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HOW TO BE A GOOD COMMUNICATOR

No matter what sort of classes you take or the career you pursue, effective communication is a key asset for success. The ability to express ourselves clearly and with confidence figures into virtually all aspects of life and plays a major role in your progression as a person.

Verbal Skills

Always try to speak clearly, so that you are easily understood. Also, try to be economical with your words. People have trouble paying attention—and sometimes stop altogether—if people take too long to get their point across.

Make sure your voice is loud enough to be heard by everyone present, but not overpowering.
Organizations like Toastmasters provide an excellent way for you to learn and practice new speaking skills in a safe and encouraging environment.

Try to always make and maintain eye contact; this shows respect and interest in the other person. Note that some individuals and persons from certain cultures find this intimidating and unpleasant, so exercise your best judgment here.

Non-Verbal Skills

Human beings often convey their thoughts without even speaking a single word. Movements and gestures you make while interacting with another person serve as your body language. For example, if someone says something that makes you mad, having a sour expression and/or folding your arms across your chest communicates that you are unhappy with them.

While it is important to control unconscious body language that could have a negative impact, be sure to also take advantage of what you can express. Enthusiasm and pleasure are very effectively conveyed through body language. For example, you can tell someone that they have done a great job, but delivering this message with a wide smile and an extended hand really helps to deliver the sincerity of your message.

Writing also plays a huge part in our lives. Whether we are writing a report on the job or sending an email to friends, the quality of what we write determines how seriously we are taken. As with verbal communication, an inability to clearly get information across hinders the quality of the message.

If you feel your written work may be lacking, consider taking writing courses or related educational options. It may just be a question of taking the time to create a well-thought out and accurate letter or email. If so, make sure to leave yourself enough minutes in the day to do this.

Practice, Practice, Practice

If you are giving a speech or planning on having an important one-to-one discussion, think ahead about what you are going to say. Think about how the person might respond, so that you have an answer on the tip of your tongue. Appearing self-assured helps to make your message persuasive.

You can increase your confidence by practicing with another person. Ask for their honest opinion of your performance. What are you effective at and what could use some work?

Think About Your Audience

If you have positive news to offer, make sure that it’s importance comes across clearly. Delivering exciting news in a flat, lifeless manner defeats the positive aspects of your message. Be enthusiastic!

Humor can be a very effective way to lighten the mood and win people over. However, a joke offered at the wrong time (or in the wrong fashion) can prove disastrous. Timing is everything, so know your audience and decide in advance what is or is not appropriate.

Effective communication is a key component for success in many aspects of a person’s life. It influences how we express ourselves, influences other people’s opinions of us, and is a major aid in problem-solving. As Rowan Williams said, “Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow.”