You’ve probably experienced or known someone who has been “catfished” in the form of conversation. Meaning, the person sitting across from you, certainly isn’t the witty, funny, intelligent person they appear to be online, but how could it be?
In the age of tech, effective in-person communication is a dying and almost extinct art form. A Broadband study shows that the time an average user spent on social media in 2019 would be equivalent to six years and eight months per user. The study goes on to reveal that the average social media users spend more time on online social networking than actually in-person socializing.
Listening to others in conversation can be more difficult than reading their response on-screen. However, as an entrepreneur, both speaking and listening are in-person conversation skills that you must master.
A University of Missouri study showed that we only retain one-fourth of what we hear, but as an entrepreneur listening to the needs of your target audience can help your business provide a better service. It will allow you to meet the needs of your customers more efficiently.
For example, in an exclusive AfroTech interview with =Space founder, Citi Medina stresses how actively engaging with his Newark, NJ community prompted him to start free coding classes.
Communicating in person allows you to show emotion that might otherwise go unnoticed or be misinterpreted with online forms of communication. Startup founders like Medina, who are passionate about their company, might benefit from more in-person conversations rather than advertising online via social media posts or PowerPoint slides that explain their startup.
LinkedIn data shows that 55 percent of a sales conversation is attributed to nonverbal conversation. Thirty-eight percent is the tone of voice, and the remaining seven percent are the words you choose.
Some things are better received when written, and others are more effective when said aloud — know the difference. For example, the acronym “lol” is mostly used for text or social media interaction. However, you wouldn’t say “lol,” during an in-person conversation.
A Mashable interview with Lisa Davidson, Chair of NYU’s Department of Linguistics, describes using “lol” as a “conversational crutch” when someone has no feedback to give. To improve, use the lack of feedback on the current subject and avoid “awkward silence” by smoothly transitioning into another topic.
In the world of entrepreneurship, being able to verbalize your ideas, perspectives, and thoughts could be crucial to effectively delivering a pitch to potential investors or even for something as simple as articulating an appropriate question at a startup seminar.
You don’t have to comment on everything, but making the transition from liking every third Instagram post, to healthy in-person dialogue, is something you may want to add to your in-person communication skillset as an entrepreneur and professional.