The Second of Our Top Five - Flag it…

Last week we covered conversational bridges — have you built one since? Here’s the link if you want to practice. This week we’re planting a flag. It’s another of our “go to,” most effective tips we use to coach our on-camera subject matter experts.

Just like bridges, the use of a conversational flag is something good communicators use regularly, often without even knowing it. By harnessing the power of the flag and using it strategically, your key messages stand a far better chance of resonating with your audience. And in the end, what really matters is what your audience does with the information you impart. (Heads up you just encountered a flag…)

Here’s how it works. A conversational flag is a useful tool to signal to an audience that what you’re about to convey is important. Think of it as a verbal, gentle poke in the shoulder.

Here are a few examples:

  • The most important take-away from all this is…
  • What’s often overlooked is…
  • In a nutshell…
  • It all boils down to this…
  • What really matters is…

Practice using flags and soon their use will become rote. They’re handy conversational tools for a myriad of uses: making sure a colleague or subordinate knows what’s expected; helping a team stay on course; ensuring a negotiation is headed in the right direction. Wherever a message needs to be heard loud and clear with an audience of one or one thousand, a flag is a tactic that can help. Now that you’re aware of them they’ll start popping up in all sorts of contexts.

Stop by next week for the third of our top five tips.  In the mean time, practice your flags, and if you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address all you have to do is ask. Talk to you next Friday.