Communication may be defined as an exchange of ideas, thoughts, information, feelings, etc. Communication is important in the sense that it helps in connecting people to encode or decode any information, news, ideas, feelings, or opinions. But effective communication is one in which we stay focused and avoid distractions, misunderstandings, and conflicts. Sometimes negative signals and inconsistency in language can create problems in the process of communication. However, giving less importance to talking and more to listening can definitely enhance an individual’s effective communication.
Top 10 ways to improve your communication skills:-
1. Appropriate use of Language.
Language is a means of communication and it should be used very carefully keeping in view its appropriateness, level of audience or listeners, and the outcome of the communication. The use of language should clearly reflect the purpose of communication and should also be related to the occasion. The purpose may be to inform, persuade, or just to entertain the audience. So, use the language at the suspect of your audience, helps to better communication.
2. Planning a Structure.
Good communication is one that is properly structured. A proper structure includes an appropriate beginning, middle, and a logical conclusion. The opening of any conversation must grab the attention of listeners or the audience. We should learn as much about our audience as we can. This will help us determine our choice of words, level of information, and motivational statement. Listeners’ background, profession, expectations, and priorities should also be taken into account. So, structure the conversation that you want to represent is the best thing to develop your communication skills.
3. Verbal and Non-verbal Expressions.
It is important for an individual in any type of communication to ascertain his or her level of verbal and non-verbal communication. A good communicator is one who pays a lot of attention to his/her non-verbal communication, tonal quality, and body language. Communication is a learnable skill and anybody can master this skill at any time. In addition to these features, it is also important to learn proper articulation and pronunciation, learn to speak slowly, and acquire a conversational tone.
Communicators are always judged by their audience/listeners not only on the basis of the content (verbal or non-verbal) but also on the basis of their personality. A good or a formal dress will have a huge impact on the quality of one’s communication skills.
5. Focus on Audience
The use of language, ideas, thought, and opinions should be ordered in an intuitive manner that the audience/listeners may not struggle to understand. Firstly, we should begin with the importance of the communication and the same may be properly conveyed to the audience and provide them an overview. The final part of the communication is the conclusion. In this part, we should sum up the main points and then end with a call to action. Everyone has a different style of communication, so it is important to find the technique that suits the audience and occasion.
6. Vocal control
Vocal control is one of the most fundamental aspects of communication. When we speak to a large group of people, it is important to have an authoritative and appealing tone of voice because the voice is an instrument that acts as a link between the speaker and the listeners. It reflects the speaker’s psychological and emotional state of mind and creates an impacting speech on the audience. A controlled voice is an asset and always mirrors the speaker’s personality and knowledge of the language in order to attain personal success.
7. Be an active listener.
By being an active listener, you are better able to hear what the other one is really being said. To communicate effectively, first listen to what others have to say. Then you can provide a thoughtful answer that shows you have taken those ideas into account.
8. Time Management.
Time management is another important aspect of communication skills. It is basically the ability to use one’s time on specific activities for their accomplishment in an effective and productive manner. An organized and planned communication always enables the speaker to express maximum ideas in less time.
The use of relevant quotes can also help in maintaining the discipline of communication. It will encourage the speaker to schedule his or her discourse in the right direction and evolve high-priority thoughts. This is possible only if the speaker devotes half of his time to productive thoughts. An appropriate application of quotes can also be proved helpful in arousing the interest of the audience or listeners.
10. Asking/Handling Questions.
Handling questions during or at the end of a communication is a tricky business, but questions are the interactive elements of any type of communication. They encourage a speaker to reinforce his or her message, respond to the concerns of the audience, and support the argument. It is essential to conduct a question-answer session at the end of a communication. Effective communicators always consider it a valuable and vital part of their communication. Most of the speakers usually use questions they are asked to help refine their presentations. Therefore, questions are very important as they initiate communication which is the key to a successful presentation.
Points to remember
- Quick and calm adjustment of ideas.
- Arriving at the scheduled time.
- Reconfirming the speaking time with the host of the program.
- Maintaining time during the speech.