How Can You Improve Your Communication Skills?

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communication

Speaking is an act of expressing thoughts and feelings in speech. It is an art that requires the speaker to know what to say and how to say it. According to Joshi (2017: 31) in speaking, both the content and manner of presentation are important.  

Most times, you must have heard that communication is key to whatever you do in life, that is if you must succeed. Learning how to speak well or improving your skills goes beyond just the day to day basic conversions with random people, it’s more like a key you need to succeeding in life!

A wrong word here and there and/or an unpleasant tone could cause irreparable damage. To speak effectively, the speaker must understand the subject and know the audience. This is irrespective of whether you are talking to an individual, a small group, or a large gathering.

Read Also: 4 Major Strategies to Improve Reading Skill

Techniques for Improving Communication Skills

We have discussed communication as a skill that you can develop, cultivate and improve on. Generally, every skill demands specific techniques to improve it. The Surgeon is trained to be one and practices to be a Consultant. 

The training is one stage. The practice is another. Strategies and techniques are important in advancing from whatever stage or level you may be. Follow these techniques to improve your communication skills and the result would be rewarding:

1. Cultivate your Mind Deliberately

A lot of people talk while they think or talk before, they think. The result is that they say meaningless things that are poorly assessed by others, and therefore become nervous when they must comment on issues. When you talk while you think, it reduces the credibility of what you say. 

Learn to build your mind to be still, to listen more, and respond thoughtfully. Like the farmer who cultivates the fallow farmland to sow, develop your mind carefully and deliberately to build credibility in responses.

The advice of Barnard (2018) is important when engaging in conversation, keep the following formula in mind and reply in a short, clear, and concise way: think, breathe and speak. 

You should refrain from impulsive speaking. Be clear and understand what exactly you want to say. Take the time to train your mind.

Read Also: Listening and the 5 Steps to Effective Listening

2. Train Your Listening Skills

In developing effective communication skills, there is no substitute for active listening. Listening as discussed earlier is more than hearing. 

Active listening means you listen to understand the message and carefully reflect and think before responding. If you listen attentively, you will be able to provide a thoughtful response. A man once said: listen more than you talk.

3. Develop Your Voice Perfectly

Your voice is a powerful tool in developing your communication skill. You can magnet or repel the audience through your voice. The important content of your message could be distorted through your voice. So many cultures have a great influence on people‘s voices. 

Your voice can be trained; it can be modulated, and the pitch regulated. This will help you to eliminate any unfavorable linguistic habits you may have developed. 

Taking this into consideration will affect the development of your communication skill. When you have a well-regulated and modulated voice, your audience will be excited and enthused and therefore may be easily persuaded.

4. Breathe Deeply to Communicate Effectively

Barnard (2018: np) writes that every time you think, you breathe. Every time you speak, you breathe. The fact that we breathe subconsciously means we often do not think about it when speaking. 

When we get nervous, our breathing becomes shallow. Maximizing your breath and filling your lungs when speaking are very important for building effective communication skills. It makes you sound influential. Remember to pause for emphasis, pause to take in a breath, and pause to allow your message to sink in.

5. Watch Videos of Experts

This is indispensable in your journey to developing effective communication skills. Watch and listen to online videos of motivational speakers and experts in communication. 

In summary, to recap the main ideas discussed in this unit, remember that you need to work hard to develop your communication skills. Regular exercise and practice are necessary to eliminate filler and crutch words that diminish the effectiveness of your communication. 

You must develop strategies to improve your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. They are the tenets of success in your journey. 

Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are skills you use regularly. Therefore, the success of your routine duties as a student, a career professional, or in filial relationships lies in how effective you develop these communication skills. 

To communicate effectively, you should pay equal importance to a proper integration of reading, listening, writing, and speaking. 

A writer said: The more one reads, the more one knows, and the more one knows, the more one writes; the more one writes, the more one reflects; the more one reflects, the more one listens; the more one listens, the more one learns; the more one learns, the more one speaks; the more one speaks, the more one communicates. 

Learn to build your mind to be still, to listen more, and respond thoughtfully. Like the farmer who cultivates the fallow farmland to sow, develop your mind carefully and deliberately to build credibility in responses.

Study, learn, and master the techniques for improving your communication skills and be a master of the art.

Read Also: 5 Categories of Listeners and Barriers to Effective Listening

Do you have any questions, suggestions, or other contributions? Kindly use the comment box provided below for all your contributions. You are also encouraged to please kindly share this article with others you feel can benefit from this information if found useful enough as we may not be able to reach everyone at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing!

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