Communication Skills

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How to Develop Good Communication Skills

The ability to communicate effectively is important in relationships, education and work. Here are some steps and tips to help you develop good communication skills.

Steps

Understanding the Basics of Communication Skills

  1. 1

Know what communication really isCommunication is the process of transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver through various methods (written words, nonverbal cues, spoken words). It is also the mechanism we use to establish and modify relationships.

  1. 2

Have courage to say what you thinkBe confident in knowing that you can make worthwhile contributions to conversation. Take time each day to be aware of your opinions and feelings so you can adequately convey them to others. Individuals who are hesitant to speak because they do not feel their input would be worthwhile need not fear. What is important or worthwhile to one person may not be to another and may be more so to someone else.

  1. 3

Practice. Developing advanced communication skills begins with simple interactions. Communication skills can be practiced every day in settings that range from the social to the professional. New skills take time to refine, but each time you use your communication skills, you open yourself to opportunities and future partnerships.

Engage Your Audience

  1. 1

Make eye contact. Whether you are speaking or listening, looking into the eyes of the person with whom you are conversing can make the interaction more successful. Eye contact conveys interest and encourages your partner to be interested in you in return.

  • One technique to help with this is to consciously look into one of the listener’s eyes and then move to the other eye. Going back and forth between the two makes your eyes appear to sparkle. Another trick is to imagine a letter “T” on the listener’s face ,with the cross bar being an imaginary line across the eye brows and the vertical line coming down the center of the nose. Keep your eyes scanning that “T” zone.
  1. 2

Use gestures. These include gestures with your hands and face. Make your whole body talk. Use smaller gestures for individuals and small groups. The gestures should get larger as the group that one is addressing increases in size.

  1. 3

Don’t send mixed messages. Make your words, gestures, facial expressions and tone match. Disciplining someone while smiling sends a mixed message and is therefore ineffective. If you have to deliver a negative message, make your words, facial expressions, and tone match the message.

  1. 4

Be aware of what your body is sayingBody language can say so much more than a mouthful of words. An open stance with arms relaxed at your sides tells anyone around you that you are approachable and open to hearing what they have to say.

  • Arms crossed and shoulders hunched, on the other hand, suggest disinterest in conversation or unwillingness to communicate. Often, communication can be stopped before it starts by body language that tells people you don’t want to talk.
  • Appropriate posture and an approachable stance can make even difficult conversations flow more smoothly.
  1. 5

Manifest constructive attitudes and beliefs. The attitudes you bring to communication will have a huge impact on the way you compose yourself and interact with others. Choose to be honestpatientoptimisticsincere, respectful, and accepting of others. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings, and believe in others’ competence.

  1. 6

Develop effective listening skills: Not only should one be able to speak effectively, one must listen to the other person’s words and engage in communication on what the other person is speaking about. Avoid the impulse to listen only for the end of their sentence so that you can blurt out the ideas or memories your mind while the other person is speaking.

Use Your Words

  1. 1

Enunciate your words. Speak clearly and don’t mumble. If people are always asking you to repeat yourself, try to do a better job of articulating yourself in a better manner.

  1. 2

Pronounce your words correctly. People will judge your competency through your vocabulary. If you aren’t sure of how to say a word, don’t use it.

  1. 3

Use the right words. If you’re not sure of the meaning of a word, don’t use it. Grab a dictionary and start a daily habit of learning one new word per day. Use it sometime in your conversations during the day.

  1. 4

Slow your speech down. People will perceive you as nervous and unsure of yourself if you talk fast. However, be careful not to slow down to the point where people begin to finish your sentences just to help you finish.

Use Your Voice

  1. 1

Develop your voice – A high or whiny voice is not perceived to be one of authority. In fact, a high and soft voice can make you sound like prey to an aggressive co-worker or make others not take you seriously. Begin doing exercises to lower the pitch of your voice. Try singing, but do it an octave lower on all your favorite songs. Practice this and, after a period of time, your voice will begin to lower.

  1. 2

Animate your voice. Avoid a monotone and use dynamics. Your pitch should raise and lower periodically. Radio DJ’s are usually a good example of this.

