What separates good communicators from excellent ones? It’s not the fixed rules that you find in most “professional communication” books. It’s the principles that a communicator uses. In “SHINE: Stand Out. Get Noticed. Be Brilliant. Communicate Your Way to a Brighter Career”, Dr. Gerry Lewis helps readers understand the basic principles that successful communicators use and adapt to establish their presence in the workplace and beyond.
Shine: Stand Out. Get Noticed. Be Brilliant. Communicate Your Way to a Brighter Career isn’t your ordinary book providing workplace communication tips. You won’t find tips on which font size to use for your PowerPoint or Prezi presentation or how many slides to include in your pitch deck. What you will find is a book brimming with insightful wisdom and recommendations that strip “professional communication” down of its complicated rules so readers can connect with the people in their world with more impact.
What is Shine About?
Shine is designed to help readers refine the basic principles of communicating with people during meetings, presentations, networking and within yourself. Each section focuses on a set number of principles (around 4 to 7) you need to master a particular area of communication. At the end of each section, the book addresses some questions.
This emphasis on principles is the central theme in the book. In order to be an excellent communicator, author Gerry Lewis suggests, you don’t need to memorize overly complicated rules about your slide transitions, or whether you contacted every potential lead at a networking event. People won’t remember those details anyway (unless they are really distracting!)
They will remember the message and your presence while delivering it.
Developing and maintaining this presence results when you understand and direct attention away from internal and external distractions and towards your communications goals. For example, in a meeting, this involves avoiding behaviors that lead to the “Four Sins” (a big one is wasted time) and reinforcing an environment focused on engagement and productivity. For a presentation, it means decreasing the inner chatter leading to fear and directing this energy to something more productive. For networking, it’s about avoiding the need to dominate the conversation and instead participating fully in it.
This focus on removing distraction by maintaining a core set of principles (instead of memorizing a lot of detailed rules) is the overall solution provided to readers of Shine. By working within the book’s framework, readers move away from the communication problems and closer to using communication as the solution.
Lewis is a former banking professional who actually majored in criminology and sociology in college. He started as a loan administrator, eventually reaching the level of branch manager before he was 25. He became an international consultant, and eventually started his own professional communications company after following the advice he shares in his book about leaving your “comfort zone”.
What Was Best About Shine?
Shine is a very engaging book with down-to-Earth stories to which any working professional can relate (such as meetings going off the rails because someone had to start talking about their trip over the weekend). It is a communication book going beyond the typical areas readers would expect to find in such a title (presentations and speeches, for example.) Instead, Shine takes a new and refreshing look at what makes communicating important. It all sounds more like a fun experiment than a to-do list or workplace chore.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Shine is a great book for exploring and removing the obstacles blocking authentic and impactful person-to-person communication. It addresses how readers can improve their skills in meetings and networking. The focus, however, centers on speaking, not written communication. Adding this information could help professionals become a more well-rounded communicator.
Why Read Shine?
Shine is designed for the working professional (at any level) who wants to improve interpersonal communication skills on a deeper level. This book focuses less on technical skills and more on the principles that separate a good communicator from an excellent one in a variety of situations. It helps readers understand and develop their presence in a way authentic to their form of expression rather than sticking to a series of fixed rules. By utilizing the simple principles, readers are given a basic framework allowing flexibility and consistency no matter what kind of situation they happen to be in.