Guide to improve Your Communication Skills
This blog serves as Guide to improve Your Communication Skills and with This Guide in your professional as well as personal life. With effective communication skills you can easily Identify ways to gain rapport with your audience, Learn techniques to reduce nervousness and fear, Recognize how visual aids can create impact and attention, Develop techniques to create a professional presence, Learn some different ways to prepare and organize information, Prepare, practice, and present a short presentation.
- Why are communication skills so important for good interpersonal relationships?
- When you are out with a gathering of friends do you find it easy to just chat away without thinking of what to say next?
- How about when you get thrown in with a bunch of people you don’t know?
For most of us, this second kind of conversation is much more difficult.
- What happens?
- Where do you find topics of conversation that you can bring up at the next party or office get-together?
- Where can you get some good conversational openers?
- Wear a smile.
- Don’t attempt to make a derogatory remark under the guise of humor.
- Don’t try to shock.
- Lengthy emotional debates will not contribute to the gathering.
- Eventually even good conversations may come to an end.
- Tell the other person how much you have enjoyed speaking with them, and go on to meet other people.
- If you find yourself alone, look for others who look similarly disengaged or join a group with an odd number of people.
- What does this have to do with speaking in public?
- Self confidence is an important element of public speaking.
Edit Your Conversation
- Slang or Vulgarities
- Gender References
- Acronyms and Jargon
- Green as grass
- Mad as a wet hen
- Smooth as an egg
- Crooked as a snake’s back
- What makes us tick
- Like a lamb
- Like a wet noodle
- Quick as a wink
- Talk through your hat
- Good as gold
There are four easy rules to follow for any conversation.
- Talk to yourself in positive terms.
- When you speak to individuals, take the time to express yourself in an organized manner.
- Ask for feedback.
- When presenting to a group have a message worth communicating and know when to stop talking.
Appropriately Sharing Yourself with Others
- Known to Others
- Not Known to Others
- Known to Oneself
- Partially Open
- Not Known to
- Partially Open
Appropriately Sharing Yourself with Others
- A turtle: low trust and low respect
- An owl: high respect and low trust
- A bull: high trust and low respect
- A picture window: high trust and high respect
We earn trust as a trade off for self-disclosure.
- Being visible, but not risking too much information too soon, promotes this type of trust.
- Self-disclosure, in order to be most effective, must be well-timed and not too deep or too shallow.
Trust | Guide to improve Your Communication Skills
- Think of the person you most admire.
- Describe who the person is and what it is about them that has earned your admiration.
- Think of the person you are most willing to trust.
- Who is this person and why do you trust them?
- Have they been willing to self-disclose?
- Think about something you have not yet accomplished in life that you’d like to do.
- What is it?
- Why would you like to accomplish this?
- How likely is it that you will accomplish it?
- There is a factor that affects our ability to speak with or to others 100% of the time:
- Listen to your inner voice and the self-talk you give yourself.
- If you can hear the negative messages, start replacing them with new, objective, positive self-statements.
- Describe the Events that
- Triggered this Emotion What Kind of Thoughts
- Lead to this Emotion?
- How to Replace the
- Negative Thoughts
- Sadness or depression
- Guilt or shame
- Anxiety, worry, fear, panic
- Hopelessness or discouragement
How would you change these self-messages?
- I am so stupid. I’m always making mistakes!
- Why can’t I remember things? I am always forgetting where I put my car keys!
- Why can’t I be more like_____? He never does dumb things like that!
- People don’t listen to me. I’m just not important enough for people to pay attention when I speak.
- People will laugh at me. Probably somebody has already got a better idea.
Making the Most of Meetings
Three keys to making the most of meetings:
Fifteen Ways to Master a Meeting
- Know everybody’s name.
- Know what everybody does.
- Be careful about personal comments.
- Don’t create subconscious barriers to communication.
- Sit erect and square your shoulders. Look alert and lean forward slightly.
- Discuss but don’t argue.
- Sit at a power perch or corner position.
- If you are seated and an important person enters the room, stand up to shake hands.
- If you are holding the meeting, reserve the most impressive, appropriately appointed conference room, when the meeting warrants it.
