Expressing Your Ideas Effectively
We’ve all been there. Our teacher gives us a group project that will be 30 percent of our final grade for that subject. Members for each group were chosen randomly, and you find yourself in a group whom you are not very familiar with. When your group starts to discuss ideas and brainstorm, you share your idea, which you think is a great one. Then, it seems like no one understands what you were trying to say at all- how does that happen?
Then another member shares their idea–which is the same one you had–but that person expressed it way better and was clearly understood by the group. All the group members give the person kudos, but you are frustrated- you had the idea first!
It is good to realize that most of the time; it is not enough to have a great idea. You must be able to express that idea well enough so others can see the value of it. If you feel you need improvement on expressing yourself, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
Write them down.
In this day and age, we think that writing ideas on a notebook is so passé. However, when you write things down, it actually helps you form the words more clearly compared to when you are simply reciting it in your head. When you see the very words on paper, you will realize if you have missed something or if it’s ready for sharing or submission.
Do a role play.
It might seem odd, but if you wish to share an idea with a group, and you feel intimidated, role playing might be a good alternative. Pull out a member of the group and ask them to probe you to get the idea out of you. You can do this role play as if no one is around. You will be surprised how well you can actually say what’s on your mind.
Play a guessing game.
We all know how fun guessing games can be. So if you are struggling a bit on how to make your idea known to the group, a good way is to play a guessing game through Pictionary or charades. Once you break the ice with the game, you feel more relaxed and you will able to speak about what is on your mind more clearly.
Expressing one’s self is critical in academic settings. Once you learn how to express yourself well, you will be able to study better and work better in groups.