Improve Communication Skill The Easy Way

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This article will show you how to improve communication skill in just a few easy steps. Communication skill doesn't necessarily come naturally. The reason it's called a skill is that it takes practice and it can't be acquired overnight, so don't beat yourself up over it if it takes a little while. There are a few points to learn about both speaking and listening to really develop great communication skill.

However, you can start today, this very minute on getting better and more comfortable and having conversations with people.

Here are just a few ways you can get started:

1. Start a conversation with someone

It can be someone you know well, to begin with. That should be easier. Just make a comment to them – preferably something that requires an answer so you can start a bit of a to and fro volley of words. Conversations are a lot like tennis matches that way. You throw the subject to and fro between you.

2. Plan what you're going to say

Now this may not be necessary for every casual conversation you have, so don't get too uptight about this, but if the conversation calls for something more formal or you are particularly nervous about having the conversation – plan ahead. Have in mind the point of the conversation and at least a few of the points which you want to get across.

3. Check your listeners' understanding

As well as subtly taking cues from their body language, there's nothing wrong with breaking off from what you are saying to ask,

`Are you following me?"

4. Set the tone

Warm enthusiasm is the right tone for most conversations - because it shows that you are interested in your topic but also that you will take account of your audience and respond to their needs too. You can vary this tone as and when the situation or conversation calls for it, of course.

5. Any questions?

Often in a conversation – especially one that has more purpose than general getting to know you chit-chat, it's appropriate to invite questions. When you answer the questions, though – don't feel you have to launch straight into an answer; take your time and make sure you have the answer right in your head first.

You could also paraphrase the question and mirror it back to the person that asked you, to ensure that you have understood correctly. People will like this kind of courteous care.

Don't feel you have to hold all the answers, either. If you don't know something, say you don't know and offer to find out. That is much more respectful and honest than making up an answer!

6. Listening is as important as speaking

Develop your listening skill by listening attentively to the whole sentence or message, so you can be sure you fully understand what is being said.

Look at the speaker and maintain a comfortable level of eye contact so that you are concentrating on them all the time. Their facial expressions and tone of voice will tell you just as much if not more than the actual words spoken.

Show that you are listening by nodding and making occasional noises of `mmm' and `uh-huh' etc.

7. Give people a chance If you're not going to do all the talking and turn this into a lecture and not a conversation – then the other person needs to speak. Let them. Leave pauses and also pick up on people's body language of when it looks like they want to speak.

8. Be prepared to be pro-active

You're not the only one who might find it difficult to take part in a conversation. The person you're talking to may feel just as awkward – if not more so. Help them along by inviting them into the conversation with an easy question to answer.

That doesn't mean putting them on the spot; just a simple `what do you think?' is as good as anything, often.

9. Value people's contributions

Once you've let someone else speak, don't immediately think,

"Oh right, my turn now - let's get back to the important subject – me!"

Pick up from what was said with a question that shows you were listening and allows them to illustrate a little further, or make a comment of approval, perhaps by saying how their holiday sounded lovely and you'd like to visit there some day: something along those lines, anyway.

Follow these few tips will soon have your conversation flowing more easily and you will feel much easier about starting conversations. Do you see now how it doesn't have to be so hard to improve communication skill?

About the Author:

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. This report reveals the secret strategies all high achievers use to communicate with charm and impact. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/blog

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