- If it is your meeting, lead it!
- If it is your meeting, have an agenda and let people know why they are attending the meeting.
- Start and end on time. See if you can meet with each person in the room before time is up.
- If it is someone else’s meeting, take responsibility and participate.
- Demonstrate high energy and involvement.
- Repeat the person’s name right after you hear it and then use it several times in conversation.
- Write it down or ask the other person to give them a business card.
- Once you have someone’s card, take the time to really look at the name on it and notice how it is spelled.
- Word association is another technique people may use.
- Degree of firmness
- Dryness of hand
- Depth of grip
- Duration of grip
- Eye contact
- Web to web
- Gentle, firm pressure
- Look the person in the eye and shake briefly
- We get 65-75% of our sense of what other people are saying from their body language.
- Make your face look friendly.
- Closing your arms sends a negative message to others.
- Learn to pick up cues from people that you are making them uncomfortable.
Signs that someone is becoming uncomfortable:
- Leg swinging
If it escalates, these signals are often followed by:
- Intermittent closing of the eyes
- Slight tucking of the chin into the chest
- Shoulder hunching Learn to watch for these and adjust your approach.
- What types of situations make you feel uncomfortable?
- Have you ever had to deal with a situation where people were feeling uncomfortable?
- Who took charge?
- What did that person do?
- How can we put others at ease?
- Sometimes we are the one responsible for a difficult situation. How can we face the music ourselves?
- Do you have examples of some negative situations that could be viewed positively if you reframed the situation?
- How do we stop seeing the glass as half empty?
- In order to stop thinking about ourselves, it does help to be wearing clothes we feel good in.
- – Do these clothes suit you?
- – Do they feel comfortable on you?
- – Do they fit?
Tips for looking professional:
- Dress the way you want to be perceived.
- Dress comfortably and be proud of who you are.
- Always appear as neat and clean as possible.
- Look trim.
- Be sure clothing fits properly.
- Don’t appear too fashion conscious.
- Know the colors and styles that suit you, and stick to them.
- Oral presentations are generally more persuasive than written ones.
- Spoken word engages both the right (creative, intuitive) and left (analytical, logical) sides of the brain.
- Gives you more possibilities for building a relationship with your audience.
- Spoken language has an immediate, magical quality that written language usually lacks.
- You must be able to evaluate the depth of the audience’s understanding and degree of acceptance as you go along.
- As a speaker, you can get valuable feedback during the presentation itself.
- When dealing with a controversial subject, it is usually better to bring participants together in one room.
- Confronting issues directly, and in person, is generally preferable to circulating paper.
Planning your Presentation
- E =Evidence
- Chronological order
- Problem and solution
- Current and proposed situation
- Inductive or deductive reasoning
- Pros and cons or compare and contrast
- Decision-making pattern
- Bad-news pattern
Which pattern would you use in each of the following presentation situations?
- A presentation on the benefits of exercise
- An argument in favor of starting your own small business
- A presentation that suggests North Americans are too wasteful
- The story of your life to this point
- How to deal with procrastination
Sources of Nervousness
- Constant stream of internal negative comments
- Make sure the room is prepared
- Start on time.
- Greet people as they come in
- Eliminate physical barriers
Use Nonverbal Communication
- Leave the appropriate distance between you and the audience
- Stand erect
- Consider your appearance
- Move about and use gestures
- Control your facial expressions and mannerisms
- Maintain eye contact
- Don’t ever consider memorizing.
- Instead, learn to use notes unobtrusively and effectively.
- Many presenters use their visuals as notes.
- Never use full sentences.
- Write simple key words or phrases on index cards or on the frames of your transparencies.
- You can also add notes in PowerPoint.
Managing the Question & Answer Period Regard this portion of the presentation as a chance to:
- Gather new information
- Stress your main point
- Get commitment to your plan of action
Managing the Question & Answer Period
- Establish ground rules
- Let people finish
- Respond to everything, even statements
- Restate the question
- Stay on track
- Admit you don’t know the answer
- Control the discussion
- Move toward action
Feeling lost? Get in touch with us for your next session on Communication Skills Training – Animate the Influence with strong Communication Skills