13 Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills

13 Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills

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Much has been written on communication but there is much more to be discussed.

Communication is considered as one of the most effective and natural way of expressing yourself! Do you know this is an art that is mastered? Some people are born with great and effective communication skills but if you’re not blessed with it, you can learn too by practicing and following some thumb rules. What are those? Have a look!

Communication – What’s It?

Before proceeding, let’s first understand what communication is! In fact it is a medium leveraging which a person can transmit his/her thoughts and views to other/s by using various means like writing, sign language, body language and speaking.

Are you Effective Communicator?

Probably yes, or may not! You can know about your communication skills if you are understood in your very first interaction and your instructions are considered and followed perfectly. But if the scenario is other way around, be alert, you need to polish your interaction level or else you may lag behind in this fast world of leadership and corporate age.

So, are you ready to learn how you can improve your communication?

Please don’t read on, if you are short of time or not very keen on understanding what can make you a better communicator and happy with your present communication efficiencies.

1.      Be Confident of your Concepts

It’s very, very important to have confidence in yourself. Effective communication is secondary when it comes to confidence. Until you have the confidence that you can speak and your knowledgebase is perfect and real, you cannot deliver the information correctly and effectively. Just cross check your source of information for its authenticity and significance of the information to make it constructive and useful to the conversation and beneficial to your listeners. Several people are hesitant of speaking because they are not confident that their informative data are correct and authentic.

Just remember howsoever incapable a person may be, he holds some expertise and skill that is unique and exclusive. You need to retrospect yourself and bring forth those skills, business intelligence and concepts that are unique in its own entity as every person has different ways of perceiving things. Once you can fathom and narrow down your perceptions to the best possible manner you can find a great deal of confidence in yourself to impart it.

So, first make sure of your best offerings that are your own, not taken from anywhere, and then conceptualize the way you wish to deliver to others.

2.      Practice, More Practice and Greater Practice

Your communication can be brushed up by simple and casual interactions. The more you communicate and practice it, the better you can become. You first need to sharpen your general interaction skills before embarking into a professional and skilled communication. New expertise in professional communication will take time. Every single conversation will provide you with an opportunity to sharpen your skills.

3.      Eye Contact is Vital

In communicating and listening, eye contact is extremely necessary to understand and make others understand. It not only develops a sense of confidence in you when you interact with others but also proves you a good interpreter. Your eye contact will encourage your listener also to get involved in your conversion and participate actively, which is the biggest sign of successful communication.

Don’t look continuously but keep coming back to your listener’s eyes after taking breaks of few seconds. It will help them involve with your conversation and develop interest in your concepts.

4.      Right Gestures

What message your gestures are sending across is also of the essence. Gesture means your face and hands. Conversation is all about making your entire body talk in sync with your concepts. Your conversation should be in tandem with your gestures, i.e. if you are addressing small group your gestures should be limited and if you are conversing with large crowd accordingly it should increase.

Your gestures should in harmony with your facial expressions, body language, tone and pitch of your voice. All these should not mismatch.

5.      Exhibit Constructive Attitude in Communication

This too is crucial – what type of attitudes you carry with your communication. Opt to be real, not over enthusiastic, patient, sincere, optimistic, filled with positive vibes and approachable. Try to connect with your listeners and make them involve in your conversation by asking questions, personal incidents, brief family background, or any light topic that may make the environment lighter and stress free.

6.      Be a Patient Listener

A proficient orator is a patient listener too. It’s not only you who can conceive and speak; your listeners too have many things to express. Unless you allow them to speak they cannot connect with you at ground level. They will listen to you for the sake of listening, but a successful interaction develops from both sides. So listen to your audience and ask question to encourage them to speak. It will also provide you opportunity to take some break from speaking.

7.      Use Clear and Concise Words

If your listeners often ask you to repeat yourself, it is a warning sign that your speech is unclear and vague. Try to use easy, simple, and local parlance (regional terms) to deliver your thoughts.
At the same time it is also necessary to monitor your voice quality, tone, pitch, accent and its volume. A well balanced fusion of all these skills gives birth to a successful and effective communication.

8.      Right Pronunciation

Right accent and pronunciation is very vital for impressive communication. Apart from having a good knowledge of vocabulary, its right pronunciation matters most when it comes to leverage its benefits.  So unless you know its usage with right accent, avoid using less used and heavy words.

9.      Use Right Words

Use of right words at right time makes all the difference in communication. Where you have to use term ‘vacant’ you cannot use ‘empty’. Know the difference between two similar words and its correct usage.  It brings weight and flow in your speech. How to understand the difference and how to use it will be discussed in my next post.

10.  Be Slow and Consistent

Don’t try to finish your speech as early as possible, it will spoil your efforts, as delivering  knowledge is not only about manifesting your expertise in vocabulary, sentence construction and subject matter knowledge, but it is more about conveying your message to the listener effectively and correctly. This will take time and patience. Be slow so that your listeners can grab each word and understand well. Even if you are excellent in your subject if you cannot impressively convey the same, it is worthless.

11.  Respect others’ Emotions

Be sympathetic and respect other people’s sentiments and encourage them to participate and praise them for their positive landmarks and creative concepts. For this you should have a brief idea of the lives and backgrounds of your listeners, which you can gain in the beginning of your speech. If you think you are not as knowledgeable in a specific subject, don’t shy away from taking advice from others. It will make others feel valued and you will also learn from them and add to your knowledge.

12.  Keep your Mind Open

Don’t be rigid in any aspect. Let others express their views and accept those that are true to the scenario. Open dialogs solve issues and improve your as well as others’ view – points and often can be more effective than you have thought of.

13.  Read between the Lines

Try to understand what is not clear and vague by simply having a glance of it. There may be people who are not very conversant. You need to understand their actual query and pacify their anxiety. It will literally help you emerge as a true leader and orator.

In the era of instant communication, all are in a rush to communicate as fast and early as possible; but in this effort we often fail to learn the actual art of communication. It just frustrates the very purpose of communication.

So, please master this art and then examine your skills occasionally by getting feed backs. Try to read between the lines, be a keen listener and get emotionally involved with you listeners and watch the results! Trust me there is no better enjoyment than being a great communicator for you and others both! People will follow you for all your attributes!

Leave your comments if you wish to add few more tips for better communication. Would love to hear!!

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