Eight tips for using ‘personal-revelation’ in your communications

Personal revelationThere’s always a danger during the festive period of drinking too much and being just a bit over-familiar with workmates or managers.

Alcohol is like a truth serum which can lead to us sharing personal insights with colleagues which we wouldn’t normally think of doing in the workplace.

But revealing details about yourself – in the communications sense – can be a powerful tactic when used purposefully to speak or write to your audience.

Personal revelation can:

– make your content more engaging

– help personalise your message

– make your communication original and memorable

– help you to talk in the language of your audience

– enable listeners or readers to relate to you

– explain or reinforce a point

Knowing that personal revelation is a useful tactic is all well and good, but how do you practically make use of it? How do you avoid over-doing it and embarrassing yourself? What would constitute getting the balance just about right, when weaving it in to a speech, presentation or leadership article, for example?

Here are eight tips to help answer some of these questions:

1. Make it relevant – this has to relate to a point you are making.

2. Keep it short – a story that goes on too long loses your audience.

3. Stay original and avoid clichés – helps make your content unique.

4. Be interesting – your audience still requires entertaining.

5. Don’t over-do it – culture and context dictate what is deemed acceptable.

6. Relate it back quickly to your original point – or people lose attention, especially with speeches.

7. Use an appropriate style – if you’re recounting a tragic tale, you shouldn’t sound overjoyed.

8. Ensure you have internally-processed it first – this is not a therapy session.

Has personal-revelation worked for you as a communications tactic? Have you used any of these points, and are there any points which could be added?

2 thoughts on “Eight tips for using ‘personal-revelation’ in your communications

  1. The last point seems like the jumping off point — you must have ‘internally processed it’ in order to use the comment relevantly and appropriately.

  2. Thanks for the comment Mary. I do think they are very closely linked, and it would be hard to envisage achieving one without the other – though I’ve seen a number of people attempt it, and usually with dire consequences.

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