Communication skills are very important in the day to day interactions, whether doing business or at the workplace. How you conduct yourself in the different modes of communication is very key. It is therefore very important to improve communication skills where they are not okay. It is very important to have sharp communication skills so that you will be able to pass your message effectively to the recipient. Communication skills also make sure that every party in the communication is satisfied and that none gets annoyed in the process.
Many successful people have made it because of communication skills, this further explains why we ought to improve communication skills. Social media has these days been used widely in communication. With its casual nature, many young have used it so much that they have lost their way in communication. This has made their communication skills poor and therefore the need to improve. The ways discussed in this article will help you have meaningful communication with others as well as become an effective leader.
1. Always listen
Listening is very important in communication. People who are good communicators are good listeners. The good thing about listening is that you will give your response based on what the other person has said and this gives a mature communication. The conversation will only take place when people realize that they are being listened to. When something has passed your ear it is good to ask for clarification so that you can avoid misunderstanding.
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Make the person speaking to you very important at that time. Always have a conversation at a time so that it does not affect your attention. It simply means that you should not be on a call and at the same time you are texting someone else or replying an email. One of the people will be affected, actually most of the times you will not give the best replies when doing different conversations. This will be noticed by the other party and spoil your communication.
2. Learn basic nonverbal communication
Physical cues communicate most of the information when you speak to people. The audience will generally perceive you (the presenter) by the way you use nonverbal communication. The words you use are better understood by accompanying physical cues.
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Good speakers will adopt a good posture when communicating, they will never fold their arms and will avoid slouching. They make themselves seen and don’t make themselves appear small. They will actually utilize the space given by even moving around the space. They use their arms to explain points to their audience, facial expressions, and tonal variations. If possible they will actually move around so that they can be seen.
3. Engage your audience
You may use the best skills possible or even be the best and loudest speaker but every audience have a similar problem, their attention. The attention span of your audience varies and is not constant. So as to win their attention and have them listening, be interactive. Interactive discussions and presentations will always keep the listener keen. For example, you can introduce brainstorming sessions or ask hypothetical questions. The best of all is to ask questions, this will make your audience listen so that when the next question comes up they can answer correctly.
4. Be a good timer
Being able to read the minds of your audience and know when to introduce a new topic is very important for one who wants to improve communication skills. Overstaying in one point can make you boring and make you lose your audience. When you notice that you have hit a nerve, move to a different topic since you are very interesting to your audience at that time. Even though comedians are not formal, their communication is one of the best. They always know how to time their topics so that before they leave the stage they have given their content effectively.
5. Understand who you are talking to
Be mindful of the person on the other side of your communication. Much as it may be very convenient to use acronyms or informal language when talking to your peers, this will not be appropriate when speaking to your boss. You cannot send emails or texts with things like “TTYL” to your boss. The person on the other side might not get what you mean by the acronym since they have different meanings to different people. An effective communicator will put the other person in mind when passing a message so that they will be well understood. Never assume that the other person will understand what you say. Understand them first so that they can understand you. To be safe use the simplest language possible.
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6. Don’t rely on visual aids
PowerPoint can hinder effective communication more than assist it. It’s better to use word and storytelling as well as nonverbal cues to help you in communication. Always avoid visual aids unless where it’s necessary. In many companies, PowerPoint has been banned. Apple and Facebook banned PowerPoint use.
7. Be brief and specific
In any form of communication, whether written or verbal, always make sure that you do not do lengthy communication. Mention the strong points so that you can be understood better. Read or listen to the other party and give exactly what they ask. Do not go too far from the point so that you do not go irrelevant. Do not give too much information when responding to something.
8. Be interested in respect, not laughs
Many communicators will be tempted to think that when the audience laughs they are doing the best. Well, it feels good when you excite your audience but you should not major solely on that. Do not forget what you should be saying. The best communicators go for respect. As much as you want to throw one or two jokes to get the attention of your audience, make sure you get back to your main business, seamlessly.
Communication is the best skill any leader can have in whichever field they are in. we all need to improve communication skills so that we can have meaningful conversations with content. Using the above ways will make sure that what you pass across sticks with your audience.