literal strategies, like not talking to a group, but talking to one person. Folks, this helps so much. If I don’t think about it, I end up looking over the heads of an audience, focusing on no one and looking around like I’m looking for Waldo. I have to remember this,and it helps! Look at a guy on the left side, middle. The lady in the middle, up front. Then an older person in the back on the right side. Then flip flop. It gets our head on right! This is why specific teaching and training matter.

Notice he says to not focus on the sourpuss, but on the engaged person. Folks…there will always be a sourpuss. You can NOT please everyone. Even in this podcast, that people have chosen to subscribe to, we get negative reviews. At the Ziglar show, very few. But guess what one is that I get, the other Ziglar leaders and voices get, and even Tom Ziglar gets. “You’re not Zig!” Well folks, you are right. Zig died a while back. We are here to continue his legacy. But you will get criticism. Don’t discount it. Listen for what it’s worth, eat the fish and spit out the bones, but most people are criticizing you because that’s what they do. They try to drag others down in an effort to find peace with themselves. Let them go and focus on those who are with you!

Wow. Lead a mule on stage, and it doesn’t matter. It just stands looking meager and drooling and doesn’t notice. But a thoroughbred, knows. The fact that you know means you’re alive. If you weren’t nervous and aware, then we’d know you didn’t care. And if you don’t care, WE don’t care.

Again, back to Ziglar Show episode 426 where Roy Williams talks about the imposter syndrome, and how it’s normal and healthy!

Self image

Ziglar goes on to talk about self-image and how we as humans generally sell ourselves short. Folks, when I was crafting this show, I was in my home. My wife was downstairs talking with her mother, my mother in law. Seven of my children were in the home, six of them asleep. An eighth was on her way home after a successful cross country race. Two more were at college but coming home in the morning for a big weekend combo celebration of an 8th and 12 year old birthday.

When I sell myself short…I sell them short. Instead of inspiring them, I discourage them. So is there a better charge than that? You can sell yourself short and discourage your family and friends and coworkers, or you can work to bolster your self image and abilities and potential…and inspire others. Lift them. And folks, I’ll tell you, for every person you lift and inspire, you’ll lift yourself 10 times more and increase your ability to inspire and lift that many others…tenfold. It’s a crazy, beautiful cycle.

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