Another year has closed its door for a fresh, new one to open right before your eyes. With all your resolutions mentally lined up, it’s probably the best time to add in there “improve my communication skills.”
Not only will it positively affect your career but also boost your self-confidence and relationship with other people. Whether it be through oral, written, or online, communication is a powerful tool which greatly impacts a person’s personal and professional life.
No more keeping your mouth zipped on meetings and curling up over a conversation with your boss, let this year be the year of change and improvement overall most especially with regards to you being a good and effective communicator.
Take a presentation skills class.
This may be too big a step for you but seriously, consider taking a presentation skills class to further improve your communication. In fact, other speakers and presenters alike go even further and take up theater classes to better their confidence and delivery of speech.
Here you’ll learn how to get your point across clearly and without offending others, control your tone of voice when speaking, overcome your fear of presentation, and more to become a better speaker in general.
This year make at the top of your list to get rid of the chain that holds you back whenever you have a great idea to share in a meeting. Make your voice be heard starting now: speak up in meetings, to your clients, boss, and colleagues. This will not only help push your career forward but also build a better foundation of your relationship among colleagues and other people.
Get rid of your, uh, fillers.
Seriously, straighten your speech out, like, totally. You know?
Fillers illustrate insecurity which then minimizes your credibility. Steve Jobs would never be considered a captivating communicator had he been using fillers in his keynotes. To eliminate this is your vocabulary, think before you speak and when in doubt, pause.
Slow it down.
This can be difficult to notice when in the momentum. Do remember when conversing with people or presenting to instill clarity and conciseness in your speech. This can be done by speaking on a normal speed, not too fast, not too slow. Usually, though, you speak too fast when nervous so remember, slow it down.
Think before you post.
Communication can be in all forms one of which is through your online presence. You may not realize how much impact social media and a single post can impact your career until you do something that hurt your career.
Tailor your social media profiles to your professional personality if you utilize these platforms to develop your image and career. If you constantly use profanities, demonstrate your frequent drinking and partying in it, post condescending comments and the likes, don’t be surprised when the day comes your boss puts you under suspension, fires you; or no employer hires you.
Keep your eyes on nonverbal cues.
Most of the time, nonverbal cues or body movements speak more than the actual statement spoken. Body language is essentially as important as spoken communication.
Always maintain eye contact when speaking with someone and observe their nonverbal cues such as body posture and gestures. Is there any fidgeting? Signs of impatience? Any distractions? These cues often tell you what goes on in the mind of the listener and how you can keep the conversation productive.
The most important factor to becoming a better and more effective communicator is active listening. Keeping your eyes on the person while your mind flies by around the room isn’t listening. When your turn to speak is done, listen to the next one and don’t interrupt them.
What other ways helped you improve your communication skills? Share it with us!
About the author: Aside from providing tips and hacks in personal and career development, Chie Suarez is also a resident writer for The Fordham Company—one of Australia’s top celebrity management companies and a major celebrity speakers bureau.