Ways To Improve Communication Skills – One of the most crucial abilities we may acquire is the ability to communicate. It guides everything we do, whether we’re communicating at work to meet deadlines and get things done, or interacting with friends, family, and partners to form meaningful bonds. Poor communication is at the root of so many problems, and it’s no surprise. We are not taught effective communication skills in school; instead, we must learn them from the people around us. Regrettably, unless we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by exceptional communicators, we are prone to developing negative habits. So, let’s get down to it. The most important, yet overlooked skills of communicating are this.
10 Ways To Improve Communication Skills
1. Spend time alone, just thinking.
Isn’t it odd that the first step in bettering your workplace communication abilities is to stop talking? Nothing can be improved unless it is inspected. So, go somewhere alone and think about what you’re doing. How’s it going at work? In what ways could you improve your communication in different situations? You were graded on how well you performed in school, and that grade served as a benchmark.
Grade your own communication skills so you can see what you do well and where you can improve. We all need to check ourselves on a regular basis, regardless of how strong our communication skills are since we can all improve. But don’t forget to compliment yourself when you succeed. Without encouragement, no one can grow! Spend time alone thinking about what you do well and what you could do better at work to improve your communication abilities.
2. Learn the basics of nonverbal communication.
Nonverbal communication was shown to account for 55% of how an audience viewed a presentation in one study. That is to say, the majority of what you say is conveyed by physical cues rather than words. As a result, it goes without saying that nonverbal communication should be prioritized. Nonverbal cues and signals can help you avoid miscommunication and signal interest to those around you if you master them. When you’re chatting with someone in a business situation, pay attention to your facial expressions and body language.
The first impression you create on someone is influenced by your nonverbal cues. When meeting someone for the first time, maintaining eye contact, limiting hand motions, and maintaining decent posture goes a long way. You should also assume a suitable posture to communicate effectively and convincingly. Slouching, folding your arms, or making yourself appear smaller than you are, are all bad habits to avoid. Instead, fill up the space you’re given, keep eye contact, and (if suitable) use old-fashioned mannerisms. I know it seems old-fashioned, but trust me, it works.
We often fool ourselves into thinking we’re communicating clearly when we’re not. One-half of the participants in a Stanford University study were asked to tap the rhythm or melody of a hundred and twenty well-known songs. Participants in the second half were asked to guess which famous song the quote-on-quote “tappers” were tapping. The tappers, on average, expected half (50%) of the songs they tapped to be properly guessed.
Surprisingly, only 3% of the 118 songs were successfully identified. This study revealed an essential lesson: sometimes what we thought we expressed clearly wasn’t. But how are we going to accomplish it? That’s where the power of storytelling, hand gestures, and other visual cues kick in. There are many things you can do to communicate more clearly, but the best way is to frequently provide multiple perspectives on the same issue so that others can see it from all angles.
4. Avoid relying on visual aids.
At Apple, Steve Jobs made it a rule that no PowerPoint presentations were allowed. Similarly, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has banned the use of PowerPoint. Both leaders learned that PowerPoint presentations are more likely to obstruct communication than to facilitate it. To communicate your message to the audience, be prepared to employ words, compelling narrative, and nonverbal cues. Unless absolutely required, do not use visual aids.
5. Engage the audience in discussion.
It doesn’t matter how engaging the speaker is, all audiences have a finite amount of time to pay attentively. Make presentations and discussions interactive to improve your communication skills. Ask a question to the audience, encourage people to share their ideas during a brainstorming session, or at the very least, ask hypothetical questions to pique the audience’s interest. Ok, So, I would like you to do something for me. Pause this video right now. And do me a huge favor by hitting the “like” button. If you did, you’re awesome and thank you so much for your support.
6. Start and end with key points.
Consider the research of “tappers and listeners” stated previously. The significance of clear communication cannot be overstated. Reiterate crucial ideas at the beginning and end of a presentation to ensure that the audience understands the main themes. This can also be performed by handing out a one-pager to participants that contains crucial ideas for them to contemplate throughout the presentation.
7. Master the art of timing.
While some of their jokes may be inappropriate for the workplace, standup comics are excellent communicators. Because they have mastered the art of timing, comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle are able to produce riveting 90-minute comedy shows. Good comedians, as with every excellent communicator, can read their audience to know when it’s time to move on to a new issue or when to regurgitate a thought.
8. Express your edited thoughts.
Tell someone if you think they’re wrong. Praise someone if you believe they are correct or have done a good job. Share it if you think you have more to offer. It helps to actually communicate and to do it on a regular basis to become a better communicator. Say what you’re thinking and feeling, but just what you’ve already thought about.
