Strong verbal communication skills are important for everyone to master. They are extremely valuable in both your personal and professional life.
These days, technology is making everything easier. Unfortunately, easier doesn’t always mean better, and in the case of communication, the same ease that allows you to bridge long distances in a matter of seconds may also be crippling your ability to communicate well when it matters the most. In the business world, communication is especially important, and ineffective communication can make or break your success.
Here are a 14 Simple Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills
Watch Your Body Language
Don’t forget that you’re constantly communicating even when you’re not saying a word. Awareness of your own interaction with other people is the first step in improving your communication skills. Pay attention to your body language, Identify which types of situations make you uncomfortable and then modify your behaviour.
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Keep it simple
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines, is quoted as saying, “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.” In your communications, make sure you understand what you’re writing or speaking about. Then tell it in a way that is clear and easily grasped. You don’t have to use big words.
Become more approachable
During the event those who smiled more often to strangers, those who seemed interested in others and those who were more energetic were approached by most people while those who seemed to be bored, not interested were approached by the minimal number of people. All people want to feel loved and accepted and that’s why the more you encourage someone to approach you by being nice to him the more is it likely that he approaches you.
Make eye contact
One technique to help with this is to consciously look into one of the listener’s eyes and then move to the other. Going back and forth between the two makes your eyes appear to sparkle. Another trick is to imagine a letter “T” on the listener’s face with the cross bar being an imaginary line across the eyebrows and the vertical line coming down the center of the nose. Keep your eyes scanning that “T” zone.
Think before you speak
By organising your thoughts in advance, you can eliminate many of the awkward pauses that occur when speaking. It will also help you relay your information more concisely.
“Studies show that 65% of all communication is non-verbal”.
Don’t state the negative idea. State the affirmative idea!
Communication as the transfer of information:
- Don’t say where you are not going. Instead, state where you are going!
- Don’t say what you are not going to do. Instead, state what you are going to do!
- Don’t say what you think cannot be done. Instead, state what you think can be done!
- Don’t talk about what you don’t like. Talk more about what you do like.
- Talk in affirmative terms.
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Don’t forget to Network
Choosing the right words
Choose words that will really symbolize what you mean. Whether you are talking or writing make sure you select words that will enable the reader or the listener to understand what you really mean. Using jargon may make you feel GOOD but the main point of communication – “the understanding” will be lost.
Listen and reflect
Communicating isn’t just about talking; it’s about listening too. If you’re a good listener, you’re likely to find that others will listen to you more when you have something that you need to say.
Have the right attitude
Develop an attitude of dignity and respect for others and yourself. Be confident and always be positive. Have an open attitude that is willing to understand people and accept their opinions. This will greatly improve your communication skills in ALL relationships.
Take a public speaking class.
Many people avoid public speaking classes but if you’re interested in developing communication skills, I would highly recommend it. It could help you to be a more sensitive and deliberate communicator.
Enunciate your words
Speak clearly. Don’t mumble. If people are always saying, “huh,” to you, you are mumbling.
“Sincerity and courage go a lot further than “polished” communication skills any day.
Here are 5 things you can begin to do today to help you become a better communicator:
- Ask questions. Don’t assume you understand what a person means. Once you ask a few questions, it doesn’t take long to really find out what she really means.
- Listen. To become a better communicator, you must be willing to listen so you can understand the other person’s perspective.
- Observe and be willing to verify the information you receive.
- Let people know what you are thinking by sharing it. By disclosing information about yourself, it aids the other person in understanding who you are and how you are understanding them.
- Remember that love covers a multitude of sins. If your motives are wanting to understand people and accept them for who they are, then communication will be easier. But if you set out to convince them that your way is the right way, then that’s not communication. And that’s not love.
General Tips- Non Verbal
- Give Nonverbal Cues
- Check Your Posture
- Dress Appropriately
- Shake Hands Properly
Tip: The best communication skills tip I can give you is to be brave enough to approach others even if you are not 100% sure of your skills. After all this is how you are going to improve those skills. Have the conversation. Say how you feel. Ask the question. Bring it up. Stumble with good intentions. Fly with an open heart. Communicate.
Those are my tips on how to improve communication skills. Which one resonates with you? Got any more practical tips to help? Let me know in the comments!