A course on how to improve communication skills was one of the best courses I took in community college. The teacher for that course kept the class interesting, engaging and informative. In fact, I can still recall the tools and techniques that I learned from that course.
I was discussing the process of clear communication with a friend just the other day. The communication process begins with the speaker sending the information to the receiver. The receiver will then take in the information and reiterate in his/her own words. The sender will then confirm that the listener received it the way it was intended to complete the communication process.
Let me share what I remember from that course to those who wish to speak in public. Now, I won’t get into the metaphysics of how information can be misinterpreted, unheard, neglected, or abused. I will stick with the basics for how to improve communication skills as I learned them and as I try to practice them.
I think that you’ll agree with me when I say that public speaking is difficult for the average person. I can remember an ad that was saying that speaking in public is the number one fear of people and death is only number two. Anyway, let’s go back to the topic of how to improve communication skills.
You should first think of the topic you will be speaking on. Then realize how much you love the subject and focus on your love for the subject. Shift your focus from how you will speak to what you will speak on. You also have to forget all about being afraid if you want to learn how to improve communication skills. The next thing you should do is to stand tall, and speak out. You should get a good thing going with the acoustics in the room if you speak out over the heads of the audience. There is no need to try to hide the notes since we all understand that notes are involved. You should hold them in your hand at chest level when you refer to them. You don’t need a podium unless you are nervous. If a podium does not relieve your nerves a bit, then you should refer back to the first suggestion on how to improve communication skills.
Taking ownership is also crucial for speaking well in public. You will learn how to improve communication skills by owning that stage, pulpit, podium space, or head of the table area in the conference room. Never forget to look at the listeners. They need you to be good, kind, and direct because you have knowledge of something they know much less about.
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