Simple Ways To Improve Your Communication

The Blarney Stone is a historical stone, or actually part of the Blarney Castle in Ireland where it was believed that kissing the stone could grant you the gift of gab. Yeah, it seems strange in this day and age, but who are we to question tradition?

There is so much to know about conversation and personal communication that anyone could ever realize. You can spend hours watching talk shows; radio programs; clubs dedicated to public speaking; ordinary conversations; and discover that certain rules seem to always apply when it comes to effective communication. It may sound tedious, I know, but even though it’s your mouth that’s doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of words and concepts to help you connect with others.

The secrets to being a good communicator (and to get more out of life) is two fold. One is to understand a little bit about the ‘rules’ of effective communication. The other, and most important secret, is to know one person: Yourself. Below are some simple tips to improve your personal communication.

Talk About What You Know, And KNOW What You Are Talking About
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective communicator it is about practice and knowing what you are talking about. Everyone has limits when it comes to knowledge, so admit what you do not know and be confident in what you do know. Most importantly, never stop learning and investigating so your information is up-to-date and accurate.

Listening Is Imperative To Good Communication
Good commutation is NOT just about talking or writing. The important (and often overlooked) other half of communication is listening. Knowing what questions to ask is important, but the ability to listen to the answers is the key to understanding. Also, the ability to listen to the sound of our own voice, how you are communicating, can teach you how you are communicating. Are you confident? Or arrogant? Do you convey compassion? Anger? This goes back to the important point that knowing yourself is the best route to being a good communicator.

You Are Not What You Know, You Are Human, Show Humility
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and at some point will probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means. When speaking in a group, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re saying the right word properly. Do not take yourself too seriously all the time. Be prepared to make fun of yourself and admit to your mistakes. Like they say, ‘to error is human, forgive divine’. Forgive others for being human, and forgive yourself.

Eye Contact, Eye Contact, Eye Contact.
Often the eyes can convey more truth than words. There’s a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to the person or people you are speaking too, and an eye-catching gaze can speak even louder. It’s important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, and also with a single individual you are talking too. For some, eye contact can break one’s focus. Practice not letting that happen.

Humor Is Powerful Communication
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, remove boredom, or drive home a point on a topic. Everyone loves good humor. Do not try to be funny, just state the facts, how you relate to those facts, and let the humor arrive. Humor gets everyone’s attention. Also, humor makes you seem human and more approachable (and easier to listen to).

Every Group As A Shared Culture
Every group, large or small, has a shared culture. They have ideas, ideals, perspectives and assumptions that they all share in common. Try to identify that share culture. Interaction and mingling with people to learn what they share in common. This is part listening and asking questions. Once you have some idea of what a group holds in common then you will find how to best communicate with them. The same holds true for communicating with a single individual. By knowing who this person is, how this person relates to others, you can fine tune your method of communicating with that person.

Smile And The World Similes With You
A smile says it. A smile is as important as eye contact. Smiling should be your normal method of commutation. Save the frown and angry looks for when you only absolutely need these ‘looks’ to commutate your displeasure.

Have A Role Model, Be A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you enjoy listening to. They may be at church, on TV, radio, at work or even in movies. Take a mental note of how your role model emphasize what they say, their tone, what they do with their hands and eyes. Will these techniques work for you? Try them out and see. Find other people who communicate effectively and study them a bit. Soon, you will be the role model of personal communication that other will want to learn from.

Public Speaking Is All About Preparation
Preparation for a public speaking is superior to just scribbling notes (often in a hurried panic) and hoping things work out. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). With preparation and a little practice you will be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy the opportunity to speak in front of others.

And that about wraps it up. These tips, secrets and suggestions can empower you to communicate better with others. The above are simple, easy ideas, but they have proven themselves effective for centuries. By learning to communicate more honestly and effectively you will likely discover you can get more out of life, from personal relationships to your career.

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