10 tips to be a better communicator

Communication is an integral part of our lives. As we converse daily, we tend to think we are quite good at communicating. However, the truth is, not everyone possesses a natural flair to command a room and put their point across in an effective way. For some, good communication skills take planning, preparation, and practice. That is why it is often said, you need to be a great communicator to be a great leader.

To help those less confident, we have compiled a list of the ten most helpful tips, majorly from Forbes

1. Experiment with new mediums

What came to your mind when you read communication? Calling? Messaging? Talking? E-mailing? All these mediums are your “comfort zones”. Break out of your shell by adopting a new medium that you haven’t tried before. Maybe Skype, Facebook, addressing a crowd…. the options for communication are endless. Every platform has its own advantages and disadvantages; get acquainted with those of each.

2. Get to the main point

Generally, when we write an email or a message, we tend to mention our main point somewhere in the middle. It is a good habit to include your main point as early as possible. Similarly, while speaking to someone or addressing a crowd, get to the main point promptly. It helps in capturing your audience’s attention and saves a lot of time too.

3. Be specific

It is a good practice to be brief and concise while conveying your thoughts. You may love to talk, but that doesn’t mean others want to hear everything you have to say. Brevity will help you avoid being shut out by your audience. As a communicator, your goal is to weed out ambiguity and make your words count.

4. The personal touch

Generally, people don’t care about what you have to say unless it is valuable to them. The more personal a conversation is, the more effective the communication will be. The connection at a personal level need not be deep, it just needs to exist. Explaining how your products will benefit a potential customer, or how a service can benefit professionals, leads to a more receptive audience.

5. Be a good listener

Ernest Hemingway once mused, “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Communication, thus, is a two-way street. Don’t start a conversation with the sole objective to just speak your thoughts. It is important to make an effort to understand what the other person has to say. When someone else is putting across their thoughts, don’t plan what you will say next. Instead, listen attentively and understand the other person’s perspective. After all, people are more than willing to engage in a conversation if they believe their thoughts will be heard.

6. When in doubt, speak out

While engaging in a conversation, it is important that others get your point. Likewise, it is necessary that you understand their ideas too. When in doubt, ask questions, get more details before forming any conclusion. Ask clarifying questions every time a person has finished putting across their thoughts. This helps you to understand whether you got the right message. However, many people are afraid to ask for clarification for the fear of appearing foolish or offending others. Understand that people come from different backgrounds and associate different words, phrases with different meanings. Hence, it is better to ask than to assume.

7. Don’t be a ‘Know-it-all’

People despise individuals who have the tendency to comment on each and every thing. Don’t be that person in a group conversation. A person who provides opinion only when there is something important to say will be more respected and listened attentively. It is better to avoid the reputation of a person who makes reflex comments on any situation.

8. Be positive

It can be exhausting to communicate with an emotionally stingy person. Being critical all the time, harping on every small mistake can make the recipient adopt a defensive approach.

When you are constructive in your comments and offer praise, others get in tune to what you have to say. When having a face to face communication, smile and nod often as others speak. This helps them open up about their ideas. But, if you don’t listen to them and impatiently wait for your turn to speak, they won’t respect you or your ideas.

9. Be factual

It often happens that we get carried away with a conversation and tend to speak of things which we have heard but don’t know their validity. It is better to avoid saying things you are unsure of, or at least admit the same. Offering inaccurate information leads people to believe that you are not a credible source of information. And being discredited as a source of information would be the last thing any good communicator would want.

10. Getting feedback

Good communicators never assume that their message was understood in the exact same way they intended it to be.

It is always better to verify whether the message was understood clearly, and try again if not. Allow your audience an opportunity to provide inputs and opinions on your information. This technique will not only help you, it will also make the audience feel that their opinion is valued.

James Humes once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” So, do you have the communication skills to inspire others? Get in touch with us today and be your own boss!