The ability to speak clearly and confidently is crucial to success in business. If you want to get ahead, you need to develop these skills.
You don’t need to be a natural speaker to succeed in business. Some of the greatest leaders in history didn’t necessarily excel at public speaking. They had other talents that helped them rise above their peers.
For example, if your clients speak another language you may like to improve your language knowledge and communication skills for smooth flow of work. Start by reviewing these strategies for mastering spoken communication if you wish to improve your communication skills.
1. Spoken communication
People struggle to get things done because they keep quiet about what they think and feel. We often don’t share our ideas out loud because we worry about not being heard or aren’t comfortable sharing our opinions.
But if you want others to listen to your point of view, you have to say it. It makes no difference if you\’re talking about work or school. As long as you can express yourself well enough so that people understand your message, there should be no problem.
In your oral communication ensure that you use terms that your clients and workmates understand. If it’s an American audience, you need to note their favourite accents and master them. Oral communication needs to be clear and precise.
2. Active listening
When you ask someone questions, give them time to answer. When you’re giving instructions or explaining something, let them know when to follow up later. This will make them feel like you’re interested in their input.
And when they see you’re responding to them in real-time, they’ll be much more likely to open up and share their thoughts with you.
3. Body language
People often pick up on nonverbal signals from those around them. For example, you could use facial expressions or gestures to indicate what kind of reaction you expect to hear back. You may also hold a certain body posture to emphasize points you want to make.
4. Speech patterns
Think about how you would sound if all the words stopped coming out of your mouth. Is your voice too high-pitched? Do you stutter or stammer? If so, what type of speech pattern is causing this? Are you using proper grammar, spelling, and diction?
5. Vocal quality
Does your voice carry weight? Is your tone clear? Does it come across with confidence? What makes one person sound authoritative and another sound timid? The answers won’t lie within the physical structure of your vocal cords. Instead, it’s going to take practice and consistency to master your voice.
6. Eye contact
It might not seem easy to maintain eye contact while speaking to someone who isn’t sitting next to you. Studies show that lack of eye contact when speaking to people speaks a lot about you. And since many people avoid direct eye contact, it often leaves us feeling frustrated and uncomfortable.
How long does it take for you to talk? Most people speak very quickly. People who pace themselves and control their speed tend to command greater respect than those who blurt things out in the heat of the moment.
While you may find yourself rushing through an important presentation, try slowing down to control the flow of information.
Even though you might have planned what you wanted to say beforehand, your words still need to be delivered at the right pitch, volume, and rhythm. Keep repeating phrases until you find the right balance.
The clearest communicator usually wins. You\’ll make mistakes over and over until you remember to explain what you said, no matter how good your memory is. Ask yourself these two questions: “Am I making sense? Am I saying what I mean?”
Whether you’re discussing an issue with colleagues or speaking to customers over the phone, you need to put periods where they belong. Some writers believe you shouldn’t end sentences with prepositions, but this varies depending on context.
10. Voice inflection
If you’re trying to convince someone of anything, you have to demonstrate emotion. Speak louder or softer depending on what you want to convey. Sighing, frowning, and smiling are just a few examples of ways to change the way you deliver your message.
You only have seconds to make an impact before your listener loses interest and moves away from you. To avoid sounding awkward or monotone, you must pay careful attention to timing and punctuation. Make sure each word carries its full meaning and leaves the listener wanting more.
There’s an adage that says, “If you tell a joke and don’t laugh, then you’ve told a story. If you tell a story and don’t care about the consequences, then you haven’t really shared anything.”
Asking yourself these kinds of questions will help you become a better communicator. If you start paying attention to these areas, you\’ll see how much more efficient you can be when conversing with friends, co-workers, and loved ones.
Winding it up
These simple tips can add up to huge results! Use them when communicating with people at your workplace or business premises. It could be your boss, clients, or workmates.