Improving communication skills can be a vital element in achieving goals and accomplishments. The goal of communicating efficiently is to be understood fully and to clearly understand others. By being understood and understanding others through effective communication, acceptance and action can be gained. Excellent communication skills can set someone above and beyond the rest. It increases the chances of winning awards, gaining public status, getting promote, receiving job offers, being taken more seriously, seeming more professional and becoming a leader.

Conference Room

There are three major branches of communication: verbal, nonverbal and symbolic.

  • Verbal communication is actual precise dialect use to convey a message. Contrary to belief, verbal communication is interpreted less by the receiver than nonverbal and symbolic.
  • Nonverbal communication includes many different aspects. This includes, but is not limited to: facial expressions, eye contact, posture and gestures. Nonverbal can carry many times the impact of verbal.
  • Symbolic is a calibration of signals that people send about themselves.

Always remember that when engaging in conversation there are 4 major forms a message will take.

1) The way the speaker intends for it to be.2) The way the speaker actually sends the message. 3) The way the receiver hears the message. 4) Then, the way the receiver will remember it. Number 4 is the most important.

Improving Verbal Communication Skills:

  • Refer to people by their name, however, avoiding over usage.
  • Speak in simple, easy to understand, straight forward language. This includes using proper grammar and pronunciation of words. Avoid talking above someone or showing off.
  • Be courteous to all engaged in the conversation.
  • Don't interrupt, allow other people to finish what they are saying.
  • When in groups, encourage others to take part in the conversation, when appropriate.
  • Speak clearly and use a nice, pleasant tone of voice. Avoid using the same tone throughout the conversation.
  • Compliment people, when appropriate.
  • Avoid using filler words, such as um, err, etc...

Improving Nonverbal Communication Skills:

  • Make eye contact and look at the person who is talking or listening.
  • Avoid negative nonverbal communication, such as closed arms, frowning, tapping fingers, rolling eyes, etc...
  • Use good posture and keep the arms open.
  • Look as if the conversation is one of the most interesting ever.

Overall Improving:

  • Give feedback on what other people have to say, either verbally or nonverbally.
  • Be a good listener by practicing active listening. Listen to everything being said and the entire meaning. Learn to read nonverbal communication. Listen and watch feedback.
  • Determine ahead of time what the conversation should accomplish.
  • Be interested in the outcome of all involved.

This is a general overview of communication and improving the flow of conversations. Like with anything else, practice makes perfect.