Convincing communication: Understanding as a competitive advantage

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Text comes from: Sag doch JA!: Wie Sie Menschen überzeugen und gewinnen (2015) from Reiner Neumann, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Too often, we talk about each other in everyday life, especially in our profession. Understanding can be a real competitive advantage. Tips on how to communicate more intelligently.

Kathrin Sohst_Meetings and small talk with depth

Here writes for you:


Reiner Neumann pure-neumannReiner Neumann is a certified psychologist, trainer, coach and author.


From the author:




Main foreign words?

Diuretics' or 'deferoxamine' or 'isocorb' with height offset without the 'draft', 'reactance' or 'significance' - do you know and understand these words? If not, do not worry.

Our world is dotted with technical terms and foreign words. Experts are happy to use them, even to get rid of the non-experts. But there are other ways of not being understood: Such as endlessly long or interleaved sentences, fill words or incorrect references.

Who wants to convince, must be understood

In fact, understanding is important. Communication is actually usually characterized by the desire to be understood. But this often fails: the ERGO has asked 2.600 citizens to telephone for their comprehension study. Approximately eight out of ten respondents say that they encounter ever-difficult information in everyday life.

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About one in three admitted that they could not understand the information in insurance documents, the product information of banks or explanations on the tax return. And only five out of every hundred respondents believe that these documents are understandable to anyone. Even people whose job is to reach other people can fail, as the following examples show:

  1. Long and awkward: “Eligible voters who only act as personally liable partners of one or more other eligible voters belonging to the same electoral group or as a holding company for one or more other eligible voters belonging to the same electoral group are assigned to the electoral group of these other eligible voters.”
  2. Incomprehensible technical Chinese: "If the G-BA, which, given opg's apparent play with distributed roles, should follow the negative assessment of IQWiG, the consequence would be that the reimbursement price of linagliptin for health insurance would have to be reduced to generic price levels."
  3. Unclear verbatim speech: "Because the problem of the after, eh, well, the age of the children, of, eh, if they, eh, well, post-age, then comes the fifth and the sixth point, same-sex, non-same-sex ..." So far Edmund Stoiber in the legendary Christiansen interview at the start of the election battle against Gerhard Schröder.

Understanding pays off

It also pays to be understood directly. In the past, a website was successful if you had enough visitors. Today, it is known that the number of feedbacks or online sales is crucial. And the turn has much to do with the right communication.

It is therefore a competitive advantage. Therefore: Be more understandable than others - and win your readers or listeners! You do not need any special tools. What is required is your willingness to critically review your respective presentation and to adapt and improve where appropriate.

Your target group is at the forefront

If you want to be understood, there is less emphasis on what you want to say. Rather, think about what is interesting and important to your listeners. In the first step, you focus your target group on which you want to be understood.

The second step is to concentrate your message on the essentials. In the third step, you will focus on the most important aspects and apply them. Finally, the method points to possible problems and shows how they can be remedied.

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Customers pick up where they stand

Whether product description or material argumentation: Frequently we assume our personal knowledge and our view of things. But listeners expect their interests to be recognized and satisfied. Consider listeners as customers, as decision-makers to whom you want to sell your ideas.

Now you may be facing an important presentation or giving a training. During your preparation, you should first ask yourself: Who is my target group? From whom do I want to be understood? And why should these people be interested in my content?

What is the benefit of your customers?

Think of your target group, eg. Eg the listeners of your presentation or customers of your online shop:

  • Whom do you want to reach?
  • What messages are important?
  • What is your input?
  • What is your target group?
  • What are your expectations?
  • What are the benefits to the listeners?

You will benefit yourself by first answering these questions in writing before you start writing a text or a presentation. This will force you to be more precise.

If you find it difficult to answer one or the other, you should specify your thinking. If you have clearly answered the above questions, you will be able to formulate your content so that you can reach and reach your audience.

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  1. Cornelia Diethelm

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