How to improve communication skills?

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What initially started off as a sign language, eventually transformed into words and sentences, by which humans could communicate their thoughts and feelings. And in today’s competitive world, where everyone is vying for success and fame, the people who possess excellent communication skills, always stand out. After all, who doesn’t want to listen to a persuasive communicator?!

I remember, how, as children, we were always asked by our teachers to participate in debates, speeches, MUNs, plays, so we could fine-tune our communication skills because people who master this art in their formative years turn out to be great, successful leaders in future.  They come across as confident and influential to everyone around them. That said, we are all capable of becoming good communicators, provided, we push ourselves a little, get the right guidance, and implement it earnestly.

Communication is an active process of giving and receiving ideas, thoughts, and feelings via a written or verbal medium. Communication is incomplete in its truest sense if either the recipient or the speaker is unable to convey his/her ideas most adequately. Hence, there arises the importance of communication that transcends all the barriers and is effective in nature.

Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are the key communication skills that you should strive to master. Let me give you a quick rundown on how you can communicate in the best possible way and leave an indelible impression on others in the room.

TIPS FOR IMPROVING COMMUNICATION SKILLS:

1.) Listen attentively: The importance of careful, non-judgemental, patient listening cannot be stressed enough. Many a time, we listen to what we want to listen (selective attention), and not to what the other person wants to say. Sometimes we are so engrossed in our own imaginary worlds that we don’t bother to listen at all to what others have to offer. This creates a lot of misunderstandings that drive people apart. When you listen attentively, you imbibe some new ideas and reassure the speaker that he/she is being listened to and valued, thereby fostering better relationships. So, it’s important to focus on empathetic listening, that is, try to look at things from the speaker’s perspective instead of your own.

2.) Work on your Non-verbal communication: According to research by Salesforce, 93% of communication is non-verbal. Nonverbal communication is an umbrella term that encompasses facial expressions, body posture, eye contact, gestures, hand movements, tone of voice, etc. Let me quickly explain this by giving an example.

Example: You are a speaker at a conference. You are standing in a slouched posture while giving your presentation. Your content is outstanding but, when you start speaking, you are fumbling and are not making eye contact with the others, thereby coming across as a nervous wreck to your counterparts.  This will make the audience easily lose interest.

So, now you know that working on your non-verbal cues is half-work done. Your non-verbal communication plays the most important role in how others perceive you as a communicator.

P.S. Don’t use hands too much while communicating. It can be distracting.

3.) Prepare your speech well in advance: Many of the flaws while communicating stem from unpreparedness. Weird as it sounds, it’s important to have a mental frame of what you’re going to speak in front of the others in case you have an important presentation or discussion so that those long, unwanted pauses don’t creep in. For that, you need to structure your speech and prepare the draft. It’ll clear up your mental cobwebs, give you a logical clarity, and make your work a lot easier for the time when you have to deliver the actual speech. If need be, you can rehearse or give your mock speech in front of the mirror.

4.) Ask for feedback: Sometimes, a feedback from a trusted person is all you need to improve your communication. Once you know what the loophole is, work towards improving it. So, make sure to regularly solicit feedback from your trusted ones.

5.) Engage the audience: No matter how interesting your content is, you can’t hold everybody’s attention for long unless you find ways of engaging the audience. Read the room and try to do away with the drabness. Ask questions from the audience, encourage them to put up questions to you. Engage them in brainstorming sessions, or do some activity with them. Also, use some interesting anecdotal references that the audience can relate to. People really like to listen to the speaker who talks about relatable stuff. Give some real-life examples too. It’s a known fact that the references to real-life examples always draw people’s attention. So, try to make your presentation as interesting and relatable as you can because the ultimate goal is to see the audience’s smiling faces in the end 🙂

THE BOTTOM LINE:

We often tend to overlook these aspects and fail to understand the very essence of communication. The above-mentioned skills are a thumbnail sketch to guide you in the right direction. These are quintessential if you want to succeed in the workplace as well as in your personal lives. These skills cannot be acquired overnight. One needs to persistently and assiduously work for and towards becoming a powerful communicator, as they say, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”


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36 comments

  1. Nicely presented. Also request you to write on how to talk or share ideas before a group of very senior and well informed people.

  2. It is really a very good article on the untouched and very important topic of Communication.Our young generation specially will be benefitted a lot,if implement the methods suggested to improve the communication.The Article deserves a real appreciation.

  3. You have said a lot in brief, really mind and eye opener useful in day to day life. Keep it up wish you all the best

  4. Nice article explaining communication skills…the best part of communication skill is that it could change both ” how the world sees you and how you see the world”.

    1. Neatly explained how communication should be. Even thought looks give us the first impression, but the way we speak decides the person’s background and brought up. A person with a proper and better communication can survive anywhere.

  5. Nicely written and drafted in easy words,
    Engagement of audience thru eye contact and good and easy vocabulary is the success of communication skill..
    Keep it up…

  6. Depression is a state of mind in which a person is made himself isolated from society and their relationship and also own.Most of the people suffering from depressiion are unaware of their situtation. Symptoms of depression are not concrete so by choosing following way any body can come out of the depression.
    1. Upbringing of a child in a way that he/she can face every situation of life.
    2.Always thankfull to God for such a great life.
    3.Helping nature and kind hearted people’s are mostly away from depression.
    4. Nature is itself a teacher. We should always keep to close us nature and feel the nature
    Nature means plants,flower, children, animal , animals kids etc.
    5. Last but very important, everyday took two peg of whiskey and forget about all damm thing around you.

  7. “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
    Your argument is well supported. It is outstanding.

  8. A very well articulated article which touches upon all important aspects which are pre requisites for this particular skill.

  9. It’s a very good topic chosen, which is very important in every field of life like, studies, professional and social . Attentive listening is the first requisite to improve communication skills. Overall it can be very effective to improve one’s communication skills.

  10. Tips for improving communication skills through listening, speaking, reading, writing is avery good thought by which one can get respect in life

  11. I read ur article twice. U have touched almost every aspect of a good communication skill. I am very much impressed by ur clarity of expression, perfection, totality of topic and thorough knowledge of the subject. This article will definitely be helpful to those people, who want to communicate effectively n need a little push. Congratulations. Keep going.

  12. Communication means of understanding each other.covers all aspect of communication very well.good job done,keep it up.

  13. Ur eloquent article,ornamented with beautiful words and thoughts bound me to read twice n thrice n even more in my coming days.I am very much impressed by ur clarity of expression,perfection,totality of topic and thorough knowledge of the subject.Well explained how v can give n recieve ideas,thoughts n feelings through communication.Ur this article wid important tips will definitely be helpful to those people, who want to communicate effectively n need a little push.Many congratulations.Keep Going with more n more beautiful Colors.

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