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Top 13 Tips to Improve Communication Skills

by YourDailyHunt.com
Communication skills

Communication is a buzzword these days. And you must have seen several magazine articles that talk about the need for good communication skills. It is a huge deal to have great communication skills to enjoy a smooth and enjoyable personal as well as professional life. However, we can’t have all the natural gifts, right? In case, you want to develop and improve your communication skills, then you are at the right place.

In this article, we are going to talk about the Top 13 Tips to Improve Communication Skills. All these will surely help you to be a more effective leader and impress others with your communication skills. Hence, without further delay, let’s start with the article.

1. Try to Learn the Basics of Nonverbal Communication

As per recent research, it has been found that nonverbal communication has accounted for around 55 percent of how the audience perceived a presenter. And that means the majority of what you will say is not actually communicated through words but via physical cues.

In order to communicate confidently as well as clearly, you can adopt proper posture. Try to avoid slouching, folding your arms will make you look smaller than you are. Instead of that, try to fill up the space that you have got, maintain proper eye contact, and if possible move around the space.

2. You Have to Over-communicate Just to Communicate

In the year 1990, a graduate student at Standford University was very prominent at proving the point that the presenters generally overestimate how much listeners understand. In a study that becomes known as “the tappers and the listeners,” one set of participants was asked to tap the melody of 120 famous songs. And then there are other participants who were asked to guess what song was being actually tapped.

Tappers furthermore estimated that around 50 percent of the songs tapped would be correctly identified. And in reality, around 2.5 percent of songs were rightly identified. Apart from that, studies show that it is essential for you to communicate clearly and it is again important to do over-communication while you share new ideas. This study basically indicates that it is likely that your listeners will fail to absorb as much as you expect them to do.

3. Ask for Honest Feedback

Another very important factor that you must consider in case you want to improve your communication skills is to ask for honest feedback. As with most leadership skills, it is important to receive honest feedback from managers, members of your team, as well as peers, which is critical to becoming a better communicator.

If you get your feedback on a regular basis, it will surely help you discover areas for improvement. Yes! You might otherwise overlook it if someone hasn’t given you the right feedback. Hence, always try to gain as much honest feedback as you can from your audiences.

4. Avoid Relying on Visual Aids

Another factor that you must keep in mind while you try to improve your communication skills is to avoid relying on visual aids. Steve Jobs instituted a rule at Apple that banned all PowerPoint presentations. Similarly, Sheryl Sandberg instituted a PowerPoint ban on Facebook. Both the leaders further understood that the PowerPoint presentations will surely hinder rather than it can help in communication.

Hence, you should be prepared to use words, nonverbal cues, and compelling storytelling to communicate your point with your audience. Unless it is absolutely essential, try to avoid as much as possible the usage of visual aids.

5. Engage the Audience in Discussion

Regardless of the fact, how compelling the speaker is, all your audiences will have a limited attention span. Hence, if you want to become a great and more effective communicator, try and make your presentations as well as discussions interactive in nature.

Make sure you ask the audience a question, try and encourage people to call out their thoughts while you are having a brainstorming session. In fact, you can at least ask some hypothetical questions so as to stimulate the audience.

6. Don’t be Accusatory When Raising an Issue

We all know that a difficult situation may arise. Even if you feel like someone did something that is pretty wrong, you should keep your cool while you are discussing it.

If you start the conversation with an accusation that something is their fault, it’s practically an invitation for a fight. To get defensive is in fact our natural reaction to the accusation and then nothing good comes from the same discussion.

For example, you should avoid saying they “always” or “never” do something when it’s only been a few times. Always state the facts, use empathy but not reframe any focus to know how to fix it.

Instead of telling your team member, “You’re always late for meetings,” try something like, “I see on the attendance sheet that you’ve been late two times this week. Is everything okay?”

Moreover, this will open the door for you so as to see what is wrong and how you can help to make sure it doesn’t keep on happening.

7. Get to Know Your Audience

If you want to communicate effectively, it is very much essential for you to know your audience first. You should remember that your every audience is different and they will have different preferences as well as cultural norms. And you need to consider all of that while you are having a communication.

A good way to understand expectations is to ask members of the audience for examples of good communicators within the organization.