Why would you speak your raw thoughts to those (presumably) most important to your success? You wouldn’t submit the first draft of an essay for publication, so why would you speak your raw thoughts to those (likely) most crucial to your success? Why, on the other hand, wouldn’t you share your opinions with those closest to you, the ones who can have the most impact on your success? Wait to talk, but when you do, be deliberate. Constructively express your opinions and ideas with those around you to enhance your communication skills at work.
9. Body language is as important as the words you speak
Body language is largely automatic, and it communicates how we’re feeling emotionally at any particular time. Your body language, on the other hand, transmits how you’re feeling to others, sometimes revealing sentiments we don’t want to exhibit, such as a lack of confidence. The good news is that you can take control of your body language by sitting up straight rather than hunching over, spreading your shoulders rather than slouching, or adopting a “power pose” identical to your favorite superhero behind closed doors before an important meeting.
You’ll not only improve your communication skills, but you’ll also benefit yourself by gaining confidence in adopting a stronger physical position. Having eye contact and maintaining an open stance (such as, not crossing your arms and facing your chest towards the person you’re conversing with) are other essential criteria for effective body language when communicating.
10. Write out what you want to say before you say it.
When we take the time to let our thoughts fully process, we build better discussions, just like when we wait for concrete to cure. When you write your thoughts down by hand, you are forced to slow down. It aids in the comprehension of what you’re really attempting to communicate. It also gives you the opportunity to see what you’ve been thinking about. Writing is beneficial because it teaches you to think more clearly. You’ll naturally spend more time thinking about what you’re going to say, and you’ll almost certainly edit your words more completely before anyone hears them. Because you’ve already practiced, you’ll be able to get your message over more effectively when you share your insights with your coworkers and colleagues. Write down your views before sharing them at work to improve your communication abilities.
11. Master Talking on the Telephone
Phones are no longer used primarily for making phone calls, and Millennials prefer texting over chatting. Even yet, demonstrating that you can handle phone conversations successfully is an important aspect of communication. Because the person on the other end of the line can’t see your face or read an emoji, it’s crucial to pay attention to your tone of voice. When chatting with a customer or a coworker, the tone of your voice should reflect respect and decency. You can get a lot of phone calls, but you really need to know how to manage an unplanned call when someone is calling you about a negative circumstance. You must be able to maintain your composure while letting the caller know that you are paying attention and that you care.
Callers, for example, would like to be able to relate their narrative to those working in customer service or public relations, and it is up to those listening on the other end to comprehend their situation and take necessary action. In a world where consumers can broadcast negative customer service experiences via social media, having a strategy in place to respond when someone is dissatisfied is an important element of communicating brand defense.
12. Get comfortable speaking extemporaneously.
When lawyers submit a case to a judge, they frequently speak on the spot. That is to say, the lawyers jot down a list of topics they want to cover, but they don’t memorize everything they’ll say. This type of communication allows lawyers to present a case to cover all of the important issues while also allowing them to adjust their communication style in response to audience reactions or inquiries. Extemporaneous speaking should be considered by business communicators. It takes time to master, but it will help you communicate more naturally and engage your audience.
13. Learn how to listen (really listen, not just stay quiet)
Attentively, listening is one of the most crucial components of communication, if not the most important. Because communication involves the process of engaging with others and sending messages, you can only get so good at it if you focus just on being a good talker.
To some extent, listening is a skill that develops naturally when a person refines their communication skills, as it becomes clear that in order to communicate effectively, you must understand what the other person is saying and experiencing.
However, it must still be a conscious effort. When speaking with another person, pay attention not only to the words they say but also to their body language and the feelings they show. When communicating, you can pick up on a variety of nonverbal indications that will tell you how the other person is feeling and reacting to your words. One of the most crucial talents is communication, thus it goes without saying that investing in increasing your capacity to communicate will pay off. Use these easy strategies to improve your communication skills and gain the rewards of being a more successful communicator in both your personal and professional life.
14. Have a full grasp of who you are talking to
Last but not least, know who you’re speaking with. The tone and approach you use to develop a better connection with your audience can be influenced by their profile. Speaking to a group of medical professionals, for example, would sound different than speaking to a group of creative writing students. Take some time to assess your audience before beginning your speech. This will assist you in perfecting your speech and creating a strong momentum that will keep your audience’s attention.
Communication with others takes expertise and confidence, both of which may be developed through practice. Sharpen your talents as soon as possible to land your dream job! So to conclude; as a corporate leader, or really in whatever position you hold, one of the most valuable talents you can develop is the ability to communicate properly. Remember to use both nonverbal and vocal cues when communicating. To ensure that the material of the conversation resonates with the audience, pay attention to what others have to say and overcommunicate in unique ways.