When you think about it, there really is so much to learn about the art of communication and conversation. Although, it is your throat and mouth that are making the sounds and movements, it’s you brain that is working twice as hard to communicate your knowledge.
The first step in learning to communicate effectively is by knowing the person you are closest to: yourself.
1. Know What You are Talking About
To be an effective speaker, educate yourself about the subject being discussed and practice what you have learned. We all have limitations, but that does not mean that you cannot learn to keep up with others and share what they know.
Asking questions is important, but so is listening. Oftentimes, just listening to the sound of you own voice will teach us to be somewhat more confident in ourselves and then we feel that we can talk about things we believe in with conviction.
No one is perfect, we all make mistakes from time to time, maybe slur our words or stutter. Maybe we mispronounce certain words although we know the meaning of the word that we are trying to say; we just rarely use it only to impress others. So if you are speaking to a group, do not be shy or afraid, ask them if you are saying the word properly. With any luck, they too will be unsure and you can just make a joke out of it. A little added humor never hurts; just make sure that it is tasteful.
4. Eye Contact
It is important to stay focused on your subject when talking to a group of people or in a meeting. Make eye contact with each individual, but do not linger, even though he or she may be gorgeous.
A little humor will go a long way in lifting the tension or boredom in a room when making a speech. This way, you will get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they will feel that you are down to earth and approachable.
6. You are No Different Than They are So Mingle a Little
Interact and mingle with other people. You will likely get some new ideas, as well as, learning a little bit about what makes people who they are.
7. Hear Yourself
Admit it, there are times when you sing in the shower. We all do it! Try practicing your speech in front of the mirror, this gives you the opportunity to hear the sound of your own voice and can help you correct the stress areas of your pitch. While you’re at it you can get spruced up.
8. Present Yourself with a Smile
Much like eye contact, a smile says it all. There is not any point in frowning or grimacing in a gathering or meeting, unless you are at a wake. You can express yourself better when you smile.
9. Have a Role Model
There is probably one or two people in your life you have listened to when they are presenting a speech at a public gathering or maybe in church. Take a mental note of how they emphasize themselves when they are talking. This may help you once you take center stage.
Rather than being in a hurried panic and just scribbling down notes, it is best to be prepared. Know what you want to say, have a good set of notes available, just in case you need to take a peek. More importantly, be sure that you feel comfortable with what you are going to be talking about. After all, you do not want to be a nervous wreck and fall to pieces during your presentation.
And that about wraps it up. You can improve your communication skills by putting any of the above steps into action when it comes to private or public speaking. It also doesn’t hurt to just be with people and to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.