Would you believe that one of my fears once was talking in front of a crowd? Well, I once was afraid because I might get mocked for my English-speaking ability. I know that I have the tendency to mispronounce words or have grammatical errors. After being exposed to many motivational and developmental training events, and realizing my passion, I got over this fear. This does not mean though that my pronunciations and grammar are now perfect, I just don’t let these weaknesses stop me from pursuing my purpose.
I met and know a lot of people who, until now, are afraid to be on stage or speak in public because they were conditioned that being a good communicator is to be an eloquent speaker. I am not downplaying the importance of eloquence but I strongly believe that it is not the factor that will make or break effective communication. It is just a bonus point.
To be a great communicator, I discovered that we should focus on nonverbal communication and on connecting with the other party, not on impressing. This, for me, is the meaning of effective communication. I can really attest that the way I speak, talk, or communicate is the most vital factor that helped and continuously helps me build relationships with the people I serve and inspire them to take action to fulfill their goals.
How can we become effective communicators? This is the right question to ask rather than asking if you have what it takes or not. Because as much as I believe that effective communication is more than eloquence, I believe that everyone can be an effective communicator. All of us can learn. Here are some practices that I committed to doing consistently for me to become better in this aspect:
- Read books. Although I am still far from perfect when it comes to grammar, I can say that I improved a lot. One of the reasons for this development is my habit of reading books. Not only did it help me improve my grammar, but it also widened my vocabulary.
- Listen to audios and watch videos that are in English. Observation is a great learning tool. One of the ways that I constantly do that helped my communication skills is to listen to motivational audio recordings every time possible, mostly when I am driving. In addition to that, I also watch videos of motivational speakers and trainers and learn those gestures which worked for me as a viewer. Having this habit is like hitting two birds with one stone because aside from learning the effective communication skills used by experienced speakers and trainers, I also learned the valuable lessons they share in their pieces.
- Learn the different kinds of nonverbal communication. To properly communicate my thoughts and ideas, I familiarized myself with the different kinds of nonverbal communication techniques. It is through our actions that the audience sees our energy, our genuineness, and our emotions. Thus, this is the most effective way to deliver our message to our audience. Not only that, by knowing nonverbal communication, we can also assess the mood, the reaction, and the real feeling of our audience towards us or our topic. With this, we will know how to help them address whatever they are feeling.
Communication is a very important skill in dealing with other people especially if you are in sales. It is vital in building new relationships, and in keeping relationships. Let us always remember that it is not about what we say, but how we say it that matters. We have to learn how to communicate properly and effectively.