Coach Mikki and Friends

Mastering the Art of Communication: Dimitrios Loukakis - S4E9

March 15, 2024 Coach Mikki Season 4 Episode 9
Coach Mikki and Friends
Mastering the Art of Communication: Dimitrios Loukakis - S4E9
Coach Mikki's Fearless Scholarship
2 College scholarship given each year. - more info at CoachMikkiandFriends.com
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Struggling to get your message across? Discover the secrets to articulate with finesse the art of communication with my guest Communication Specialist Dimitrios Loukakis . Ever found yourself tripping over your words or racing through sentences? You're not alone. That's exactly where I was until Dimitri, with his treasure trove of performing arts and voice acumen, guided me through the labyrinth of effective communication. Journey with us as we dissect the essentials of engaging your listeners—ensuring your words don't just speak but truly resonate.

Prepare to transform your dialogue during our conversation on the subtleties of public speaking and the mindful adjustments necessary for captivating an audience—whether it's a sea of faces or a single confidant. With Dimitri's expertise, learn to analyze your listeners and craft messages with precision, much like selecting the ultimate lure for the perfect catch. We also get candid about the internal chatter that can sabotage our speaking success, highlighting the role of self-reflection in honing your communication craft. Whether you're aiming to influence a crowd or enrich personal connections, this episode is your backstage pass to commanding the stage of everyday conversations.

Connect with Dimitir Loukakis 
Connect with Coach Mikki 

We look forward to seeing you succeed! - www.KeepOnSharing.com - Code - KOS

Support the show


www.CoachMikkiandFriends.com
Join my guests on my YouTube Channel

Speaker 1:

Hey, I'm Coach Mickey and I'm so glad that you've joined us, and if this is your first time joining us, come on in to make yourself comfortable.

Speaker 1:

For those of you that joined us on a regular basis, I am so glad that you do.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for always reaching out to our guests with your comments, your questions and your suggestions of people you'd like to hear, not only on this podcast but on my YouTube channel, and we have had a plethora of incredible, incredible guests that have come on, and I am so grateful for each and every one of them because they always got something to share that I find valuable, that not only helps me as an individual, but also gives you a little something that you can take within your life and help you. And today I'm really excited. This is gonna be fun because, being a gal from New York and, as you know, on my podcasts and my YouTube channels, sometimes I speak very fast, sometimes I don't finish a sentence, sometimes I laugh at what I'm saying, so I am really thrilled to have on today Dimitri, who is a communication specialist, and what he does is he has a mission to help people how to communicate with more confidence and be more confident in their communication, so we're gonna have fun with you today. Dimitri, how are you?

Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm Mickey, and thank you for having me as well. I'm doing great today. Actually, it's been a relatively chill day today, so I'm getting things done one at a time. Thank you for having me and thank you for this wonderful introduction as well. I appreciate being a guest here.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm thrilled to have you. As I know and I've heard from not only my friends, but also I call my circle of friends here on the podcast and on the YouTube channel they're like, oh my gosh, you speak so fast. However, I've learned to slow down, I've learned to try to think before the process goes from my brain to my mouth, which isn't always happening, so I've got to ask you. Well, first of all, I wanna back up, tell me your story. How did you get involved with this? How did this become your passion and your mission in life to be able to help people to communicate.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I've always had this bug in communication, I think because of my environment. Both my parents, I feel, are very. They don't speak the same language necessarily, and so I always had this bug and this curiosity about how people communicate with each other in general. But at first, actually, my background is in more performing arts, so I actually I'm originally Greek, but at the age of just before 18, around 18, I moved to London. I'm a UK and I studied theater.

Speaker 2:

I have my first degree in theater and then I did a second degree, a master's degree in in acting actually, and then I started acting in London and I did that for about five years and that was I really enjoyed it, mostly stage stuff rather than film stuff, but I did a bit of screen as well and there was something inside of me that felt that I needed more.

Speaker 2:

And it sounds a bit crazy, because a lot of people really dream of becoming actors and kind of like making it and going on stage and doing all of that stuff, and part of me had that.

