Nicky Tests Software: April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Fear of Public Speaking

Public Speaking scares me.

It makes me nervous and usually when I think of public speaking, a line from Eminem's song Lose Yourself comes to mind:
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy

Sweaty palms?
Check. I'm rubbing down the sweat on my jeans.
Weak knees?
Check. I'm widening my stance slightly so I don't topple over.
Heavy arms?
Nope. But 2 out of 3 should prove my point.

Given the fact it's one of the most common phobias out there, I'm sure there are many reasons why people would rather do anything but speak in public.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

3 Ways to Improve your Communication Skills

Last Tuesday I attended a WeTest Auckland Meetup on Effective Communication at Assurity

The Experience Report was given by Wil McLellan, who spoke about how he started up EPIC and how his communication skills enabled him to do so. It was a powerful Experience Report that many people found inspiring. Not only this, but we learned some valuable tips as well on communication.

3 Ways to Improve your Communication Skills

1. WIIFT - What's In It For Them?
A valuable acronym that Wil taught us was WIIFT: What's In It For Them? When you are in a negotiation or are holding a meeting, it is important to ask yourself this question in order to figure out where the other person is coming from?

Ask yourself:
  • Why should they listen to you?
  • What are you offering them, they would benefit from?

2. Build Rapport
If you build rapport with someone, it means they are more open to your ideas. An effective way to do this is through mirroring.

Wil described three ways, through which you can mirror someone:
  1. Body Language - When they lean in and cross their legs, you lean in and cross your legs. When they place their arm on their hip, you place your arm on your hip.
  2. Verbal - Take note of the tone, speed and volume at which they talk, then attempt to match it.
  3. Commonalities - Find things in common with someone. Do they like football? Mention that you currently play as a Striker in your local football club.

3. Aim for a Win-Win Situation
When you negotiating with someone, remember that you want everyone to win. Do what you can to make this happen and steer the conversation in that direction.