When I was a kid, there was a cartoon called,” The Hillbilly Bears”, and one of the bear’s grandpas would mumble and grumble when he started talking and you couldn’t really make out what he was saying until the last few words.
Sometimes, in life, it can feel like people don’t catch the first few things that we’re saying. We wind up having to repeat the first few words, and mainly that’s because we assume that they are paying attention when they could be lost in other thoughts.
So, here are a few ways to make sure that you are being heard right from the start.
The first is to use the person’s name to get their attention. Simply saying,” Jane, I wanted to talk about something”. As soon as you say,” Jane”, presumably, you will now have the other person’s attention.
Second, let them know that you have something you want to talk about, instead of going right into whatever that is. That might sound something like, “Jack, I wanted to talk about something that happened at yesterday’s meeting.” Now you have set the frame or the context for what you’re about to say, and they might be able to listen with a little more understanding of what you’re about to say.
The third tip is, if you have more than one thing that you want to talk about, let the person know that upfront. So, that might sound something like, “I have three things I wanted to mention before we start the meeting today”. Being clear about the number of things you want to talk about can help the other person attend to the topics that you want to cover.
I hope this helps you avoid that Grandpa Hillbilly Bear Syndrome, of the first few words not being heard by the other person.