On the Fly: Roshini Rajkumar

8E8C1092Roshini Rajkumar is all talk. The former news anchor and television personality now hosts WCCO (CBS) Radio’s News & Views with Roshini Rajkumar and is a sought-after professional speaker and executive coach, preparing top executives worldwide to face crisis and other high-stakes communication events.

With hundreds of thousands of business travelers passing through MSP Airport each year, we reached out to Rajkumar for a few tips. Step one: Forget the elevator speech.

Why is communication so important, especially in business?

It really doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t know how to communicate it. Communication is truly the foundation of everything we do. In business, how you communicate is part of your brand. Your communication style can land you big clients or hurt your chances of winning them over. Staying on top of your communication skills is crucial to business success.

What is most often overlooked with regard to communication?

You’ve heard the term “elevator speech,” or “30-second commercial.” I avoid these terms at all costs. There is no one-size-fits-all communication for every situation. The best communicators customize their phraseology and spoken-word delivery to the way a particular audience is most apt to receive the message.

What are some of the main things to avoid when communicating one’s point?

Avoid distractions such as wardrobe malfunctions, verbal tics (“um’s” and “ah’s”), and overactive body language. With these in play, your message is lost.

If you could speak before any group, who would it be and why?

I toured the UN in September 2015. The General Assembly room was truly poignant for me. I’d love to give a speech in that space before international decision-makers.

If you could interview anyone on News & Views with Roshini Rajkumar who would it be and why?

The Dalai Lama and Pope Francis—together. That would be my nirvana as a talk show host.

You’re a widespread traveler—where are you off to next?

I recently traveled to New York City and Appleton, Wisconsin. There will likely be a few more trips to New York this year. Also in the works: A possible speaking engagement at the 2016 Super Bowl. But ask me again next week. The fun part about being a professional speaker and executive coach is that I never know when a client will ask me to jet off somewhere fast to help with a particular high-stakes communication need.