MASTER YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
10 Proven Ways to Speak and Write with Clarity and Confidence.
“Excellent Communication Skills” is a pre-requisite in almost every job in every organization big or small in every industry. Even beyond, communication plays a vital role in every area of our lives. In fact your ability to succeed in anything depends on your ability to influence and inspire through your spoken and written words.
Especially in today’s workplace you success is directly proportionate to your ability to communicate with your co-workers, managers, and clients on a day-to-day basis. When individuals and teams communicate effectively, productivity is improves and the results are beneficial to everyone.
Keep in mind, good communication encompasses the whole package – speaking, writing, listening and non-verbal cues like smiling and maintaining eye contact.
Here are 10 easy and proven tips to communicate with clarity and confidence.
The Spoken Word
1. Use an assertive voice
Be it over the phone, on video or face-to-face, make sure you speak in a clear and articulate manner, with a strong, powerful voice conveying confidence and purpose.
People with strong, assertive voices are perceived as having more self-confidence and instantly grab attention.
2. Breathe in and speak slowly
Remember, slow, proper breathing is needed to power up your voice. Slow down your rate of speech. This will also add impact to the words spoken and enhance the clarity overall.
3. Speak with determination
Make sure you speak in your authentic voice and with power in person, on camera or over the phone. When you stay firm and use strategic pausing effectively, it shows you are in control of what you are saying, and, it gives the listener time to process.
4. Avoid filler words
Filler words like “umm” or “er” or “ah” are mere sounds, words and phrases that contain no real meaning, but are often used to keep one’s speech flowing. Be aware of how you use them and reduce them slowly.
5. Practice active listening
Don’t make it a one-way conversation. Show the speaker that you are engaged by demonstrating active listening. This is a much appreciated skill as it allows you to hear, understand, and respond to the speaker in the proper way.
This means, paraphrasing what the speaker says in your own words, asking open-ended questions and offering verbal and non-verbal feedback that engages everyone.
The Written Word
6: Demonstrate articulation at every opportunity
Strong writing skills are essential for many jobs today. These include your ability to write clearly and concisely from anything from emails, presentations, reports, white papers and anything related to your daily activities.
7: Write to drive action
You can make an impact with the way you write. Remember the 3 Cs, Clarity, Cohesiveness and Control – to break through the clutter, get your message across, and drive your audience to take the action you desire.
As much as possible write in a straightforward active voice rather than a passive voice.
E.g., “I delivered the project” (Active) vs. “The project was delivered by me.” (Passive).
Lead the conversation by highlighting key points and prioritize important information in sequence.
Keep in mind that people are bombarded with information and pressed for time. So you need to complete the message by connecting the dots. It is recommended to use topic sentences, make your point clear and not leave anything implied.
This refers to how well the elements in your written piece come together to meet their purpose. Always support your message with a call to action. And every word, bullet point and sentence should drive toward your main communication goal. This way, the reader will not just understand you, they will more likely be persuaded by the information.
Murali Murthy is an acclaimed public speaker, life coach and best-selling author of The ACE Principle, The ACE Awakening, The ACE Abundance and You Are HIRED!. He is also Chairperson of CAMP Networking Canada. Learn how he can help unlock your magic at: ACEWorldFoundation.com