The art of communication

Leadership + Management


Voice is power, and great communicators never stop practising, writes Steve Knight, Adjunct Professor of Business Communication at Insead. He defined the six pillars of "The Art of Communication" form a highly effective routine for everyday practice.

The first pillar is an attitude of Gratitude. This is about an upward trend versus a downward spiral in terms of attitude, thinking, being, and how you interact with and impact on others.

Pillar two is Diaphragmatic Breathing. This is how we are designed to breathe and how we breathe when we were born and when we were young. “The quality of our breath is directly proportional to the quality of the vibration of our vocal cords. The quality of the vibration of our vocal cords is directly proportional to the quality and gravitas of our voice”, writes Knight.

Pillar three is a Somatic Workout. This is all about connection with others, eye contact, connection, chemistry and trust.

Pillar four is a Vocal Workout. This is a wonderful workout to both warm-up and strengthen your voice and as such enhance the quality of your spoken voice and your singing voice… even if you think you can’t sing.

Pillar five is Voice Visualisation. This is all about lifting your words off the page and breathing life and energy into them. Storytelling.

The final pillar is your Leadership Presence. This is all about how you choose to show up. Your brand, your essence, your values, what you stand for.

Only practice makes a master and therefore Knight and his team designed an app “The Art of Communication” (available for Apple and Android phones)  that allows users to film themselves practicing for a presentation, job interview, crucial conversation or a meeting and share the video file with colleagues and friends, who will then provide them with feedback and a rating based on Knight's evaluation framework. 




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