Communication skills are becoming more and more important in the modern world where communication as a process takes most of the time. For instance, managers spent 78% of their working time in communication (Management tips, 2012). Another example: the first opinion about the person forms during 7 seconds of the communication process after which it is extremely difficult to change person’s perception (Management tips, 2012). "People's participation is becoming the central issue of our time," says UNDP in its Human Development Report (1993), "and participation requires communication". Yes, there are no doubts about its role. There are many well-known people who became successful communicators, presenters and are successful in business as well. Who are these people and what skills are needed for a good communicator?
Martin Luther King, Margaret Thatcher, Abraham Lincoln and many other people who are already a part of the history were great communicators. Nevertheless, I would like to take another example that will generate lots pictures in a head just from the sound of the name – Steve Jobs. His activity is connected with personal computer revolution, he is a founder and owner of Apple - a company with a fanny logo and great products. He is that man who made IPhone and IPad demanded products worldwide. Moreover, he is a communicator that showed master classes of how the idea actually must be communicated during each and every of his speeches.
Steve Jobs is a real role model for me and for many other people around the world. His life was full of rises and falls that shows how difficult the way to integrity can be. Steve gave a lesson to younger generations of how important it is to be yourself in spite of what the world makes you be. He was extremely brave because not every student can leave university while parents have been collecting money for such education of the son during their whole life. He was not ideal and drugs took some part of his life as well on one hand. On the other hand he deals with philanthropy, creativity and innovations. He was a simple person with same simple but extremely wise rules of life. “Think different” - one of Apple’s campaigns with an easy motto that can be taken as Steve Jobs’ motto of living and acting. Steve proved that there is always an option that made him one of the greatest people of the 21 century and the whole history.
Range of examples of Jobs’ communication skills can be named. All his presentations are taken as a show with lots of super simple but super powerful details. The same great example is a presentation of the IPhone in 2007. Just imagine – the whole world was waiting for it, for something unusual with an impatience and excitement. Finally, Steve is on the stage. No special suit, nothing like that. Jeans and sweater and big screens as a background. For the audience it is more than enough. They see Steve Jobs who is already like a brand. Of course, nothing would be possible without great presentation skills that are part of communication style of Steve Jobs. The slides of presentation consist of pictures and simple phrases that helped the audience to perceive information easily. Steve uses short sentences but such powerful words as “extraordinary”, “extremely” and other make a great influence. Such approach created a great feeling of something new and unbelievable. Jobs is maintaining eye contact with the people all the time, smiles to them as if he is appreciating the fact that they listen to him. Additional key factors of success of the presentation as communication process are total respect toward the listeners and strait logic of the information during the whole speech and breaks after the sentences to give people some time for reflection.
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The same professional approach was shown during the opening of the Apple store in 2001. Steve Jobs was behaving like a man who was just excited about everything he did. This excitement made his illustration of the ideas implemented in the store truly awesome. He used gestures to concentrate attention. Nevertheless, he kept control over the number of them not to exaggerate. He kept constant eye contact, the same as during IPhone presentation, and showed examples of the work done and opportunities that customers could have in the store.
Steve Jobs possessed also great ethical style in his communication. Steve’s speech at Stanford University in front of graduates can be a proof of that. He never finished the university. Nevertheless, he was standing on the stage as the greatest teacher of all times. In that speech Jobs used such method as story telling in order to create better reflection and reaction of the listeners. He told three simple stories with same simple words. These stories were told at the right moment. Because many students were sitting there and they did not know what exactly they wanted to do in their lives, what must have been the next steps? They needed support and understanding. Steve Jobs being a great communicator understood the mood and gave them what they were waiting for. He used as example his own life having stressed its white and black sides. He behaved the same as the listeners. He told that there might not have been answers for all questions, but a person can put the dots together in the future. Of course, a person may not understand the flow of events at the very moment but everything becomes obvious with a flow of time. When Steve finished his speech it was supported by huge applauses.
Steve was asked in one of his interviews if he considered himself as a genius and the answer was “No”. It is a great example of a high ethical and moral level. Steve’s words were always supported by actions and results (products, donations, other). His speeches always contained right information taken from the real life. It is one more feature of a good communicator – not only to speak but to speak truly and responsibly for the words.
Of course, there are much more words to say about Steve and there is a huge number of examples of great communicators. Nevertheless, all of them have the same logic and key characteristics. If a person wants to be a great communicator, he/she has to be as simple as it possible, not to lose personality and create a difference with a help of tools listed above. These things worked for Steve Jobs – they can work for each and everyone.
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