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10 Ways to improve your communication

"It's just as important as asking questions"

By : Kapriz

"A Piece of Blarney Stone" - 10 ways to empower your communication

The Blarney Stone is a historical stone, or actually part of the Blarney Castle in Ireland where it was believed that kissing the stone could grant you the gift of gab. Yeah, it seems strange in this day and age, but who are we to question tradition? It's not as if I'm saying that Santa Claus doesn't exist (OOPS!).

There is so much to know about conversation that anyone, even I, could ever realize. You can watch talk shows; listen to radio programs or ordinary conversations; go to clubs dedicated to public speaking - and certain rules apply when it comes to interaction through words. It may sound tedious, I know, but even though it's your mouth that's doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way is there to start learning to be an effective communicator than to know the very person closest to you: yourself?

1. What you know
Education is all about learning the basics. However, to be an effective speaker is to practice what you've learned. My stint, as guest at every Toastmasters' meeting I go to, taught me that we all have our limitations. But that doesn't mean we can't learn to keep up and share what we know.

2. Listening
It's just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.

3. Humility
We all make mistakes and sometimes we tend to slur our words. We stutter and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means - but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don't be afraid to ask if you're saying the right word properly and if they're unsure about what you want to say. Then make a joke out of it. I promise you it'll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it as well.

4. Eye Contact
There's a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It's important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous.

5. Kidding around
A little bit of humour can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you'll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they'll feel that you're just as approachable and as human to them who are listening.

6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You'll get a lot of ideas as well as knowing what make people what they are.

7. Me, Myself, and I
Admit it; there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the pitch of your voice in stressful areas. And while you're at it, you can trim your speech as well.

8. With a smile
A smile says it all, much like eye contact. There's no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless you need to communicate something that way. You can better express what you're saying when you smile.

9. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they're at a public gathering or maybe at church. Sure, they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage.

10. Preparation
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you do since you have to enjoy it.

Always listen to people - how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.


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