Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Awkward Silences

“To speak and to speak well are two things.  A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.” Ben Jonson

We have all experienced awkward pauses at some time or other, when conversation runs dry between people. Some of us may have experienced them more than others. Personally, I enjoy a one on one conversation a lot more than those in larger groups. However, as I have progressed on my journey as an entrepreneur, I find that speaking effectively to one individual, a small group or a large auditorium full of people is a most critical skill, one which everyone should work hard to develop. If one were to do research on some successful people in the world, we would discover that most of them have the ability to speak and communicate exceedingly well. This skill gives them the capability to inspire, inform, convince, even entertain their audiences in most situations.

As entrepreneurs, we have to be proactive when interacting with people. A common scenario is a networking session where you do not know anyone in the room. If we retreat to a corner in the room and not interact with the individuals at the mixer, we would have wasted several opportunities to find prospective clients, investors, mentors, even friends. Other situations where the inability to converse and structure our thoughts can negatively impact the impression we aim to transmit are investors pitches, meetings with mentors, or staff meetings. At lighter social occasions such as dinners, weddings or parties, we need to hold  conversations, share opinions and thoughts. At each of these, we require the the ability to speak personably and effectively.

There is a big difference between speaking well, and just talking. The two should not be confused. Talking without much thought and just for the sake of talking, can have major ramifications on our personal and professional life. Over the course of this week, I will outline some basic components of the ability to speak and communicate effectively. This is an art we can develop if we are committed enough. The steps which will be discussed in the coming week, are distinctive  traits and aspects I have noticed in successful speakers. I look forward to your comments and feedback on this series.

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