Communication skills are something we all need and use everyday. Whether its asking the teacher to repeat the question or confessing your feelings to the one you admire, knowing how to communicate and converse can be a life saver for all. But just as any other part of life, all of us vary on how good we’re at it, some are good to the point to be conversationalists and public speakers by profession, and some of us tend to get left behind in the verbal race.
So what to do if you still find it hard to form a coherent sentence? The first thing? To not worry. Why? Because these next 10 steps are guidelines for all of my fellow readers who need just a little help in starting to communicate just a bit better.
1. Presentation matters
Believe it or not, a study found that nonverbal communication accounted for 55% of how an audience perceived a presenter, so that means: it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Knowing how to present even the blandest of things in a way that captivates the audience is something you should focus on. Have a more welcoming and friendly body language. Make eye contact with some of the audience members sitting in the middle, left side and right side.
2. Know what you say
Knowing what you’re talking about is the most important thing to keep in mind. If you’re trying to converse and you don’t even know what you’re talking about or what you’re trying to get across, that’s both a waste for you and the listener.
3. Speak. Repeat
Although repetition can get annoying, it was found through an American study that listeners don’t tend to listen to recall things from the first time hearing something. If you’re speaking in a public gathering and trying to get a point across, try to include the main point of your speech in different ways, after a few intervals so people know what you’re talking about, don’t move off the main point.
4. Avoid relying on visual help
Most of us during presentations depend on our projectors, laptops, cue cards etc to be able to speak efficiently, but speech made without any of these aids and with your own ability to speak is what captures the attention of the audience the most.
5. Don’t forget the audience
One of the biggest mistakes someone can make while addressing a crowd is being distant and blending into the background. Engaging the audience with whatever you’re talking about keeps the image that you’re interested, you’re taking the audience’s opinions and interests in context, and really, it just makes you look like you know what you’re doing.
6. Timings matters
What most of us fall short of when making talk with someone is our bad timing, when to say something, when to not say something or when to crack a light joke, is all among the things a good conversationalist keeps in mind when speaking.
7. Be a listener
“Listen more than you talk” is a very important thing that’s not so commonly understood. If you listen first, and then talk, not only do you know what to say, you also are being respectful and a decent human being which should really be amongst the top priorities.
8. Courage goes a long way
Having the courage to say what you think is a really important thing,and don’t hesitate to speak your mind. Know what to say and say it within social constructs and you’re good to go. People actually prefer to hear authentic thoughts.
They don’t lie when they say that practice makes perfect. If you’ve ever gone to debate, the first thing any instructor tells you is to practice in front of a mirror, and that advice can be applied to all aspects of speech really. If you find communicating and speaking hard to do, practice speaking in front of a mirror privately because not only will you know you’re making that awkward face you need to stop making, you’ll also feel more comfortable speaking next time.
10. Be aware of what your body says
Body language is a thing, and it’s a really relevant thing. Whilst speaking you might have noticed people make a lot of different gestures with their hands, their face, even their feet as they move about. Controlling how you express yourself through your bodily gestures is really important because making a wrong hand gesture when you’re speaking on an important thing could make all the effort turn to waste. Also make sure to not stay monotone and change your tones and pitch during the whole speech.
These are only some of the things required to communicate effectively, but still are relevant things to consider. Nothing’s impossible if you try, so if you want to be able to speak better, then go out and do that.