  1. 3

Use appropriate volume. Use a volume that is appropriate for the setting. Speak more softly when you are alone and close. Speak louder when you are speaking to larger groups or across larger spaces.

EditTips

  • Try to speak fluently and try to make sure people can hear you when you speak.
  • Have confidence when talking, it doesn’t matter what other people think.
  • Make sure you’re using proper grammar.
  • Do not interrupt or talk over the other person–it breaks the flow of conversation. Timing is important.
  • Get feedback from your receiver to ensure you were properly understood during your conversation.
  • Don’t over-praise yourself in front of your audience.

Edited by Brandywine, Ben Rubenstein, Katie R., Maluniu and 78 others


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Some Useful Links

GENERAL COMMUNICATION
1. Effective Communication Skills http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FljoEitkIeM
2. How to communicate effectively http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqZQdr_hY7U
3. How to Improve English Communication Skills – 6 Secret Tips

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
4. Communication Skills Training: body language secrets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaj3Xl9vasc
5. Nonverbal Communication Skills http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CL2npjSXMc
6. Nonverbal Communication – Tip #51

7. Communication Basics – Body Language

8. Power of Non Verbal Communications (You are the message)

9. Nonverbal Communication, Body Language Expert Jan Hargrave

10. History Channel Secrets of body language 720p http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW9ztSUGY_Q
11. Advanced Body Language and Nonverbal Communication Skills Training

12. Body Language Can Undermine Your Message—Expert Mark Bowden

13. The Power of Body Language – Obama Romney http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h_-X9hnYps

PRESENTATION SKILLS
14. How to Start a Speech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w82a1FT5o88
15. Killer Presentation Skills http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whTwjG4ZIJg
16. Dealing with a Hostile Audience http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oWX1Q1dbiE
17. Presentation Opening Lines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXqUWHgBrCE
18. How To Begin Your Presentation With A Strong Start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztbTCIXvWr4
19. How to Start a Presentation Using an Attention Grabbing Question http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndrIvSw1xTc
20. Best presentation opening http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3vifO4dI1E
21. Become a Master Presenter! What do Master Presenters Do Differently? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIGT6benUww
22. 5 Tips For Delivering A Great Presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9E8yaFCX0Y
23. Top 10 Presentation Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUpI6ROwRAE
24. Make a Presentation Like Steve Jobs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHX-xnP_G5s
25. What to do with your hands when you’re presenting! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooOQQOQdhH8

26. How To Open Your Presentation Like A Professional In 6 Steps

27. HOW DO I START MY PRESENTATION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XFexzhDHxQ
28. Five Basic Public Speaking Tips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AykYRO5d_lI
29. How to start a presentation with a quote http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1R-VCC1UnU
30. Sample Presentation: When you don’t know an answer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwAwldXDanw
31. How to avoid boring statistics in presentations

32. Overcoming Nerves When Giving a Presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbDipVRt5aE
33. How To End Your Presentation In A Memorable Way http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGZXNW3aDOw
34. Overcome Fear of Public Speaking http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNtXE_auuRw
35. Learn To Speak: Public Speaking Training, Attitude Is Everything

36. Get Their Attention Every Time You Speak

37. Speaking Tips – Stop Worrying and Start Presenting!

38. The importance of Body Language in Presentations

39. Working With Your Audience and Handling Q&A

40. Effective Presentation Skills: Using Vocal Energy

41. Don’t read from your PowerPoint slides

42. Bill Gates Speech at Harvard

43. 5 Key Presentation Skills – Inspired from Steve Jobs

44. Presentation Skills – Learn from the Best

45. Presenting & Public Speaking Tips – How to improve skills & confidence

46. How to add video to a PowerPoint presentation

47. The Most Effective Use Of PowerPoint

48. Creating effective slides: Design, Construction, and Use in Science

49. How to Give an Awesome (PowerPoint) Presentation

50. PowerPoint 2007- How to insert a YouTube Video into PowerPoint.mp4

51. Make animations in Powerpoint 2007

52. PowerPoint 2010 – Adding Animations

53. PowerPoint 2007- How to insert a YouTube Video into PowerPoint.mp4

54. English Communication Skill part 1-1