8. Use the PIP Approach

One of the common systems that are used by the business experts is the PIP or the purpose, importance, and preview approach to do the presentation introductions. Following this approach, the speaker will be able to state at first the purpose of the presentation, and then you can share why it is important to do a presentation by reviewing implications as well as possible outcomes.

Finally, the presenter will give you a preview of the topics that will be discussed. This system is basically a useful way to get listeners excited about the presentation. It will help them to focus on your message and on key takeaways.

9. Start and End with Key Points

Think back to the “tappers and listeners” study mentioned earlier. Clear communication is of paramount importance. If you want to make sure that the audience will understand whatever key points you want them to know from your presentation, reiterate key points at the beginning and end.

You can also get this done by providing attendees with a one pager that might include key points the audience must consider throughout the presentation.

10. Record Important Presentations for Posterity

Well! It might take a good amount of time as well as energy to communicate effectively. In case, you need to give that as the presentation multiple times, then you can consider recording it and then share it in the future.

There are several platforms available online that allow you to record yourself while delivering the presentation. These video-recording platforms allow presenters to edit the video to make it more engaging and helpful. It will further provide you, admins, with metrics about viewer engagement.

If you record presentations, it might be helpful for communicators who will need to get regular training in a company that is hiring employees quickly.

11. Master the Art of Timing

While there are some who believe that jokes might not be good for the workplace but believe me standup comedians are certainly the most effective communicators. Comedians including Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock are able to host around a 90 minutes of comedy show and they have basically mastered the art of timing.

There are great comedians like all other great communicators, are pretty much able to feel out their audience so as to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.

12. Add Novelty to Improve Audience Retention

As per the recent study, it has been revealed that people often retain more details while presented with novel, as opposed to situations, routine. And to help audience members retain details, will consider injecting some sort of novel event into a presentation. It might be something funny or something that might catches people by surprise.

13. Practice Self-Awareness, Especially during Tough Conversations

People having advanced communication skills comes with a solid grasp on their own emotions. They further know how to control them when they are over excited or upset. In fact, they won’t let them take over the conversation or will cause an unnecessary drama.

Furthermore, it is essential to keep level headed in case you are reacting to something you don’t really like. If you feel your heart start to thump, or your face start to get hot, take a break. Try to find some alone time where you can calm yourself down.

Another essential part of self-awareness is to be able to admit if you are wrong. This might feel like a huge blow to your ego but honestly, you will likely find that just by admitting your mistakes as well as trying your best so as to prevent them from moving forward. You will further earn respect as well as integrity in the eyes of your beloved ones as well as colleagues.

How To Improve Communication Skills: Non Verbal?

1. Avoid fidgeting or distracting movements

Do not try to readjust your chair for several time. Make sure you don’t click your pen open and closed over and over. Stop shuffling through your papers while you are having a board meeting. And don’t click through your browser tabs during a Zoom call.

2. Make eye contact while someone is talking

The most important tips that you must keep in mind is to pay attention to what the other people is saying. Hold a firm eye contact and don’t look creepy. Remember, that there is a fine line between making an eye contact and looking creepy. This will keep your communication in a good flow and you can have a good discussion at the end.

3. Don’t cross your arms

There are a few peoplewho think this a powerpose. However, it is true in some situation but in others, this posture mighgt make you look blocked off from the other person. It will give you the impression that you can’t even wait to go out of that place and which is not helpful for having a good communication.

4. Keep good posture

Another important factor that you should keep in mind is to keep a good posture. We generally tend to overlook this tip but if you want to master your non-verbal communication skill, then you need to have a good posture while you communicate with your audience. Slouching is a big NO!

5. Pay attention to the same cues from others

It is essential for you to pay attention to the same cues from other. Cues might not be intentional but they can be intentional too. In case, your coworker is not making eye contact or he/she is constantly fidgeting, ask yourself if it might be a reaction to you telling a story that’s too long or bugging them when they are busy.

Final Talk

If you are looking forward to improving your communication, then you must consider looking at these Top 13 Tips To Improve Communication Skills. All these tips are pretty effective in improving your way of communicating with your audiences. Communication is actually the way to gain more business profit by reaching out to more people. Hence, it is always essential for you to have good communication skills.

I am sure there are several other amazing tips that will help you improve your communication skills. You need to practice and practice to get the right confidence while you communicate. In case, you have any further queries, comment them down below, and will be happy to help you out.

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