TIPS TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION & GROUP DISCUSSION SKILLS
Why is it so hard for you to get good marks in discussions? Why do you end up getting low grades as compared to your batchmates? Why aren’t you able to participate actively in a discussion or presentation? Do you hesitate to ask questions in front of everyone?
An effective communication is one of the most important life skills one can learn. Corking communication skills are essential for your success. Usually, we don’t put a lot of effort into learning to communicate more effectively but people who can get along with others and who can communicate both verbally and non-verbally are always preferred. Here are some of the important tips that will help you hone your communication skills.
1. Listen very carefully –
Listening is equally as important as speaking is. Listen more and more, it’s the most important source at the time of speaking to someone. You should listen to the other person very carefully. At that moment the person speaking to you is the most important person in your life, pay attention to the person in front, without getting distracted and genuinely show interest in whatever they are saying.
2. Think before you speak –
You should first think of what you are going to speak and how your words are going to affect the person with whom you are interacting. Always try to connect with the feeling of the other person and try your best to adapt your communication style to the level of their comprehension.
3. Try not to interrupt the other person –
It’s very rude to interrupt a person while they are expressing their views, it is very disrespectful and it also hampers the thought process of the person in front. If it seems to be necessary to make an interruption, then learn to interrupt politely. Ask the person if you can interrupt him/her and use phrases like “sorry to interrupt you” or “I understand your point, but…”.
4. Observe and interpret accordingly –
You must be aware that during a communication, it is more of nonverbal communication than verbal communication that matters. Your body language, tone, gestures play a very important role. It is not only verbal words or phrases/sentences that we deliver but also the way, how we deliver the same. Don’t send negative signals to the other person; be very careful when it comes to body language.
5. Be neutral and confident of your ideas –
Always be confident of what you are saying. Don’t be nervous and express it. This will not leave a good impact on the other person and they may discourage you even. Say what you believe but always think before what you speak. Don’t argue or get defensive when someone interrupts you and points out a mistake, try to understand what the other person is saying and respect his points. Always maintain a eye contact with the person with whom you are talking. Speak articulately- that is speaking in such a way that can be easily expressed and understood.
6. Don’t deviate from the topic and jump to the conclusion –
Think about the topic for two minutes and try to speak relevant points. Try to stick to the topic and bring points that are related to it. Avoid jumping directly onto the conclusions; otherwise, the whole idea of conversation will become pointless.
7. Cross question and practice your interrogatives –
Show the other person that you are very much interested in the conversation, participate and respond actively. Ask the person to clarify the points that were not clear when he/she spoke.. Ask questions like “what do you mean?” or “sorry I don’t follow that” or “could you say that another way”.
You must practice these skills religiously to overcome the difficulties you might be facing. The above tips will help you enhance your communication skills and ensure you a positive future.