Whether you are giving a presentation, sitting for an interview, working in a group, or simply networking at an event, the way you communicate is important. If you are not able to deliver what you think and want to say in an effective and engaging manner, things can get quite difficult, including missed opportunities, confusions, and misunderstandings. No matter where you want to work in the future, employees will always look for candidates who have good interactive abilities. So here are some tips to help you to improve your communication skills.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more experience you have of communicating the better you will get at conducting stimulating conversations. Grab every opportunity you can find; go to the next masterclass event, or guest lecture. There’s plenty happening right here at the Business School. At the end of most events, there’s time allocated for networking. Speak clearly and confidently. Sometimes you must be prepared to take the initiative. Even if you do not know anyone at an event, strike up a conversation with others. You never know where it might lead you!
This is vitally important but easily ignored by most people. Remember, when you are talking, people are not simply listening to you. They are also watching you. Gestures can improve and aid in visualisation. It reinforces the idea and leaves a much stronger impact on your audience. The impression you make not only involves the way you speak but also the way you behave. Make eye contact; don’t look elsewhere when you speak to someone. Avoid shaking your leg or fidgety fingers. You must be fully engrossed in order to evoke the same attention from the other party.
Ask questions. One should never be shy when there is a need to ask questions. Not only will this give you answers but will also engage the other party more effectively in the conversation. Along with sparking their interest, involving them gives the impression that you are genuinely interested to learn and understand. This is not applicable only for Q/A sessions during talks or presentations. Asking smart questions during interviews and networking allows others to see your passion, interest, and gives insight about your keenness regarding a job or a topic.
Attentive listening is probably one of the most underrated parts of communication. While speaking your mind is important, it is equally vital to hear out what the other person has to say. Others will appreciate your attention by listening to you sincerely. If you are not paying attention, it is quite irrational to expect others to do the same. Listen, ask details, and participate. When they see you are making an effort, they will return the favour. When you are working in teams, this can help avoid many conflicts that you may have. Even for interviews, interviewers frequently complain that candidates don’t answer the question asked and trail off. They are always more concerned with their own responses, when listening to the questions asked is just as important. Therefore, make sure you listen carefully and then answer accordingly.