The most important aspect of a person’s life is how they communicate and interact with their fellows. Many people are flawless at communication and are verbally able to pass on their needs, requirements and feelings without help.
Others, however, are not gifted in the art of interaction and often are considered unsure or quiet or even unsocial. This trait needs to be improved if one desires to achieve greatness in life. Most persons often ignore their communication problems and go on with their lives. What they fail to understand is that without proper skills to exchange views and desires one cannot hope to attain greatness.
9 ways to enhance your communication skills
If you are seriously interested in coping with and overcoming this problem of lack of interacting abilities, then you can be helped. The essence of improvement lies in admitting that you do need to undergo change. Once you accept your shortcoming, your enhancement can begin.
- Cultivate your body language
It is very seldom acknowledged that the body language one exhibits is the first thing which others judge. Hence it plays a vital role in determining the level of acceptance or blockades person experiences while interacting. The most important aspects of body language include:
- Stand or sit up straight
- Make eye contact
- Shake hands or keep a basic level of physical contact but not too much
- Do not cross your arms
- Keep a power posture
Even when you are silent, you are constantly communicating. Observe others see when you do or don’t feel comfortable around them and adapt those behaviors.
- Remove conversation filters
Today most people do not speak without pausing and thinking out loud with “ums”, “ahs” and other syllables. This shows a lack of confidence and does not speak highly of you. The easiest way to avoid unnecessary filters is to think first and speak later.
This allows you the time to process the information that needs to be conveyed in a manner that is not unsure or reluctant. It might worry you that pause which seems abrupt and long to you is not actually that long. Moreover, it gives out a message that you as an individual are composed and sorted which is not a bad thing at all.
- Tell a story
Remember as children how we loved to hear stories? Well, you will be surprised to learn that nothing has changed. Even as adults, we engage in conversations that grab our interests. Hence as a communicator your aim has to be to sell a story, connect with the audience and get the point across without them disapproving it.
Stories can help to get the attention of a group of people during an interview, a presentation or a meeting. It also breaks the monotony and is a welcome change to those who are being interacted with and hence can be a smart choice.
- Ask questions
Many people forget that communication should not be one-sided and can be multi-layered. You communicate when you are talking but also when others are speaking. This shows that you are paying attention and eager to interact and contribute to the conversation.
Start by asking questions, it only motivates and brings the audience and communicator more closely allowing for conversations which are not monotonous.
Do not fear to ask questions because it is felt that they might seem inappropriate or out of context. A question is a question and will be answered. Moreover by questioning is the only way to learn truly.
- Listen intently
There are many individuals who can interact with others but fail to let others interact with them. This is also a one-sided conversation where one individual goes on speaking and presenting their views but forgets to taken the views of others into account.
This can be the most dangerous sign when it comes to learning to communicate. Those with this problem need to be aware of them and allow interaction personally.
- Remove distractions
How would you feel if when you were talking no was paying attention? It is not only disrespectful but degrading to seem distracted or aloof when another person is presenting a piece of information or is in mid-conversation.
There are many who make the mistake of using their cell phones, zoning out, engaging in bi-conversations and this gives out a bad image and picture to those with whom you began to converse.
- Connect with the audience
Once you begin observe speakers the common attribute that will be identified are their ability to interact with an audience and sustain their interest. But the question here is how to connect? There are various ways to do so:
- Finding common ground can be the easiest way to connect. A speaker could relate to the public with perhaps a background, a lifestyle, choice regarding music, art, literature.
- Humor could be another way to connect. Everyone likes those who are fun to be around and joyful. Hence humor could be the direction in which one may try to interact with the audience.
- History also helps out speakers. A speaker sometimes while going to a school function can narrate a story of their experience dealing with a past pupil.
- Praise is another technique good orator’s use. When a person goes for an interview to an organization he speaks of highly of it, perhaps even praising it so that he can impress the interviewer.
- Be brief yet specific
No one likes to be around persons who speak indefinitely. There needs to be a system where the relevant is conveyed clearly and in brief. Hence it is important to master the technique of talking which involves one to be brief and specific yet get the point of across. This helps because:
- It gets the point across
- Shy persons need not talk too much
- Saves time during an interview
- Allows people to express in a crux
- Sets a good impression
- Make a plan
This is the most important and crucial part of learning to communicate. Everything needs a plan, like when approaching a difficult task like physics one may start with a plan which helps them to narrow down 8 calculating steps to solve physics homework problems.
This simply means that when you are going to be speaking to someone, and you have problems then make sure you have a plan in mind. Keep some points in mind which might help initiate small talk and approach accordingly.
Thus when it comes to communication, there are many ways to improve oneself. Speech is an art and to wield it smartly is a talent now each of us can master.