Speaker 2:

But I also felt like I wanted to be more creative and somehow I felt I wanted to be more helpful in some ways and so I did a third degree, I suppose a third degree, another master's degree, in voice studies, in communication, verbal, vocal communication basically and that was a two-year MFA program where we go into the tangibles of voice, if you like, so physiology, anatomy, acoustics, the science of it, if you like, and also the untangible, the more artistic elements of voice as a sense of identity and who we are and how we express ourselves and how personal our communication is. And so I did that, graduated and then I started my practice and I've been training speakers, I've been training actors, I've been training journalists, people who have communication at the heart of their practice. Ever since, and about almost three years ago, I moved to the US, in LA, california, and I've been continuing doing my business here and I've been having a great, great time doing so. It's been an honor dealing with people's personal stories and a huge responsibility in being careful and sensitive as I handle them as well in my practice.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's dealing with a lot of different personalities in an eclectic group. I mean, I'm not just speaking about LA, but coming from Greece, then to London and then from London here to the US. So you really have had a grouping of different cultures, different beliefs, different, like you said, dialects. So all that pulling it together. Let me ask you this what do you find is the most common thing or common denominator, especially across the board? I mean, regardless of what culture or background that somebody has? That you find is the struggle with communication.

Speaker 2:

Good question. I would say the most common struggles are usually manifestations of manifestations of a very important rule in communication, or breaking that rule, and that rule is that it doesn't matter what you say or what the other person hears. So if, for example, we're talking about you mentioned earlier that you, you know you're speaking fast, or a lot of people speak fast, communication happens on the terms of the listeners terms. Basically. So fast is not fast to you, Fast is fast for the listener. So, in order to prevent cognitive overload, very often we need to think about what is the pace that the listener can process information and then speak at that pace. So that is like one manifestation, other manifestations. You can hear it when people say well, I told you this and that's what you said. That can absolutely be true, it doesn't matter. It doesn't mean that that's what I heard and that's what they heard. Your listeners heard.

Speaker 2:

It could be that you mumbled your words. It could be that you explained it in a very convoluted, complicated way. It could be that you were not projecting your voice or they didn't hear it, or it could be down to them. I always, sometimes I teach workshops straight after lunch and all the blood is going straight to people's stomachs and they're not really focusing. They're getting sleepy. It could be that they're overstressed so they didn't hear it or they had something else in their minds. It could be there's neurodiversity. It could be that they've got ADHD and their attention is somewhere else. There are so many factors that affect that can give birth to unwanted misunderstandings, and there are usually some sort of manifestation of ignoring or not properly understanding the principle of it's not what you say, but it's about what the other person heard. I hope that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, it makes perfect sense. And I have learned and again, whether it's been through my coaching or speaking, I have stopped and said, okay, let me repeat, let me see if I heard you correctly, and then I'll repeat what I thought they had said or what I thought I had heard. And I said I just want to clarify that this is what you meant. And then that gives them the opportunity to go back and say, well, yes, but I meant this, or no, this is what I meant to say. So I give them an opportunity.

Speaker 1:

So, as a listener and that's a skill in itself is being a good listener and also being able to communicate is stopping and trying to filter out and hear what that person said, or I should say, listen to what that person said and then clarify it. But as the communicator and the speaker, a lot of times I may follow it up with a question to see if they actually heard the point I'm trying to get across, if they understood it. The other element I want to ask you about is how often do you find, when people are communicating, that they react instead of responding?

Speaker 2:

Very often it happens all the time. I actually have a speech on that, on how to get through to everyone, and I'm talking about something very important there that is called the amygdala hijack, and the amygdala hijack was quoted first time by I'm just names keeps me but it's the person that actually invented motion intelligence and it's a very well documented Phenomenon in the world of of your psychology and the idea of it is that every time we feel threatened somehow, if there is a part in our oldest part of our brain, the reptile brain that's called the amygdala, and the amygdala actually comes from Greek amygdala. In Greek it actually means almond, because it's almond shaped is a part of our brain and it gets activated every time we feel threatened. So that's this one would perceive a threat. Now that the oldest part of our brain is also responsible for things like fight, flight or freeze, all sorts of automatic processes we don't necessarily have a lot of direct control over, as opposed to the newest part of our brain, for example prefrontal cortex, that is responsible for rational and logical thinking and we'll communicate with people. We generally, especially in work environments, would like them to stay in that new prefrontal cortex kind of part Now, so we want to keep them away from the amygdala.

