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RU CAAC DITR w/ a *$ Frapp?

By Joe Tillman | 06/14/2012 | 12:11 PM

Modern CommunicationProbably not if your palms start to sweat, the lights blind you and you stumble through your presentation. You’re trying to motivate your audience into action, persuade them to accept your position and create buy-in for the next steps in the plan. At the conclusion, crickets and pin drops can be heard.

Communicating – whether presenting at a conference, writing an article, sending an email to a client – may well be the first impression of you for many people.  It is important to really nail it the first time.

First we have to like, present, you know, a professional image of like ourselves. A great you know, example is like Lady Gaga. Consider this video of her from an early 2009 interview with Yahoo! Compare her tone of voice, inflections and accent to this interview in March 2012 with Oprah. Did you notice the difference?

Ensure your emails send a clear picture that you care. Read through your emails a few times out loud to make sure you don’t miss any gaffes. A couple of recent examples range from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s app misspelling America, the University of Texas misspelling of Public on commencement programs and the word “kindle” being Nook’d from Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

Don’t use shorthand to convey important information, even when texting or tweeting! Our attention spans are constantly being shortened by the discombobulated assortment of information coming at us from all sides and the need to interpret all of it.  

Clear and accurate communication skills are vital in this fast-paced, multiple app and portal world, even more so as we move up the career ladder. Adrian Gonzalez has it right in his post on Logistics Viewpoints. As future supply chain leaders, we need the ability to motivate our peers towards a common vision, persuade upper management, and to create buy-in from our partners in the supply chain—our customers and suppliers. 

Here are a few ways to start improving your skills:

  • Look for opportunities to present in front of senior leadership
  • Talk with your mentor about writing an article or two
  • Submit proposals to present at industry conferences
  • Become a Toastmaster
  • Ask former professors if you can speak to their classes about your current job

Working to improve our verbal and written communication skills is not difficult – it simply takes awareness and practice.

BTW, if you’re still struggling to translate the title you probably aren’t cool as a cucumber dancing in the rain with a Starbucks Frappuccino.

I’d love your feedback – and would love your help in sharing questions and comments about being a young professional. If you have a question, comment or feedback, please send me an email to [email protected].  The blog on the last Wednesday of each month will be a question and answer session from those that I receive from you, my audience. If I use your question, I will send you a free copy of a book mentioned in that month’s posts. 


Image: Modern Communication 03 by ChrisM70 via Flickr



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About Joe Tillman

Joe Tillman

An enthusiastic and dedicated professional, Joe Tillman offers supply chain education and research through his company TSquared Logistics. Joe has a keen interest in all things supply chain and uses his high-energy approach to life to author articles for industry publications, blog on young professionals for DC Velocity, and speak to supply chain industry groups. He also co-leads the Warehousing Education and Research Council's influential annual benchmarking study, "DC Measures." Prior to founding TSquared Logistics, Joe worked with Supply Chain Visions as a senior researcher and consultant, Wal-Mart Logistics as a distribution professional, and Union Pacific Railroad as a conductor. Joe is certified in transportation and logistics (CTL) by AST&L and SCOR-Professional certified by the Supply Chain Council.


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