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Are You Smart Enough to Say It Simply?

Today, we’ll share a recent experience with an intern and a doctor. The intern explained what was going on, and we understood almost none of it. He only used medical terms. When we questioned him, he compounded it with even more technical words. A great guy, but he didn’t communicate effectively.

Then we talked to the doctor. The doctor explained everything in human terms so we fully understood. Sure, she used technical terms, but she quickly explained what they meant in layman’s language.

She was smart enough to say it simply!

So from that we can only conclude that women are better communicators than men!

Okay, that’s not what we’re saying. It’s not about gender, it’s about these three factors:

#1 – Personal characteristics

Consider two ends of the spectrum – on one end, there are people who lack confidence. On the other end, there are people with ego.

Confidence. These people may be somewhat new to the subject they’re trying to explain so they’re not that sure of themselves yet. They’re uncomfortable talking about it. So they talk about it the way they learned it – in technical terms. It’s a nervous reaction.

Ego. These people are experts and they want you to know just how smart they are. They may even be arrogant. They’re smart, but not smart enough to realize how important it is to clearly communicate with their audience.

#2 – Communication skills
This is about preparation. They know they have a message to relay, but they don’t put any thought into how to relay it. They’re very skilled in their profession, but they don’t know how to communicate with the average Jane or Joe.

#3 – People skills
They’re not able to read the people to whom they’re talking. If they get a blank stare, it doesn’t register that the person doesn’t understand. These people are brilliant in their profession, but they lack the ability to connect with people, especially those outside their profession.

2 tips to say it simply
Here are two questions to ask yourself about your audience before you try to communicate with them:

Question #1 – What is their level of understanding about your subject?
The answer to this question will help you determine how you form your message. If you’re talking to a colleague, you can go crazy with all that jargon you love! If you’re talking to someone outside your profession, keep it simple!

Question #2 – What do they need to know?

If the CliffsNotes version will do, don’t recite the whole book! Determine what’s really important and leave out all the rest. They’ll ask you if they want more.

It’s smart to keep it simple!

Our bigg quote today comes from the French philosopher, Voltaire:

“If you wish to speak with me, define your terms.”

And limit those terms to terms of use by your audience.

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Next time, we’ll offer guidance to a business owner who’s going through tough times. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are You Choking Your Chicken?

A recent episode of Survivor inspired today’s show. In case you’re not familiar with the show, there are two tribes in the competition. One of the tribes, the Malakal tribe, won a couple of chickens in a reward competition. Since food is scarce, the eggs from these chickens are extremely valuable. But the chickens themselves also obviously would provide a much needed feast.

Episode 7 begins with Ozzy, one of the tribe members, angry because Tracy, another tribe member, wants to kill their chickens. Ozzy likes the eggs because they are renewable. Tracy thinks the protein from the whole chicken is needed now by many of the tribe members.

Today, we want to talk about the chicken and the egg strategy – a lot of people choke their chicken, and then they don’t get any eggs – by looking at three situations where people choke their chicken.

#1 – Playing less risky
With March Madness winding down here in the States, we had to include an example that applies to sports and to business.

You’ll see a team get momentum. Then they relax, get less aggressive, start playing to NOT lose, and stop taking risks that gave them the momentum.

They choke their chicken! Then they don’t get any more eggs.

When you get momentum, keep pushing in order to win.

#2 – Not acting out
There are certain activities that make us successful. Let’s look at sales people for an example. They may send out e-mails or letters, make phone calls to existing clients and prospects, attend networking events, and work their contacts.

At first, they’re hungry. They need the sale. As time goes by, they start achieving a level of success. Then they get content, lackadaisical, perhaps even arrogant or cocky. They stop doing the very things that made them a success.

They choke their chicken! Now they don’t get any eggs.

When you start achieving some level of success, build upon the thing that made you successful in the first place so you get to the next level, rather than taking a step backward.

#3 – Money matters

A person saves money (chicken). That money makes money (eggs). They start seeing their savings grow. Then they get tempted …

They choke their chicken!

They’re doing so well that they think the chicken doesn’t matter. But now they don’t have a chicken. So they don’t get any eggs. They’ve spent their savings so it doesn’t earn any interest.

If you want to build a nest egg, don’t touch your principal and keep reinvesting your money. When you do that, your money makes money so you’ll eventually be free to spend your time however you want.

Our bigg quote today is an Ashanti proverb:

“One cannot both feast and become rich.”

So don’t choke your chicken until you don’t need any more eggs!

Next time, we’ll discuss how to relax during a job interview. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Is It Better to be Lucky or Smart?

 

shamrocks

  

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We have a friend who buy and sells businesses. He’s been very successful over the last thirteen years. He started out by buying a bunch of businesses for a small amount of money. A few years later, he sold those businesses for a large amount of money.

Then he did it all over again. He’s timed his activities so he buys when the market is low, and sells when it’s high.

So is he lucky or smart?

He says, “It’s better to be lucky than smart.”

3 lessons about luck and intelligence

#1 – You have to be smart in order to do well.
When you first look into a subject, it often appears rather simple. Then as you dig deeper, you start to see all the complexity. As you wade through it, you begin reducing it to its essence and you start to see it as simple again.

You go from simple with no complexity to simple with a full understanding of the complexity. That’s how you know you’ve mastered something. Our friend has mastered the craft of buying and selling businesses.

#2 – You have to remain humble.

You have to recognize that you’re not in control of everything. Luck enters the picture to some degree. The opposite of that is arrogance. Some people don’t realize, or won’t admit, that luck is involved.

They get cocky. They think the rules don’t apply to them. Things come easy for them so they think they will always come easy. They don’t have to “waste” time doing menial activities – the things that made them successful in the first place. The next thing you know, they face an unlucky turn of events!

#3 – Don’t push your luck.
Our friend says that “he leaves a lot of money on the table.” He often says, “I sold it too early.”  But that’s why he’s been so “lucky” – he’s not greedy.

We have another friend who says,

“It’s okay to be stupid, if you’re not greedy.
And it’s okay to be greedy if you’re not stupid.
But if you’re stupid and greedy, look out!”

So is it better to be lucky or smart? We think you’re lucky to be smart – smart enough to know that luck plays into it, too!

Jake’s Take – Top 5 signs that you’re unlucky!
by Jake Novak

#5 – You've been asked to lead the marching band in your local St. Patrick's Day parade, but you play the cello!

#4 – Some people reach into their pant’s pockets and find loose change. You try to reach into your pockets and realize you're not wearing pants!

#3 – Like everyone else this year, you get a lot of those automated campaign calls during dinner, but these recorded calls urge you NOT to vote for their candidate!

#2 – You've always been the first on the block to buy the coolest new electronic equipment, like 8-track tapes, the BetaMax, and HD-DVD!

#1 – When you go to the doctor, they ask you for your insurance card – your LIFE insurance card!

Instead of our usual bigg quote, we’ll do an Irish toast instead:

May you have all the happiness
and luck that life can hold—
And at the end of all your rainbows
may you find a pot of gold.

And hopefully, it’s not fool’s good!

Check out our Bigg Fun page for more St. Patrick’s Day humor!

In our next blog, we’ll discuss nine presentation tips to make you a star! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Related posts 

Does It Pay To Be Smart?

Do You Know Too Much? 

(Image by cobalt123, CC 2.0)