Verbal, vocal, visual
Communicating your value means presenting yourself with confidence, according to Ungar.
"In communication and in life, we control three things and only three things," Ungar said. "We control ourselves, what comes out of our mouths and our environment to some degree. … The more we work on who we are, what we say and our environment, the more we influence."
Ungar contends that there are three key components to communicating confidently:
- Verbal: What you say;
- Vocal: How you say it; and
- Visual: How you present yourself.
Communicating your value, your ideas and your expertise requires clear, concise language. More than that, Ungar said, it means clearly articulating how all of your ideas and abilities will move the project or the company forward.
Communicating your value is not just about what you can do, it's about what you can do for the company. When you learn to confidently communicate your value by presenting your ideas and accomplishments in the context of benefiting the project or the company, you also prove to be irreplaceable.
"I want you all to be seen as the one person your team, your employer, your family, your profession cannot do without," Ungar said.
But saying the right thing isn't enough. How you say it matters, too.
One mistake many women make is with voice inflection. Often, Ungar said, women's voices will go up when they say the last word or phrase of a sentence. Because of this, the sentence sounds like a question and will strip your statements of their strength. Instead of portraying confidence, higher pitched voice inflections may inadvertently indicate weakness.
When it comes to communicating confidently, however, the way you present yourself matters more than anything else. What you wear, how your desk looks, how you carry yourself, your body language—those are the things that matter most.
"Visual kicks verbal and vocal's butt," Ungar said. "Visual counts everything. It counts your office, it counts your car, it counts your shoes. And here is the thing: The more complex the issue, the more your audience goes with the visual."
Why me? Why now?
There also is an art to knowing when to speak.
Ungar contends that the insight you have to offer is important, but knowing exactly when to speak is more so. The big meeting may be the place to share your big idea or insight, but you have to know for sure before you jump in to the conversation.
To know when your statements could have the biggest impact, Ungar suggests asking yourself three question:
- Why me?–Am I the one that needs to address this issue?
- Why now?–Is this the right place to speak up?
- What matter?–How are you going to present the information?
"When you ask and answer for yourself the three (questions)," Ungar said, "you are obligated to speak. If you cannot answer, then you are obligated not to speak."
In doing this, Ungar said, you not only demonstrate an ability to discern the moments when you can have the biggest impact, you also ensure your statements carry weight.