Are you the definition of shy in your social or professional circles? Are you often afraid of interacting with new people or starting conversations? Well, don’t worry because it’s possible to shake off your speech problems and become a better communicator. You don’t have to be a naturally gifted communicator; communication skills are easy to learn and develop. This post explores 9 tips for improving your communication skills, both through listening and speaking.
1. Be open to feedback
To be great in anything in this world,
you must be open to feedback from your peers, seniors, and critics. Becoming a
great communicator isn’t exempted from this reality. Whenever you give a speech
or share ideas with other people, be sure to leave the door open for anyone who
could have an opinion about your speech. You will be surprised at how criticism
can help you discover areas for improvement.
2. Aim at being understood
The goal is to be understood, not to
appear sophisticated. Ensure that you take your time to listen to other people
and understand their point of view before responding to them. If you are
patient enough to listen to arguments, you will always be able to draft the
perfect response in your head. And in case your response is misunderstood, take
it upon yourself to clarify or rephrase.
3. Make a point of knowing people you talk to
Choosing the right words for the right
audiences is key to effective communication. That is why you need to decipher
the status and social standing of the person you are addressing before uttering
any words. Know where your listener is from, their political view, their
personality, and as much as possible understand their levels of emotional
temperament. The key is to garner as much information about the listeners as possible
before and during a conversation.
4. Ask questions if you don’t understand
Don’t assume that you know what someone
is trying to say even when he/she is uttering gibberish phrases. It is better
to ask for clarifications than to guess the message someone is trying to
convey. And because people are social beings, whoever is speaking to you will
feel appreciated when you ask questions between conversations. Asking questions
is the surest way of showing someone that you are interested in whatever they
5. Don’t fixate your mind on past negative interactions
You will encounter hostile audiences
every now and then, but don’t allow them to put you down. If you want to have a
better communication experience after that, it would be beneficial to you if
you could forget past negative interactions immediately they happen.
6. Work on your body language
People will read your emotions from your
body language. Your body communicates even what your mouth was reluctant to
convey. If you aren’t confident, for example, people will know about it from
your tonal variations, or from how you move around the podium. It will help if
you can influence your body language. Be alert and aware of everything
happening around you. Mind how you sit, how you talk, and how you pronounce
words. Before an important meeting, learn how to sit confidently and to dress
appropriately. When you rise to speak, always break the ice with a cool but
7. Find help
The great public speakers you admire were
also not perfect in the early stages of their careers. Some of them have taken
numerous lessons on how to write clear and relevant messages for the right
audiences. Be like them and find help from companies that help people who
struggle with speech problems. These companies offer unique plans
tailored to each client. You will be an expert public speaker by the
time you are done with their training.
8. Relax. People are not judging you
Maybe you struggle to communicate with
new people because you feel like they are judging your every statement. If you
have this problem, you tend to feel nervous when people clap for you or murmur
when you deliver a keynote point. What you may not know is that not many people
care about how you talk. They don’t even notice the little details you worry
too much about. Relax and do your thing.
9. Engage your audience
Your audience has a limited attention
span. Even the most experienced public speakers know that without interactive
discussions and brainstorming seasons, effective communication cannot take
place. Always keep your audience engaged.
Effective communication ranks up there
among the most important skills anyone could possess. Our hope is that the 9
tips above will help you to communicate well using both nonverbal cues. Also,
remember that in order to cultivate your communication skills, it is important
that you listen carefully to other people.
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