Communication is an important aspect of everyday and professional life, and being an excellent communicator is a marketable skill. Starting a new position can be an anxious experience, especially if you are new to working in a professional environment for the first time. Speaking to others is often difficult when trying to learn the decorum of the workplace. When ideas and concepts can flow freely, a team will work better and will be able to accomplish much more together. These tips will help you become a more talented communicator if you choose to apply them while speaking.
- Listen and Understand
An extremely important part of communication is listening and understanding others. People enjoy being heard, understood, and knowing that their perspective is important. Their unique perspective could be the catalyst to solving a problem you may not know how to fix or may not be aware of. Establishing an effective line of communication with others starts with not only listening, but also understanding and processing their thoughts and ideas.
Remember to: Maintain enough eye contact long enough to show that you are listening, but not too much as to make the speaker uncomfortable.
- Vocabulary & Audience
While making an effort to not be too verbose or confusing, use descriptive words that accurately portray the concept or idea at hand. The ability to precisely convey an idea with as few words as possible can be an incredibly powerful skill, provided the words are being used correctly and are appropriate for your audience. Using this skill effectively is like a surgeon using a scalpel for an incision; no more or less than what is completely essential.
Remember to: Familiarize yourself with the jargon or trade specific terms of the people with whom you are speaking, so that you may use and understand each other easily.
- Speak Clearly and Avoid Slang
A roadblock in effectively communicating can often be a lack of enunciation, as well as the use of slang. It is essential to speak as clearly as possible to aid the transfer of an idea, especially over the phone. New or current slang words should also be avoided because they have the chance to be misunderstood by the listener as they often sound out of place or unprofessional. It is also important to project your voice clearly with authority and authenticity in order to portray the best professional version of yourself.
Remember to: Enunciate clearly and use descriptive words that people of all ages and background can easily understand.
- Speak the truth and be direct
Do not lie or try to deceive others. Lying will always end poorly and amplify the negative consequences of the reason the lie was told in the first place. It's always better to own your mistakes so that you may reflect and improve with humility rather than lie and deceive with arrogance. Lying will erode the hard-earned trust you've built among associates and give you an unsavory reputation. Also, try not to gossip or speak poorly of others, as it will negatively reflect upon you. Instead, when talking about a person, speak of them positively and highlight their admirable qualities.
Remember to: Always tell the truth, even if it’s difficult to do.
- Pay attention to body language
A crucial component of communication is body language. The manner in which a person stands is one of the first impressions another can make; it is essential that you should present yourself as confident and capable. An easy way to do this is to focus on your posture. Avoiding slouching will not only make you look more vigilant and dignified, but it is also a healthier way to sit. When speaking to others, project openness and sincerity to invite any ideas they may have to offer.
Remember to: Try not to cross your arms when talking to others, as it seems impersonal and makes you look disinterested and closed off.
I implore the readers of this article to use this advice as often as they possibly can. Communication is an often overlooked skill, and as such should be constantly progressed with practice.