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Twelve Ways to Improve your Communication Skills

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Posted 22 January 2016 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with the development of your communication skills training.

Communication Skills Training: Twelve Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Mastering communications skills is one of the best things that you can do, since your future success, health and happiness relies upon your ability to gain the willing cooperation of others. In order to gain their willing cooperation, you will need to properly communicate with them.

Some people are natural-born master communicators; they seem to have been born with the gift of the gab. These are The John Lennon's, The Martin Luther Kings, The Winston Churchill's, and the Margaret Thatcher's, that live amongst us. They are The Lucky Few.

You may like these four, or you may loath them, but you would probably agree; this particular fab-four were definitely, Master Communicators.

How could you become a master communicator?

Let is look a little deeper at what makes a master communicator.

Communication is a complex subject; it has many component parts. To understand the whole, we must first identify the parts. There are the three major parts of communication:

  • Words.
  • Voice tone.
  • Body language.

But "words" can be split into two subsets: content and style. Content is WHAT you have to say and Style is HOW you express your content.

So now we have four major parts to your communication.

  1. Your verbal content.
  2. Your verbal style.
  3. Your body language.
  4. Your voice tones.

Let us say three things on each set. That will give us twelve ways to improve our communication skills:

Your verbal content

1. Make your content clear. Don't mix your messages. If your main message is lost amongst a crowd of lesser messages, you will lose your listener.

2. Limit the amount. Don't overwhelm the listeners mind with too much information. People have limited memory power. So don't give them too much to remember.

3. Make your content logical. If they cannot see any logic in your message, they will have no reason to accept it.

Your verbal style

4. Suit your style to your audience. Speak to businessmen in a business-like style. Speak to workwomen in a workwoman-like style. Speak to children in a simplified-style.

5. Balance your content between talking about "general principles" and "concrete examples". You could either "Name the principle" and then "illustrate with examples", or you could do the opposite; "Give examples" first, and then "draw-out the general principle".

Both systems work, but you need to decide which would be best for your particular message and your particular audience.

6. Repeat your main message. Repetition is the mother of memory. If you want them to remember what you said, repeat, repeat, repeat! Repetition is the mother of memory.

Your body language

7. Dress according to the context. Match your audience's higher expectations. Don't dress up too much. But don't be scruffy either, relative to your audience's expectations.

8. Animate yourself; so that you are not boring to look at. Move and smile. Smile and move. If you are too static, like a stone-statue, your audience will soon begin to snooze. Make your body language support your verbal content. A little showmanship can go a long way.

9. Never point. Don't point your finger. Don't point your pen. Pointing is too aggressive. Don't point. To emphasise your main points, use an open hand gesture.

Your voice tones

10. Your voice should be slightly louder than is normal. This will give you an air of confidence.

11. Your voice should be slightly deeper than is normal. This will give you an air of authority.

12. Your pace should be slightly slower than normal. This will give you an air of calm certainty and gravitas.

Summary

How could you become a master communicator?

  • Make your content clear.
  • Limit the amount.
  • Make your content logical.
  • Suit your style to your audience.
  • Balance between "general principles" and "concrete examples".
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat!
  • Dress according to the context.
  • Animate yourself.
  • Never point.
  • Your voice should be slightly louder, deeper and slower than normal.

Do all these things, and you may join the ranks of the master communicators.

Communication Skills Quiz

To discover where your communication skills are strongest, and where they are not so strong, try our quick Communication Skills Quiz.

Communication Skills Training

Communication Skills Training

Do you ever think to yourself, "I know what I mean, but I can't explain it"? You need to be able communicate facts, feelings, information and ideas, in a clear, professional and confident manner. If you want to learn more about our communication skills training, please click here.


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