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Develop Your Communication Skills Through Speaking And Listeningfrom: Marie Kearney Gordon - Guest Writer
Initiating a conversation is a good first step in developing good communication skills, but effective communication skills however, cannot be acquired overnight, hence ythe reason why it is called a skill. It needs to be learned, practiced and developed through time.
For project managers, journalists, public media spokespeople, broadcasters, and an extensive list of other career professionals, effective communication skills are of prime importance in carrying out their day to day activities.
To develop your communication skills, you have to learn to speak effectively and listen attentively, and these two are the most important skills you have to attain. Listed below are some pointers on how best to achieve this:-
For one to develop good public speaking abilities, speaking skills have to be learned, practiced and evaluated over a period of time, and the first rule of thumb to be able to speak effectively is, planning what to say.
Focus initially on what the main idea that you are trying to convey will be, and organize your thoughts in such a way that they lead to the main thrust of the message you are trying to send across.
Once you have arrived at your main idea, take a short break, and ask your audience if they are still following you clearly, and by doing this, you will be able to know if you are off tangent on what you are saying, or still on the right path.
Ask your listeners if they understood what you were saying so that you are both on the same wavelength, and keep makeing sure that you keep your conversation focused and direct to the point.
Another important point to remember when speaking, is the style you use in expressing yourself. The speaking style you use has a considerable impact on the audience you are speaking to, especially if you want to be convincing.
When speaking, strive to be warm and enthusiastic, and your audience will be responsive, and good interaction can be formed with them.
It is also normal to expect questions during a conversation, and you should always be prepared to answer them.
When answering, take your time by paraphrasing the question, in order to be sure that you are certain of what it means, and in situations where you do not know the answer to the question, do not make up an answer, but instead be frank, and say that you do not know the answer.
Strive to be an effective listener by listening attentively to what the speaker is saying. To be an effective listener, you should be able to hear the words as the speaker communicates, so that you can understand the entire message. Effective listening in developing communication skills is by looking at the speaker when he is communicating, maintain eye contact and nodding during brief pauses.
Watch the facial expression of the speaker, to be able to completely understand the tone of the message he is conveying, and also show a responsive attitude to the speaker through your body language and your attentiveness.
To be an effective listener, you must be composed when relating to the speaker, as in this way, they will feel more accepted when they are with you. Do not fidget or frown when looking at the speaker, because he is trying to get a response from you, so giving a negative attitude will make him feel defensive, insecure and not confident.
As part of developing good communication skills, it is important to ask questions during a conversation, and when asking questions, use open ended questions, so that it is easier for the listener to know how best to answer your questions.
Hopefully the above tips will serve to give some guidelines in your quest in perfecting your communication skills.