Ever felt like nobody gets you? Are you the one with all the great ideas, if only you could get others to open their ears and listen? What is it about that guy/gal at work? You know who we’re talking about—the one who makes a room fall silent, all ears on them, everyone listening, nodding, agreeing, fully on-board with their great idea. Why can’t you accomplish that same effect?
If you are an architect or a designer, then this may be a struggle you are familiar with as these are both jobs that require stellar communication skills. An architect needs to communicate with builders, partners, home owners, designers etc. and if they can’t communicate the right message, well then the design will not come to fruition as planned. Same goes for an interior designer. Designers need to use words in order to place pictures within their clients’ mind, convincing them this is the right design for them. Words are powerful in these creative fields.
This is why a class in communications is a must for architects and interior designers. Here we help you learn how to put verbs in your sentences, action behind your plans, making everyone sit up, listen and hop on board with your fantastic ideas:
What to Expect from a Communications Class
If you look online, you will see there are plenty of communications classes available; some you can easily take online, others you can take through University extension programs. It will be up to you to research which program will offer you the most bang for your buck. We are certain you will not want to pursue a complete BA in Communications, but it doesn’t hurt to reach out to a local school that offers those courses—perhaps you can sit on a couple of their relevant classes.
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Here is what you can expect from a typical class in communications:
- Training in conflict resolution
- Advanced persuasion skills
- Modern communications
- Social media
- multicultural communications
- reading your audience and keeping them engaged
Traits of Successful Communications
Believe it or not, is not all about words. Sometimes the most powerful way to get your point across to someone is by using no words at all. Successful communicators use several tricks or methods to engage their audience.
Here are some of the most popular tools that will help you engage your audience:
- Presenting in a well-lit room quiet room (seems simple, but extraneous noise can be a big distracting factor that impedes your communication)
- Become a dominant force to your audience by using a loud voice (not scream, but not whisper quiet, either) and speak slowly and clearly
- Do not use acronyms or technical jargon; always assume you are talking to a layperson
- Get audience engaged, ask them questions, ask for feedback
- watch for body language to see if audience is getting bored, if they are then a successful communicator changes the path of the presentation
- Use multiple props and tools to give your audience a visual aide. Pictures can be much more valuable than words—especially to those who learn by seeing and doing.
How Architects Can Best Communicate
Architects and designers are both bridges to a solution, so they have a lot of work cut out for them in order to get to a satisfying end result. Before any design begins, an architect must first understand all facets of the task at hand.
Here are some keys steps an architect should take in order to communicate effectively:
- First and foremost, the architect must inquire and analyze the job at hand. After all, no sense in creating and communicating something if it isn’t what the client wants
- Create numerous visual aides of the design i.e. models, computer drafts, drawings, measurements, and notations
- when presenting their design, architects should devise a strong list of reasons that emphasize the importance of their design, telling why it is a must for their client(s)
- Perhaps, most importantly—an architect must listen, ensuring they are giving their client what they want
- Stay abreast of all those involved in the design process by talking daily or weekly to the builders, clients, designers etc. It can be as simple as a phone call, or perhaps a weekly visit to the site.
How Interior Designers Can Best Communicate
Just like the architect, an interior designer has a huge role to fill. We dare say there is no successful interior designer who is not a stellar communicator (and mind reader).
Here are some key steps a designer must take in order to break down the barriers to communication:
- Listen, listen, listen. There is no better way to getting to the heart of a client and knowing what they want
- Offer samples, ideas, pictures, examples of room layouts to see what appeals most to the client(s)
- Take client on a road trip of sorts, visiting local showrooms, and stores to learn what appeals most
- When presenting their design they use a multitude of visual aides and tools to bring the design to life, ensuring it’s what that client wants
- They are ready for questions and have a strong list already devised that answers any concerns, and gives reasons why this design will work over others
- Daily and weekly communication with the client is a must, especially as the design gets put into motion, ensuring a happy client who is abreast of all that is taking place
The path to effective communication can be fraught with barriers, and the best way to communicate is sometimes situation-based, requiring you to have many different methods of communicating. Are your words powerful enough or do you need to use pictures, models, drawings, and images in order to get your point across? We suggest that every interior designer and architect take a class in communications just to ensure they have all the tools they need in order to be successful.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you use when communicating to a client? We’d love to hear your ideas— Communicate with us!