Speaker 2:

What happens, though, is the moment someone's feel threatened, feels threatened, the amygdala gets activated and it hijacks the conversation communication. So this is when we see, as you said, people reacting rather than responding because they are on impulse control. They don't have very good impulse control in that moment. They're just being emotional, and the most deliberate, systematic approach to bring them back to some sort of logical, rational way of thinking is futile, so hence, hence why we we talk about the amygdala hijack and ways of bypassing that, and a good way of doing that is absolutely, as you said, checking in with the person. One of the ways, of course. Checking in with the person where you heard, did you understand what they meant to say? And it actually shows to them a good intention behind it, that your intention Is not to react, not to go to attack them, but yours, your intention is to understand them, which is in very short supply nowadays, is hugely appreciated most of the times.

Speaker 1:

Well, and I think what happens is people get so excited about what they have to say because they're passionate about it or what they're ever. Whatever they're going through at the time, they're just. They're just. It's just coming out there and they're not really thinking about what's being said and how they're really communicating. To get that across, first of all, when you said the thing about that is the shape of the almond, I'm like, well, no wonder people think I'm not.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely well, that's a good way. Actually, you know what? I've never heard of this before as a concept. I don't know I'm maybe I'll quote you, but I'm gonna steal this to say that's why people are not when they're activated, absolutely they don't behave nuts, absolutely well, it makes sense.

Speaker 1:

so I want to get back to your acting, because that's a form of communication, especially on stage, because you have to be very animated. And I know for myself I share with you off air that when I do a lot of keynote speaking, that people Listen or they learn through different elements some is through audio, some is through seeing, some is through doing you know and some is just have you know absolutely has to be hands on. So I know, as a keynote speaker, when I'm on stage, I said I'm very animated because I want to be able to cover every single one of those elements when I'm speaking. What would you suggest? When someone is standing, obviously communicating either with with an individual or with a group or, like in business, what are the most important things that they should keep in mind when they are communicating with that eclectic type of people to get their point across?

Speaker 2:

What should they be keeping in mind?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think when I'm standing and speaking to a group of people, there's people that learn by hearing, seeing, doing or they have to touch it. But when you're standing on stage, you have to be able to communicate more clearly because obviously they're not coming up and hands on with me. So how would you get across as a communicator, communicating to those different types of people, to be able to make it clear on what you're saying, to get your point across or to get your message to these people?

Speaker 1:

Is there different elements or structures that you can do. I'm not even communicating what I'm trying to say it's okay, you're doing great.

Speaker 2:

You're doing great Absolutely. So the first thing is you mentioned different kinds of people and I will say generally, because of the principle that I mentioned earlier, the first thing you do when you're doing any sorts of public speaking, or communicating, for that matter, is if you can see how much information you have about the people you're speaking to.

Speaker 2:

So, start conducting some sort of an audience analysis of who they are, because the same message needs to be communicated differently to different kinds of people. This is something that has been that a lot of people in the marketing world know very, very well when we're dealing, for example, with targeting different specific groups and nowadays, social media. A lot of companies have so much information about us, so they craft the messaging to appeal to the way our brain works. So that first thing is this is how you need to first of all customize your material for the people that you're speaking to, not what you think is best. I say sometimes, if you go fishing, your debate needs to be tasty to the fish, not to you, and that's the mistake we tend to go. Oh yeah, I love this, let me put some pasta on the as the bait, and no fish goes anywhere near it. So, again, it's about understanding how they think rather than how what you think.

