Communication skills are very relevant for both personal and professional life. By becoming a good communicator, you will be able to sell ideas, convince people, give good feedback and give unforgettable presentations.
Communication is the basis of everything, after all, if you cannot establish intelligent dialogues in your relationships, you will hardly be able to evolve and gain people’s trust. In professional life, a team is built through communication between leaders and team members. Transparency and clarity are needed so that everyone is always on the same page and distorted interpretations are avoided.
Miscommunication can cause great inconvenience. Also, to be a good communicator, you need to be able to adapt your communication to different types of audiences. After all, the way you talk to your director must be different from the way you talk to interns, right?
It may seem simple, but it’s not. Many people find it difficult to communicate efficiently and others are not even aware that they have a gap in this area, which prevents them from growing much further in their careers.
9 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
Virtually all professionals today need to be good communicators. Whether you’re a publicist, lawyer, doctor, engineer, or teacher, you’re sure to always need to communicate and make connections with people.
Think of great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, for example, in addition to being a reference in leadership, was also a great communicator. For a business to prosper and you achieve the desired success, one of the main tools that must be worked on is communication. To help with this process, we’ve separated 10 tips that will help you become an excellent communicator!
1. Avoid Making Important Announcements via Messages
How many times have you interpreted a WhatsApp message in one way and then, talking to the person in person, discovered that they meant something else? Well, that happens a lot!
As much as technology has facilitated communication between individuals, it also brought some warnings. It is very dangerous, especially in the professional field, to make very important announcements or feedback via messages. This is because the absence of eye to eye is capable of generating misinterpretations.
Often, you write something that has meaning for you and the person on the other side of the screen interprets it in the wrong way, generating unnecessary conflicts and a bad atmosphere among the team.
Always prefer that important conversations happen in person or, as a last resort, by phone. In this way, it is guaranteed that distortions of speech will be avoided.
2. Do Rehearsals Before Big Performances
Communication in presentations is a nightmare for many people, especially the shy ones. If you get nervous or don’t have much practice in public speaking (whether it’s small or large), invest in lots of rehearsals before the big day
A tip is to write your speech, as this helps in memorization. Then replay it out loud several times. To make this process even better, how about making the presentation to a friend or family member? That way they can give you feedback and you start to get used to presenting to an audience.
3. Always Try to Simplify Your Communication
Of course, each situation needs to be analyzed, but in general, avoid expressions that are too far-fetched in your communication. This makes the dialogue too heavy at times. The same for PowerPoint presentations: eliminate unnecessary information that does not add anything visually.
Simple and objective communication is certainly one of the most effective ways to convey the desired message. Forget about this story that you have to memorize difficult words to look smart or that good slides are those crammed with icons and graphics. Be precise and get straight to the point, but never forget to base your speech very well.
4. Control the Tone of Your Voice
In moments of anger, it is normal to raise the tone of voice, just as when we are sad we tend to speak more quietly and with a certain weakness.
When in meetings in the office, avoid a very high tone of voice, as it can be interpreted as aggressive and leave people around you feeling scared. And let’s face it, no one wants to work in an environment where they feel cornered, right?
When you’re low on energy and head down, depending on the situation, it’s important not to show it so as not to demotivate the team. When people notice that things are not going well, they can easily feel contaminated by bad energy.
Of course, we all have the right to have bad days, but if you’re not feeling up to having important meetings, consider changing those date commitments. It is important that everyone feels good around you and that your communication shows tranquility and trust.
5. Adapt Your Communication According to Your Audience
Your speech will always need to be adapted according to the audience in question. Meetings with great CEOs and directors require a different kind of attitude and language than brainstorming meetings with your team.
In addition, adaptation must also vary greatly depending on the environment in which you are inserted. Communication is completely different in a startup and an investment bank. Before anything else, study your audience well and understand the best way to communicate with them.
6. Learn to Tell Good Stories
To sell your ideas with charisma and conviction, you need to know how to tell good stories. Storytelling, for example, is gaining more and more space as it is the art of telling stories using various techniques inspired by writers and screenwriters.
It’s the story that will captivate your audience. The slides in a PowerPoint are just the support, but a good communicator can make a memorable presentation without the support of any slides.
First of all, structure the story you want to tell from beginning to end, look for references, base all your arguments well and add a dash of emotion.
7. Show Confidence in Communication
Self-confidence is very important for people to be convinced by your speech. In no way should you show insecurity when you are giving a great presentation or making a statement to your team.
If your communication is flawed and insecure, your audience will not take you seriously and, consequently, you will lose credibility. As impossible as it may seem at times, take a deep breath and work on your self-confidence to convey with certainty and determination everything you are communicating.
8. Work on Expression and Body Language
Your body language will be responsible for making up the whole set of successful communication. Gestures, gaze, and posture help to convey confidence and energy.
Check out some essential tips for an effective presentation: make eye contact with the audience, avoid extreme dependence on slides; avoid standing idly by or behind a pulpit, move around the stage and have an open posture; gesture with your hands to convey energy and excitement, emphasizing certain moments of the presentation.
As for verbal expression, avoid always speaking in the same tone, as this way the audience can start to get bored after a long time of presentation. Pause so that your message is well absorbed and raise and lower your voice subtly when you need to emphasize some information.
9. Strengthen a Suggestion and Criticism Channel
Good communication starts with a dialogue, not a monologue. To gain the trust of those who work alongside you, make yourself available to listen to criticisms and suggestions for improvement.
That way, people will come to recognize you as a good communicator and listener who is willing to create a two-way street within the company.