Do you command a room when you begin speaking? Have you met individuals who, no matter if they’re talking about the weather or about intense business topics, have everyone on the edge of their seats? Have you ever wanted to be an even more effective communicator? If so, I have some good news for you! You can hone that skill.
Whether you want to command a room at a speaking engagement, keep your team engaged, or even have better communication with friends and family, below is a checklist of 9 ways you can enhance your communication skills.
If you’re ready to take the first steps toward a more effective communication style, there is no better time to start than today. This may not be a skill you hone overnight, but when you plan, prepare and practice, you will see marked improvement in your communication skills. So, let’s explore nine ideas to help you be an even more effective communicator.
- Think about the takeaway. If you’re getting up to speak, what do you want the audience to walk away with? Do you want your spouse or significant other or your child to remember to pick up the bread? Do you want your colleagues to know the next steps in the current project? If you know the outcome you’re seeking, you can craft your speech toward that resolution.
- Know when to speak. There are times when you’re better served to be a good listener. Not every gathering is a time for you to shine the light on who you are and what you do. Choose your times wisely.
- Listen well. You’ve probably heard that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason – that we should listen twice as often as we speak. Good advice. When you’re a good listener you are better able to give great advice. Respond when the person you’re listening to takes a pause or asks for your input.
- Don’t be wordy. If you can be succinct, you should. You won’t better make your point by making it wordy and by rambling. People appreciate input when they get the answer they’re seeking in a quick and easy manner. If all you have to say is Blah, don’t say Blah, Blah, Blah.
- Be the voice that unifies. You’ve been in meetings or conversations where it is just a round-about discussion with no end point, no beginning point, and the point of the conversation has been lost. Step in, recap the conversation and steer it toward a conclusion. You don’t have to give your advice or have your opinion be the one that is the last voice heard.
- Not everyone wants, or needs, your opinion. Let’s face it, you don’t have to comment on everything and in every discussion, right? You will become a more respected communicator if you offer input where your input is needed and will be the most helpful.
- If you’re going to be called upon to speak to a group, prepare beforehand. Don’t try to “wing it” even if you’re talking about a subject in which you’re an expert. Not everyone can communicate off the cuff. If you want to provide a memorable conversation, prepare for it. Also, don’t forget to prepare your valuable takeaway for the audience – they will appreciate it. If you are like me, what I say in my head is typically better than what comes out of my mouth, without preparation.
- Smile when you speak. If you’re positive and if you smile and nod when you’re speaking and when others are speaking, you will be deemed more approachable. Pay attention to the current speaker and curb any impatience you may feel.
- Validate what the person you’re speaking to is saying. There is something to be said for repeating a question back to the person with whom you’re speaking. For example: “If I understand you correctly, you want to know how I reached the conclusion that 2 + 2 = 4. Correct?” This lets the person know you were listening to them and that you’re paying attention to what they were saying or asking.
Body language matters when you’re speaking and when you’re listening. If you’re communicating with your team or a group of colleagues, pay attention to your body language. If you stand with your hand on your hip or your arms folded across your body, you might be sending incorrect non-verbal messages. You may not even be aware of that, but effective communicators are aware of everything – body language included. Words and body language should be congruent.
If you’re not certain whether you’re an effective communicator, ask. Ask for feedback and be open to suggestions for changing. Awareness will truly help you grow as a communicator.
Which of the nine ways to enhance your communication will you implement, so you can be an even better communicator and accelerate your business results to having your ideal business and ideal life?
For more help with growing your business and accelerating your results, reach out to me today and schedule your complimentary consultation.
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