Communicating isn’t just about getting your point across. Knowing how to respond and what to say depends a lot on what the person you’re speaking to is saying. Properly listening (not just formulating in your mind what you’re going to say) is key, as you can then give an appropriate reply. Not everyone is a great listener, if you know you aren’t then be aware of this and try and work on it. Focus on what the person is saying and take it in.
Learn More Words
Ever felt like you couldn’t find the words to describe or explain something properly? Maybe the words that you used fell short, or you simply couldn’t express something the way you wanted? Expanding your vocabulary can help with this, and allow you to speak eloquently portraying your point perfectly. Both reading and writing more will help with this. Be sure to use tools such as the thesaurus to learn new words whenever you feel like you’re repeating yourself. You could set yourself challenges such as ‘think of five different words that mean happy’ or ‘use obnoxious in a sentence’ to push your boundaries.
The best thing about debates is they teach you about balanced arguments. Often, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer with debate topics, there’s simply just two sides to the same coin. Being part of a debate club could teach you how to see both sides of the argument, to understand the different opinions of others. While in a debate you’re putting forward a point for one side or the other, it teaches you the concept of being balanced and how ideas and values can be perfectly valid even if they differ from your own. This can allow you to become a more well-rounded individual, and also how to be a reasonable and rational person.
Speak With Others
Finally, put all of your knowledge to use and talk to people! You could travel and speak to people from different backgrounds, join a new hobby and get to know different people. Even chatting online or on the phone is useful as you’re still putting your words to good use and communicating.
Being able to effectively communicate is one major advantage we as humans have over other species. As well as body language and non-verbal cues, we have language that’s so rich and diverse it allows us to accurately tell others what is going on inside our head. It’s absolutely fascinating when you think about it, and is something that we should never take for granted. ‘But why do I need to improve my communication, I’ve been speaking since childhood!’ I hear you cry. Well, effectively communicating has so many benefits. It can open you up to better opportunities, make you a better friend and more likable person- it also means you can get through life easier too. When you speak well, people tend to listen. Here are some of the ways you can improve your communication skills.
Are you a good communicator, or is this something you want to work on?
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