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Networking 101 – Effective Communication is Key

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Craig Harrison says that the reason that Networking may not be working for you is because of the basic 9 mistakes that Networker’s make. I will be going through these over the next few weeks and let’s see if this is what is holding you back.

The eighth mistake, Craig says is “Slinging slang. Many networkers profess to have excellent communication skills yet use slang or mispronounce big words when little words would have been better. Beware the use of contractions, excessive acronyms and name-dropping too. Don’t tell us what you’re gonna do! I would like to hear what you are going to do instead.”

This is also one of my favourites and I must say I am often hugely amused when people used words that they don’t know how to pronounce and then given time, once I have worked out what they were trying to say, I have lost most of what they did say.

The one that springs to mind right now is the chap that said “a certain” instead of ascertain! Obviously the meaning of “a certain” is completely different to ascertain and the result of that was that what he was saying made no sense at all. By the time I had figured out that he had meant to say “ascertain”, I had lost the rest of his speech, on what he was trying to say and what he did. Make no mistake, I had also lost the will to try and do any kind of networking or business with him as well.

I know that we live in the “new” South Africa and that there are 11 official languages out there – 10 of whom I have no idea how to communicate in, and yes I am often amazed that the fact that many people here can speak four or five of those languages, clearly I am not one of them. The bottom line is that most business is conducted in English and if you cannot speak English so that it can be understood, by the people who do speak it, you will have a very difficult time and you will miss out on opportunities that will be snapped up by others.

Make sure that the words that you do want to use are pronounced clearly and in the manner in which they are supposed to be pronounced. Practice what you want to say in your delivery speech and if need be, get someone who is fluent in English, to listen to your delivery and make corrections where needed.

Most of all have fun! Having your own business should not be all stress and seriousness. Remember why you went into business for yourself in the first place. It’s an integral part of your life and you should be enjoying it to the hilt.