Speaker 2:

But in terms of specifically adjusting your communication for public speaking, I would say specifically, one of the biggest, the two biggest components just from the top of my head is one is size. So we need to understand that everything needs to be bigger if you're on stage, assuming that you have a reasonable sized audience. So we're not talking about five people, we're talking about more, right, we're talking about 50 or 100 or more. The other thing, the other question I would ask is is my voice going to be amplified? Because if there's no mics, then I need to be projecting my voice again. It's size, but it's easy because my voice, the good, good, good speakers understand that if my voice needs to is amplified, I don't need to project my voice. So then I'm able to have a conversation with my voice while I have using body language that suits the size of the space I'm in and that can be challenging to do at first, but it's a technique that you can be trained in, I would say.

Speaker 2:

The other component is that everything needs to be a little bit clearer and a little bit slower, because generally big groups move and think slower. We tend to go okay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and it's just like oh, calm down, wait. If you've cracked a joke, you need to wait until they're done laughing before you continue speaking. There needs to be kind of like, different, so do. Time gets distorted, especially when a lot of us are nervous around when we're in front of people, we think fast and then we start moving fast, which goes against what we need to be doing, which is actually slowing down. So I would say time gets distorted and space needs to open up. These are the two big, big differences.

Speaker 1:

As you are moving towards public speaking, Well, the other communication skill that I think is lacking is the communication between two individuals. You know, I mean where, where is the? You know the keynote speaking is, and I understand that with the timing and everything else, and that's that's a great element. I want to go, I want to backtrack on that and say, yes, I heard everything you said and those are. That's great insight. But I'm also thinking, when people come up to me later on, that one-on-one communication, or even just in a relationship, or a communication between you and your significant other, or even communication between you and your children, it really has the same type of element, because you need to stop, think about what you're going to say, to be able to communicate it in the direct Aspect so they understand it and hear it correctly, or take into consideration what they may be thinking or needing at the time, to be able to articulate your communication clearly. I mean, doesn't it kind of work hand in hand?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely and what? What you're referring to there is, it's called it's in the world of interpersonal communication. Interpersonal means basically two people talking to each other and I would say, yes, we need to think clearly before we speak. I also want to say, as a coach, I live in the real world rather than the world of theory, and I would say it's also unrealistic to expect everyone to think very carefully before they open their mouth the whole time 24 seven. We are emotional humans and we are impulsive humans sometimes and and I think this is where it gets a little bit more challenging to say, oh yeah, you know I'm hungry, the my kids are screaming at the back of the car and you know my Husband or wife or whatever calls me, my partner calls me, and they pick up the phone, they ask me to do one more thing today and I expect to think very carefully, you know, as I am breathing, taking conscious breaths, as I have the kids screaming and as I'm navigating rush hour traffic and Give a very well structured and calm and composed answer to my partner. It's a little bit unrealistic. So this is, this is when we start moving, I would say, from interpersonal to intrapersonal, and Intrapersonal communication is the communication with you have with yourself.

Speaker 2:

And in that moment, it's important to the after you snap, because you likely to snap. Let's be honest, after you snap, to kind of go back and say, hey, reflect within yourself and go hmm, I didn't handle this very well. And then, based on your principles, your morals, who you are, you're going to act accordingly Either, for example, share it with a person to say, hey, I'm so sorry, that was not okay. I'm realizing this now. You know, like, can we build a bridge? I understand that was not okay.

Speaker 2:

Or, if you have different principles or or or something else, that you may choose to hide it or Whatever continuous. If it is not happening, brush it under the carpet, being scared of the other person's response, whatever it is, you take the appropriate action and whatever it is for you. But it's important to to also understand that, to live in the real world and understand that this is the theory. Yes, absolutely, and there's a chance that in our everyday life, will fall short of that, and we need to be kind of ourselves rather than getting a whip and start whipping ourselves going, oh, I didn't do that, it's okay. Like all of us go through this. I go through this myself, like I also have arguments and I also misbehaved. Then I go and apologize and it's okay.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, I mean, that's just human nature. You know we're gonna say things that we don't mean based on the like you said, that emotional pressure cooker. You know, when you're like you said, you're at your last straw. No, I can't take one more thing. And and you're right. Then it comes back down to your values. I would say the majority I mean in, in looking at just as a blanket type of thing on an everyday occasion would pump. You know, taking out the stress or just communicating, whether it's with your, your family or coworkers, the the key elements to communication. And and I'll give us, I'll give you, we got another up, another another five minutes. So why don't you give us kind of maybe five steps or three steps, how many you think that people could take away that says, okay, this is something I could work with today that could help me as it, to communicate what I need to communicate with my spousal coworkers or whatever.

