The 10 Commandments of Communication

Clear and confident communication takes work and intentionality. Below are the top ten things I do to prepare for any one-on-one, presentation, or speech:

  1. I shall match the tone of my voice and my body language with the message I want to communicate.
  2. I shall be honest, open and willing to hear the other points of view with enthusiasm.
  3. When it’s showtime, I shall shift the attention and nervousness away from myself and concentrate on the message I want my audience to receive.
  4. I shall rehearse my points or conversation with the end result in mind, at least once for a one on one and five times for a larger audience.
  5. I shall summarize at the end with a plan of action and the rationale why.
  6. I shall be authentic in my delivery, be willing to tackle tough questions with sincerity, and handle frivolous questions at the end of a presentation.
  7. I shall remember I was given two ears and one mouth for reason-to take the time to listen and validate the other persons point of view, whether or not I agree, and without judgment.
  8. I shall deliver negative news with facts and honesty about a situation and an expectation of communicating future information as it becomes available.
  9. I shall know my audience, and adjust my content and delivery. I shall be cognizant my delivery isn’t condescending by talking up or down to my audience.
  10. I shall deliver my message with clarity of facts, not opinions, unless asked. I shall keep my message simple as such that a novelist on the topic could understand.

Following these 10 cardinal rules will allow you to cultivate a cool, calm, collected and professional communication style. The sooner we put these rules into play, the sooner we will experience abundant accomplishments.

Which “commandment” will you put into play first? Let me know on Twitter @MarjaNorris!


Marja Norris is the CEO and Founder of MarjaNorris.com, a company dedicated to helping women achieve their career goals with style and confidence. With a distinguished career in finance, Marja has successfully navigated the male-dominated business world. Working her way up from an entry-level assistant to a Senior Vice President, she draws on her three decades of experience in the corporate world to empower women to pursue their highest goals and blossom into everything they can be.

Marja is passionate about coaching women on projecting their best professional selves. With the publication of her latest book, The Unspoken Code: A Businesswoman’s No-Nonsense Guide to Making It in the Corporate World, Marja’s mission is to provide women with the tools to successfully navigate the workplace through heightened confidence, excellent communication skills, and dressing the part to achieve career success.