Mastering the Art of Communication
Your mission: Learn to communicate – and do it well!
Communication is an important part of being successful and something that everyone must do. Whether you’re talking to one person or a room full of people, sharing a personal story or presenting a project, it’s important to learn to communicate in the most effective way.
Have you ever played the game Telephone? If you have, you know how easy it is for one set of words to get turned into something else as each person tries to understand what the person next to them has said. You want your messages to be clear when you communicate so that a telephone-effect does not happen to what you say.
If you want a room full of people to know that global warming is an issue you feel strongly about and think they should, too, you want them to leave the room with an understanding of why. So how do you say what you mean? And how do you say it in a way where people will want to listen?
1) Think before you speak: It sounds so simple yet many times not thinking ahead will cause us to say something differently, incorrectly, or even sometimes completely silly-sounding. By thinking through what you want to say, you are more likely to say exactly what you mean.
2) Pay attention: Listen to what your audience is saying and judge how they are reacting to what you’re saying. This will help you to identify strong points and areas for improvement in the future.
3) Know it all: Understand what you’re talking about and take time to become an expert in the subject. Fully understanding a subject is important not only in formal situations or while presenting, but also when having a conversation. Know all the details and don’t assume or gossip to fill in the blanks. Understanding your subject will give you confidence that your audience will notice.
4) Add personality: You’ve got personality and it would be a shame not to use it! Perhaps you’re a caring, soft-spoken individual or perhaps the joker of your group of friends. Regardless of your personality, find a way to use it to add uniqueness to the way you communicate.
5) Know how to close: Not every story ends saying, “the end.” How do you want your audience to feel after you’ve finished communicating? What was the purpose of your communicating? To inspire thought or action? To inform? Ensure that your conclusion brings all of your thoughts together and re-states your purpose.
Whether you’re just starting to build your communication skills or you’re already quite the expert, there is always room for improvement. Keep practising and experimenting with new ways to communicate. Challenge yourself and find new methods that work well for you.
With all of these tips in mind and with a willingness to grow as a communicator – your mission will be accomplished!