Improving and building your communication skills is an investment that’s worth the price. This is largely due to the fact that we spend a large portion of our daily lives communicating and speaking with friends, family, acquaintances, strangers etc. Either on phone or via online texting.
A particular website revealed a research which indicates that an average woman speaks 20,000 words a day, and an average man speaks 7,000 words a day. The contrast isn’t the main point, but rather to bring an awareness that if communication is one thing we do most often during the day, we might as well learn to do it properly.
The need to cultivate good communication skills cannot be overemphasised. Research reveals that a large percentage of most relationships fail because of poor communication between the couple.
Your success in business, work or politics is highly dependent on how well you communicate and relate your ideas. People are more inclined to buy a product from a fluent seller and vote for someone who is well trained in the art of public speaking. Just like this guy you see in the photo.
Your ability to buttress your point and speak to the interest of your listener(s) is a valuable skill that can set you apart from the vast majority.
7 steps to improve your communication skills.
1 . Cultivate the art of listening.
70% of the time you’re speaking with someone, they aren’t listening. This is because most people are only concerned about you rounding up your statement so they can begin theirs. Do not fall into that category of people.
The first lesson to apply to improving your commination skill is to make EFFORT in paying rapt attention to the person you’re speaking with. Don’t fake it, they’ll often realise it and that would definitely work to your disfavour.
Learn to give your genuine undivided attention to the person you’re having a conversation with. If possible, allow them to do most of the talking.
2 . Speak about the other person’s interests.
Humans are inherently self-absorbed by nature. This basically means that people don’t care about you or what you have to say if it has nothing to do with them or their self-interest.
Telling someone how you took a lovely lavished vacation trip to the Bahamas during the holiday is just playing silly. No one cares if you had a journey to planet Mars when such trip doesn’t facilitate or improves their present situation.
To have an engaging conversation, speak about what the other person often has an interest in. Ask genuine conversational questions concerning their hobbies and allow them to do the majority of the talking.
As the conversation progresses, you might discover you both share a common interest and that can lead to more conversation topics.
3 . Work on body language.
Most of the work involved in having a formidable communication skill has nothing to do with speaking. Body language is an important factor in improving this trait.
Ensure your body doesn’t send a signal that speaks “don’t talk to me”. This involves the movement of your eyes, the position of your arms, the level of your head and the placement of your shoulders.
Avoid frowning, crossing your arms and prevent lowering your shoulders. These are body signs that screams ” I might have issues with low self-esteem“. Therefore, Always maintain eye contact and learn to have your eyes horizontal as often. Stop looking at the ground… It won’t swallow your feet!
4 . Be specific. Go straight to the point
If you’re giving a speaking rendition, it is important you make courteous use of your time and drive your information straight through to the point.
People are bound to lose interest within 15 minutes of listening to a speech if what is being said isn’t specific enough. Therefore be brief with whatever you have to say and yet be specific.
5 . Encourage interaction; engage your listeners.
A boring conversation is often one-sided. When speaking to a group of people, engage your audience by asking questions and get feedback.
Give room for your audience to brainstorm and air their opinion on the subject of discussion. This will make the process more lively and improve the chances of long-term remembrance.