Effective Communication

Did you know that being an effective communicator can help you to be an effective public speaker?

Well it can! Many of the skills that you need to be a great public speaker are used when you communicate effectively. Here are a few of them:

  • Speaking clearly so that the listener can hear and understand you
  • Listening to what the a person is really saying or asking before you respond
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Watching for body language and nonverbal cue
  • Supporting your position with facts, quotes, expert opinions etc

These are a few of the things that you do when you talk to friends or relatives on a regular basis. When you start to discuss your favorite celebrity, sports team, school activity, or book—you have to follow it up with “something” that will establish your reasons for your position. And you probably state it without being asked the silent question, “why”.

You probably say, “I enjoyed this book because the author made the characters come alive.  I felt like I was part of the story.”

And… you probably won’t say, “I like the book because” and stop there. You would back up your opinion with facts or reasons so that it is clear to the listener why you feel or think the way that you do.

These are things that you do when you’re developing a speech or giving a presentation. But when you are speaking to people there are a few things that you should try to do which will ensure that you’re an effective communicator.

  • Take turns speaking—don’t be a conversation hog
  • Match the level and language of the person you are speaking to—not too sophisticated and not to babyish
  • Give feedback when asked
  • Give your opinion if asked
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand something
  • Actively listen to the other person
  • Watch for body language signs—if the person wants to leave or change the subject
  • Stay calm
  • Don’t attack the person

If you put these things into practice you will not only be an effective communicator…but you will be on your way to being an effective public speaker.

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Written by Michelle Dyett-Welcome on October 24, 2009

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