Communication has a great significance in our lives. Almost all of our dealings and personal/professional relationships rely on effective communication skills. A single element of communication skill helps you to achieve a competitive edge and advance in your career. Today, we’ll discuss communication skills, it types, and how to improve your communication skill.
What is Communication Skill?
Communication skill is the process of transmitting and receiving various types of information. It’s a significant part of our daily lives. However, it takes a lot of time and practice to learn the art of effective and clear communication.
It’s worth mentioning it here that efficient communication skill comprises of various elements like empathizing, observing, speaking, and listening. It’s better if you understand the difference among various types of communications like social media, email, digital connections, phone calls, or face-to-face communication.
Types of Communication
Some of the main types of communication are as follows;
- Verbal: it’s communication through written or spoken words of any language
- Non-verbal: you use vocalic, facial expressions, or body gestures for communications
- Written: you use written numbers, words, or symbols
- Visual: it comprises graphs, charts, sketches, drawing, art, photography, etc.
How to improve your Communication Skill
Let’s discuss how to improve your communication skill; some of the main professional suggestions are as follows;
According to an estimate, the audience perceives 55% of the communication through non-verbal cues. It means a vast majority of your communication is through physical cues and gestures, instead of written or spoken words.
You should speak clearly and confidently and follow a good physical posture. You should avoid folding arms or lazily standing. Instead, you should maintain good eye contact or fill up space.
A study by Stanford University in 1990 showed that the speakers overestimate the comprehension of the audience in their presentation. The study comprised of tappers and listeners; the idea was that tappers would tap the melody of famous songs, and the listeners would guess the song.
The listeners identified only 2.5% of the songs correctly. The speaker should communicate clearly especially when presenting the idea, and avoid over-communication. Because it’s difficult for people to stay focused and understand new things.
Avoid Over-use of Visual Aids
Steve Jobs and Sheryl Sandberg banned the use of PowerPoint presentations in Apple and Facebook. They consider that the PowerPoint presentation distracts people rather than helping in communication. Therefore, your focus should be on learning clear communication and effectively using non-verbal cues to connect with people.
You should receive constructive criticism and honest feedback from members, managers, peers, friends, and relatives and use it to get better. If you keep following the feedback, then you can quickly improve your communication skill.
Connect with Audience
It doesn’t matter however interesting and compelling your content is; there’s a limit on the attention of the audience. If you want to be an effective speaker, then you should interact with the audience in order to retain their attention. However, you should float a question and invite the audience to brainstorm and share their ideas and thoughts.
If you want your audience to remember the content of your presentation, then you should rephrase your keynotes at the beginning and at the end of the presentation. Their length shouldn’t increase by more than one page. If it stays less than one page, then people could understand it.
PIP (purpose, importance, and preview) approach means that the speaker starts the presentation by explaining the purpose, then its importance, and finally a preview of the whole topic by summarizing its main points. However, it’s one of the best approaches and it allows the audience to stay focus on the topic.
Record your Presentation
It takes a lot of time and energy to learn the art of communication. However, if you have to deliver the presentation at different locations, then you record it. It would help you to review your performance and use it multiple times.
There are many video recording platforms like Zoom Wistia that provide you an opportunity to record your presentation. Along with recording, you can also use effects to make the video interesting.
Comedians are the most effective speakers and they know the art of keeping the attention of the audience for hours. Some of their jokes won’t fit within the environment of the formal presentation. Therefore, you should learn the art of attracting and retaining the attention of the audience.
Lawyers follow the extemporaneous style when they present a case in court. They don’t memorize the whole speech. Instead, they create notes of the main ideas and points they plan to discuss. It provides the flexibility to change the presentation depending upon the response and reaction of the audience. However, business speakers should also follow the same style. It requires a lot of practice, once you have done it, and then you become a natural speaker.
Know the Audience
It’s better to connect with the audience in order to connect with the audience. It’s because people in the audience are different at different events, their educational level, trends, and preferences are also different. Therefore, it’s better to connect with them and know their interest, and change the presentation accordingly.
According to a study that people tend to remember information over a period of time if you present it in a novel and creative way. Therefore, you should add some innovative elements to the presentation in order to attract the attention of viewers.
You should have a friendly attitude and communicate in an amiable environment with professionals. It’s worth mentioning it here that successful speakers earn the respect of the viewers of their audience. Laughter and humor are good, but you shouldn’t end the presentation with jokes.
You should have the capability to carefully listen to your audience when they share their comments or ask questions. When you actively listen to their concern, then you can answer them better.
Conclusion: How to improve your Communication Skill
After an in-depth study of how to improve your communication skill, we’ve concluded that communication skill has a great significance in our lives. If you want to develop your communication skill, then follow the abovementioned suggestions and practice them often.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.