It is easy to overlook several important facts about the topic of communication.
First, communication is central to getting our needs met. When we don’t know how to put our wishes into words, we face more difficulty getting them fulfilled.
Second, communication enables us to establish healthy relationships and to function in them smoothly. Communication allows us to know where we are and where we stand within a relationship.
So why do we tend to ignore or to downplay the importance of this topic?
7 Tips to Inspire You to Communicate Effectively
Perhaps it’s because we assume there’s no need to develop our communication skills further. Perhaps it’s because we wouldn’t know what to do or where to turn if we wanted to improve our communication skills.
Perhaps it’s because we’re actually afraid of many aspects of speaking in public, and we tend to avoid as many events that involve communication as possible.
No matter what the reason is, there are several simple principles you can learn to make your own communication efforts more effective. Here are 7 tips to start you off and inspire you to communicate effectively:
1. Don’t be self-conscious when you speak.
Although this piece of advice may seem elementary, it is also critical for good communication. Communication is a transaction between people.
When we are preoccupied with our own reactions and state of mind instead of being mindful of what is transpiring between us and the people we are talking to, we become “lost” in the conversation.
Don’t be afraid to engage with other people when you speak. Don’t focus on how other people might be evaluating you; instead, decide to focus on delivering your message with the greatest clarity and power you can muster.
2. Don’t be afraid to make an impact with your words.
Know that feeling nervous should not discourage you from speaking about what’s on your mind. Feeling nervous is simply an indication that you have something worth saying.
If you feel a passion for your message, believe and trust that others will want to hear from you about it.
3. Avoid predicting what the outcome of your conversation will be.
One easy way to speak more effectively is to clear your head of mental clutter. When we predict how our words will be received by others, we become mentally cluttered and unclear when we speak.
This is especially true when we assume our words will be received in a negative way, for example, with criticism, judgment, or ridicule. Spare yourself this type of clutter and push forward with your actual message.
4. Don’t be afraid of your own feelings.
Use your feelings when you speak. Express them in the volume (high or low) of your voice. Use them to add color and energy to the words you choose.
You don’t need to whitewash your feelings from what you say. When we sense someone is talking honestly about their emotions, we tend to listen a little bit more intently.
When we speak in conjunction with how we are feeling, we speak with meaning and intensity.
5. Know that you can describe anything well.
If you have ever remained silent because you didn’t have the words to describe your experience, this tip is for you. The next time you feel you cannot speak with clarity, let the people you are speaking with know. For example, you could say:
“Although I feel positively about this campaign, I’m still struggling to figure out why I am not comfortable supporting its getting launched right now. Does anyone else feel the same way?”
Just use your words; keep them plain, simple, and closely matched to what you are experiencing. This is a great technique for fostering greater understanding between people.
6. Know that you can be confident in your opinion.
There is no substitute for confidence when we are speaking. Confidence is the special sauce that makes our delivery successful and makes our message stick.
Note this is true even when others disagree with our opinion.
When we speak with confidence, we convey we are to be trusted and we mean what we say. So when you speak, speak whole-heartedly.
7. Aim to preserve your own and others’ freedom when you speak.
Most people enjoy and value their sense of freedom. If you can maintain your own options and encourage others to make the best use of their own options when you speak, you will likely be able to communicate well.
It is when we try to cajole, to manipulate, or to misguide others, or when we feel pressured ourselves that breakdowns in our communication with others occur.
When we feel our freedom is being threatened or is at stake, then our comfort level goes down and difficulties may ensue.
Don’t feel bound by what others say and don’t try to bind others with what you say.
As you can see, the options for improving your communication are numerous.
Try one, try several. Find what works for you. Remember to opt for confidence rather than fear or anxiety when you speak. Make a connection with those you are speaking to instead of trying to impress.
Then enjoy the relationships and opportunities that open up for you when you do make those connections.