Speaker 2:

Good In interpersonal communication, would you say, or or public speaking.

Speaker 1:

Personal personal okay, good.

Speaker 2:

So in interpersonal communication, I will say that the first thing to consider is is was what I said? Just think from the perspective of the other person how they receiving something. The second thing is, as you are, as you are speaking to them, notice what their reactions are there. And then, have you, have they lost interest? Are they looking at their phone? Are they looking away? What? What is happening? Is it something that you're not communicating very well?

Speaker 2:

Perhaps these, these kind of non-verbal cues will tell you whether that's actually happening or not. And Finally, the third thing is to not assume that your understanding is correct. So, active listening we call this active listening to to make sure that the other person, that your perception of the other person, is accurate. It could be that you ask them to clarify or specify something. It could be that you are what you said earlier. You just checking in with them like, hey, I'm receiving this in this way. This is what I understand, is that correct? And there is nothing that will make them.

Speaker 2:

We are in this world to be heard and to be witnessed and we really get that. So many, so much of the frustration is when we being talked at rather than being talked to or, even better, talk with somebody else, really not receiving that. We receive sales calls. We don't feel like we're being understood. People like pushing their agenda on us all the time and you will be so valued if you begin to think of the other person and listening, listening to them and understand them and speak from an honest place that you you will be so valued straight away that you will also begin to forge more meaningful relationships, whether it's with your colleagues or people in your personal life.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, that was, that was great, because a lot of people don't understand that and I think if they take those steps it's going to change, changes everything, because I really think relationships fall apart and the basis is communication. Either they're not expressing what they they really mean they need, or you know again, like you said, listening, you know and having that, and it's a two way street. They always say you know, communications a two way street. Well, I have had so much fun with you and you have been great and allowing me to just be me and my, of course, can we get?

Speaker 2:

is it okay if I, if I share what we were saying earlier? Yeah, before we started recording kind of mentioned like hey, I'm from new york and I speak in this way and all of that, and I said like we should not have One specific way of communicating with each other. It is important for everyone who's listening to understand that it's okay for the personality to come through as they communicate. I'm not advocating for all public speakers or all speakers to sound exactly the same. It would have been a very, very boring world. So, of course, have the audience in mind, but it's so important that you and your personality also shines through when you communicate is so valuable. So absolutely Sorry for taking that extra time. I just thought it was important for me.

Speaker 1:

I'm glad you did, because I think what you offer is very important and I wonder if I know, please, please, please, reach out to the main tree. All the links are going to be down embedded in the podcast if you listen to the podcast, but also they'll be embedded into the youtube channel. I want you to reach out to him because I think His, his insight and what he has to offer is very valuable, whether you're doing it for business, with you doing personally. You know we're even just a couple tips on to learn how to communicate and listen. You know, even for yourself, it's going to make your life so much better and I was wondering to me treat, how much do we miss out on? Because I'm listening skills are so wrapped up in what we want to say next in our head that we didn't even hear we miss out on something so valuable, so important. You know that's gonna be another podcast. I got to have you back for that one.

Speaker 2:

Another time, not our old thing exactly, thank you. Thank you so much for having me as well. You you, I mean You've been a great host. It was so easy to just go on the fly and just ask these questions. It was great, was having conversation really enjoyed it, thank you it was fun.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much. So thank you for you guys for being with us. I am so grateful that you are here. Please, please, please, reach out to me tree again. The information is down in the links, and I love the fact that you guys communicate not only with me what you're looking for, but also the suggestions on who you'd like to have on. So until then, remember, the most courageous thing you can do is be yourself. Until our next podcast, we'll see ya.

Effective Communication
Effective Communication and Public Speaking