If you have trouble communicating what you mean to say when you’re talking to someone, you’re not alone. Many people find expressing themselves difficult, and a lot of the tips “communications skills” experts give aren’t as helpful as they should be.
You can build your communications skills and become a better communicator in just a few minutes, by following a few simple suggestions.
First, look at the person you’re talking to, smile when appropriate, and listen when they’re talking. More importantly, look like you’re listening. Make eye contact, use facial expressions to indicate you’re paying attention, and refer to what the other person said when you reply. The worst mistake you can make is planning your reply while the other person is talking, instead of really paying attention.
Second, when you talk, make eye contact and look interested in the other person’s reaction. Act as if the other person is important to you, and watch their body language. By responding correctly and appropriately to what the other person is saying, and how they’re acting, you can communicate more effectively by understanding them and conveying that understanding.
Another great way to improve your communication is to ask questions. Start by asking if the other person understands what you’re saying, if your message is clear. Then, when the other person is talking and you’re replying to them, ask them questions to either show that you do understand, or clarify what you do not understand.
The main key to good communication is to act as if you are interested in the other person, both when you’re talking and when they’re talking, and to make sure that you are both understanding and understood. Communication is really just mutual understanding about expressed feelings or information. If you can both express what you mean clearly, and understand what the other person is saying, you can communicate well.