How To Improve Communication Skills | Top 8 ways of Effective Communication Skills

”Effective communication skill is fundamental to success in many aspect of life.”

Many people find it difficult to know where to start. This article sets out the most common problem areas and suggests where you might focus your attention.

Myth that I want to clear :

“Good Communication Does Not Mean fluent in English Language”

English is a “LANGUAGE” and Communication is “SKILL”! Two very Different Things

Here are few powerful ways to improve a communication :

Table of Content : HOW TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS

  1. Develop Your Listening Skill Too
  2. Make Sure You Are Understood
  3. Maintain Body Language & Eye Contact
  4. Set a Role Model
  5. Using Humors
  6. Positive Answer
  7. Be Brief But to The Point
  8. Art of Networking & Public Speaking

Develop Your Listening Skill Too :

How To Improve Communication Skills? Effective Communication often involves listening skills that develop your ability to absorb what others say. Those who have the ability of listening can answer the questions effectively and in a proper meaning.

With all the challenging layer of active listener how does one improve this skill? Start using Active listening techniques to become a better communicator-

  1. Focusing on the specific word they are using.
  2. Give speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message.
  3. Provide feedback or assert your opinion respectfully.
  4. Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking any question.
  5. Don’t interrupt with counter argument.
  6. Be ingenuous, open, candid and honest in your response.
  7. Treat that other person respectfully you think she would want to be treated.

Make Sure You Are Understood :

communications are two- way process. You can be certain of what you communicated, but how can you be sure that communicated message has understood by the receiver? The assurance of your message being understood with the manner of delivery

Here are some general guidelines for assuring that the message is clearly communicated-

  • Communicate one message at a time. Don’t get confuse the receiver with multiple messages.
  •  Express your message in clear language.
  • Support your message with an example.
  • Ask the receiver for feedback.

Maintain Body Language & Eye Contact :

Researchers shows that 60 to 90 percent of our communication with other is nonverbal, which means body language we use is extremely important.  Set your body language according to the audience.

Here are few ways you can use your body language to communicate your credibility and intentions in a way that will set you up for success every time.

  • Posture : Begin with your posture-back straight but not rigid, and shoulder relaxed so you don’t look upright. This will reinforce the idea that you feel comfortable with your surroundings.
  • Take Up Space : You do not need to sprawl out but try sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit.
  • Lean : Lean slightly when someone is speaking or demonstrates that you are actively listening.
  • Use Your Hands To Gesture When You Speak : There is evidence that gesturing with your hands while speaking improves your thinking processes.
  • Handshake : Always remember to greet others with affirm Handshake but not too firm. As it sets the tone for Entire Conversation.
  • Affirmative Moments : You can show empathy with simple action of agreement like nodding your head or smiling.
  • Eye Contact : Keeps your head up and looks at the person but no need to stare them .Be aware of too much blinking.

On the flip side, we also have few body languages that are need to avoid:

  • Checking The Time.
  • Looking At The Ground
  • Touching Your Face
  • Picking Up Something
  • Tapping
  • Fake Smile

Set a Role Model :

How To Improve Communication Skills? Role models are the proof that your desired skills are attainable. If your role models can speak without “ums” or answer difficult questions without looking uncomfortable, you can too. Look at a specific skill set and copy these for yourself. You can watch how they deal with criticism and ignore what they do badly.

Create a list of people who have the communication characteristics that you want to have. Look at famous speakers as well as the people in cubicles next to you at work. Watch these people speak (in person or online).  If you want to monitor what your role models reflect in public, you can create a Google Alert. Whenever your role model is in the news, you’ll be sent on update by email.

Using Humors :

Humor is a handy tool to keep the receiver attentive. By throwing out a little unexpected humor and watch their reaction.  Using humor more effectively often means using yourself as the subject but in kindly way, when you laugh at yourself in a balanced way you are giving the audience permission to laugh with you, not at you. Done be afraid to be funny or clever, but do ensure your humor is appropriate to the situation it helps in relieve stress and anxiety as well as gain the affection of others. by using proper humor you will be perceived as more charismatic.

To make it work well you need to know :

  • Your Audience : To communicate effectively it is important to know your audience each audience is different and will have different preferences and culture norms. That should be considered when you are communicating. Now the good way to understand the expectations is to ask the few questions. This way you will know their likes/dislikes and take the conversation in a direction that they will enjoy talking about and open up more to you.
  • Your Timing : All the stand-up comedian and speaker have the mastery art of timing. All great communicators are able to feel out of their audience and determine when you move on new topic. If it can apply to the public speaker so it can be applied in everyday conversation too. Timing yourself also means not speaking too fast when we speak at a slightly slower speed can create curiosity and interest.

 Positive Answer :

Are you a low taker? Practice speaking up and out. Muttering under your breath is a sign of low confidence. All your responses should be clear and self-assured. Keep your chin up.

People want to be around someone who is miserable. Do your best to be friendly, upbeat and positive with others.  Maintain a positive, cheerful, attitude towards life.

Fine positive answers when you’re asked typically questions. When you are asked- “how are you?” you answer – yeah! Fine!  Or you say ”terrific” when you use energetic words you pass on the kind of enthusiasm and energy…..so try to build positive attitude in communication.  Doesn’t let your mood dictate how your meeting will go. If you decide to act like you are having the best day of your life, your mind will very well follow what your body is trying to dictate.

Be Brief But to The Point :

Brevity is your best friend when it comes to communication. While you may know tons about one particular subject, it doesn’t mean you should spew out everything when you communicate about the topic. Wise man speaks because they have to say something. So make sure your message as simpler and easy to digest as possible.

A Couple of Good Tips :

  • Prepare Ahead of Time : Writes down 10-12 topics you intent to discuss but don’t memorize word to word that you want to say. This way your conversation is impactful and short and you will be prepared to answer the questions much better instead of just repeating fillers.
  • Don’t Over-Explain : Keep communication brief and concise and avoid going on and on, or you will lose people’s attention.
  • Don’t Beat Around the Bushes : give a direct answer when asked any question. If you need a second to think about it, that’s OK. But don’t dawdle with words like “kind of” or “sort of.” Speak directly that you are confident – Nix filer words like um, like, and uh. These filer words are often involuntary. They just come out when you are nervous or put under spotlight.
  • Watch over-over Repetitiveness : The only way to beat a case of the “ums” is to practice, practice, and practice. Record your video and play it back do the same until those non-words are nonexistent.
  • Using a Correct Word : Speak clearly don’t mumble. If people are always asking you to repeat yourself, try to do a better job articulating yourself in a better manner.

People will judge your competency through your vocabulary. If you aren’t sure how to say a word, don’t use it. Improve your vocabulary first.

Art of Networking & Public Speaking:

How To Improve Communication Skills? The ability to make networks well is an art form and if you can walk into an event and make network effectively, you’ll be well on your way when it comes to your communication skills in any part of your life. If you challenge yourself to overcome your fear of speaking to a large crowd of people, you will be the master in the skills of communication. And if you can do that, your day-to-day communication will be a breeze.

When we go back to my school days, I used to be a perfect definition of shy. However, I have came a long way since then because it is little difficult especially for those who are not gifted with great communication skills. Well I am a proof that it is possible to become a better communicator if you are really willing to put in the work.

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