Do you wonder how you can improve your communication skills? If your answer is yes, then I have a few suggestions for you.
Communication in simple terms means to pass messages between two or more people.
Having good communication skills is very essential as it plays a vital role in projecting and shaping your personality. You want your audience to hear what you say and also to understand you.
Your audience wants you to listen and understand them too. It is one thing to have thoughts in your mind and being able to convey them efficiently is another thing.
As an individual, the way you receive information is through your five senses. Your sense of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling all receive information and sends it to your brain for processing.
When you communicate in a professional setting, depending on what your profession is, you need to make sure your messaging is aligned to prevent confusion in your communication.
Communication is key in terms of human development.
There are various tips on how to and techniques on how to improve your communication skills, I hope you find these useful.
Let’s get started
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Now I know what you’re thinking. How can communication be about listening when it is really about talking? You assume that to improve your communication skills it is really about your ability to speak right?
Well, YES AND NO
The key thing about communication is that if you’re able to listen intently to the other person and you are able to hear what they’re really saying beyond the words that are coming out of their mouths, you’ll be able to add more value to the conversion because you’ll be able to say something that is beyond what it is that they are talking about at the surface level. Listening intently doesn’t just mean using your ears and hearing what the person is saying, it is really being able to get the sense of what they are feeling. It is being able to get the sense of really what they are trying to express and maybe what they are not trying to express as well.
It is also being able to hear the person and what is coming out from their mouth. And whenever you can really do this exercise; where you’re really extending yourself in a way that you’re really listening and paying attention to someone they can feel that and automatically they feel that you’re more engaged with them and they are more likely to share and to talk to you and feel more comfortable around you.
And that is a key part to being a good communicator.
2. Understand your Audience/ who you are talking to
Before communicating, it is very important to understand the people or person you’re talking to. To start with understanding the emotion and personality of whom you are talking to is very necessary because it helps in shaping what you say and your use of language.
Therefore, when communicating do well to study your audience in order to achieve effective communication
3. Respond with Phrases that Relate to what that Person is talking about
You can start out with phrases such as: “That’s interesting because I can relate”, “because that’s true”
Starting your conversation with these types of words shows that you’re interested and engaged in the other person and so if you want people to be engaged and interested in you when you’re communicating with them you first have to give that energy.
Saying things like “that’s true because……” shows that you can relate and you can validate what the other person is saying. And that is what as human beings we are all looking to do. To be validated, to be heard by other people, and to feel connected to those we are talking to.
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4. Calm Down, Relax and Talk
The basic aim of communication is to be able to get who you are conversing with understand what you are saying. Then, why being in a hurry or too careful when talking? Not to get it wrong, it is good to be courteous when communicating to avoid passing wrong signals,
However, do well to come out of your shell and say what you have in mind without overly thinking of the person/people you’re talking to. As long as you don’t come off as being offensive, always calm your nerves and clearly communicate in a confident manner.
5. Tell Stories
After the “because” part of your conversion tell a story that relates to what that person is talking about. The story obviously has to have a point and it has to be something that is in relation to what you guys were discussing. Good stories always follow the same pattern as a movie. Think of any movie you’ve watched and when you can break it down they are actually 3 keys parts to the movie and I call this “SAR” the acronym that stands for
S – Situation
A – Action
R – Results
The majority of the movie is made up of the situation, the setting up of the story. Getting to know the characters, their stories, their situation, the issues that they are having, things that they are dealing with, etc.
The second part of the movie is the Action. Where the good guy fights the bad guy, so you’re actually seeing the steps that the guy is taking to resolve the initial situation or the problem that they are dealing with
The third part of the movie is the Result/conclusion, what ended up happening?
When you can learn to tell your stories using this type of structure it is going to make the other person feel more engaged, more interested in you and your story and it’s going to help you prove the point you’re trying to make as well.
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6. Process your Thoughts
You always hear people say “Think before you talk”, right?? Oh Yeah! When attempting to communicate, sieve and edit your thoughts in your mind. This doesn’t endorse being too careful when speaking. Processing your thoughts barely take seconds.
In other words, be intentional about what you say, even though there are times we communicate spontaneously. Be smart enough to know when you miss it while talking and make amends.
7. Practice / adopt self – communication
This is something that so many professionals overlook when they are going to any networking events or meeting people for the first time and they know that they are going to have to meet these people and talk to these people. And that is to practice.
Practice ahead of time what you’re going to say.
The benefits of self – communication is usually underrated. Spending time with you talking, thinking, and doing some self-assessment can help improve your communication skills.
If you have an important presentation to do at work, you wouldn’t just walk into the meeting and just be unprepared. You would want to practice ahead of time.
You want to have your stories ahead of time prepared so that when you do go ahead and communicate them they are more fluent and they come out more naturally.
So work on your communication skill by practicing on your own time.
So there you have it
My 7 steps on how you can improve your communication skill
I hope you found this helpful
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Yeah…..till next time