6 Smart Ways to Effectively Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication is a part of our daily lives. We talk to our friends at school, our colleagues at work, and our family at our home. Communication skills are what help us get our point across. Without proper communication skills, it would not be possible to carry out our day to day activities. From interacting with our friends and family to interacting with strangers in public, communication acts as a medium. It is the way we talk, the diction we use, the words we choose, and our body language.
Communication is used to control specific spheres of relations between you and the other person. You can exchange emotional expression between one another and share important information. The better your communication skills are, the better you will be able to get your message across. Even the presentations in workplaces or institutions need good communication skills. Without them, other people will not be interested in listening to what you have to say.
Communication is all about speaking to the other person, which is why the speaker and the listener must understand the language. For example, if you are in Mexico for any reason, and want to improve your skills, you obviously need to learn the language. Study Spanish because it is the only way you would be able to make the other person understand what you are saying.
There are plenty of tips and tricks that can considerably improve your communication skills. Have a look.
- Listen More
Wise people are often quiet because they spend most of their time listening and observing. You would be surprised as to how easy it is to speak than listen. You will know a few people who are not good listeners. They are always interrupting you and are not paying attention when you speak. No one likes to talk to such people. It shows that those people are not interested in what you have to say, so why should you be interested in what they have to say?
When you actively listen to another person, it also enables you to learn. Give the other person your undivided attention. Avoid using your mobile phone or laptop when someone else is talking to you face to face or on a phone call.
- Keep Your Body Language in Check
The phrase ‘action speaks louder than words’ is true. Your conversation skills are not just about what you are saying, but also about the way you are saying it. Some people pay attention to a person’s body language because it reveals a lot about their intention. You can even catch someone lying if you pay enough attention to the details like their posture, hand movement, and eye contact.
Keep your actions in check because they can give away your position. Proper body language can increase the impact of your words. Notice the way good presenters carry themselves as they speak; with confidence and ease. Don’t cross your arms and try to make eye contact with the person you are speaking. It implies that you are welcoming them and are comfortable.
- Avoid Conversation Fillers
Some people have a habit of using conversation fillers, a lot. The expressions such as Um, Like, and Ah show that you don’t have any control or grip over your words. You could be fully prepared, but such fillers will make you sound sloppy.
Some people cannot utter two sentences without using fillers and that is damaging to your reputation. It is more of a habit than a conscious choice, which is why you must practice on doing otherwise. Such fillers do not add quality to your statements. Take control of the words you speak and get rid of conversation fillers.
- Who Are You Talking To?
The status of the person you are talking to also affects the way you speak to them. Is the person older than you or younger than you? Is the person your colleague or senior to you in the profession? Does the person hold the same level of authority as you? All these factors determine the way you will talk to the other person.
You will be more casual and relaxed with a person who is junior to you. Or if you are talking to someone senior, in age or job status, you will be more careful and alert. You should know the difference between these things if you want to improve your communication skills.
- Small Talk!
Communication skills are needed for all occasions, whether you are talking to someone you know or a stranger. In case it is a stranger, the need for good communication skills increases even more so because it can get awkward if you don’t know how to handle the situation. If you find yourself with a stranger, or someone you hardly know, you can stay silent, and that can lead to an unspoken awkwardness. The best way to act in these situations is by starting small talk.
Start by greeting each other and exchanging your names. Ask about your occupations and families, and when that topic is done with, ask about their dreams and hobbies.
- Be Specific
Sometimes people can get carried away during a conversation, and that can lead to them rambling on and on about something that isn’t even important. No one likes that and people usually zone out during that part. Not to mention, it will suck out all the interest your listener had in what you had to say.
Try to keep your conversation brief and to the point. Don’t deviate from the topic. If you are presenting a proposal or giving a speech, keep your audience’s attention. In informal conversation, it is normal to hop from one topic to the other. However, even then you must be precise about whatever it is you are talking about. Do not make people wait for you to stop talking!
Following these tips will improve your communication skills for sure! Best of Luck!
About the Author:
Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.