Communicating Verbally, With Confidence!

Communication skills are some of the most sought after skills in business. They are equally essential in the classroom, in the pageant interview or at home.
Follow these eight tips and you’ll be quick to outclass your competition!
1. Stop what you are doing and listen. Nothing says, “I care and am interested in you,” more than active listening. Don’t look around the room for better action, don’t continue working and whatever you do, don’t read or send texts when someone is trying to have a conversation with you. As a mother, I find myself picking up, cooking or otherwise flitting around the house when my daughters are trying to talk to me. It’s rude and communicates to them that what I am doing is more important than what they want to tell me. I’m working on it! Stop and listen. You’ll be richer for it.
2. Articulate. There is a time in young people’s lives – I think middle school – when whatever is coming out of their mouths is impossible to understand. You don’t want to sound like a middle-schooler, having to repeat everything you say because no one can understand you. Speak slowly and articulate your words. You’ll sound intelligent, be understood and the receiver of your message will thank you.
3. Look the person in the eye. Avoid eye contact and you are communicating your insincerity, boredom or general lack of interest. Connect and good things could happen!
4. Use proper grammar. Poor grammar is a dead give away that you are not a top candidate in your class, for a job, for a pageant title or for a spokesperson’s spot. Don’t ask, “where’s it at?” Ask, “where is it?” If you are excited, say, “I’m eager.” Not, “I’m anxious.” You do things well; something tastes or feels good. Use the right word the right way.
5. More on grammar. Why do some people add an “s” to names and titles? For example, you hear, “J. C. Pennys.” But the store is J. C. Penny. Some will say “anyways,” when they really mean, “anyway.” Don’t ask, “do you want to go to Barnes and Nobles?” It’s Barnes and Noble. Be careful!
6. Speak actively and definitively. I don’t know why, but it is easier to write passively. And it seems to be working its way into verbal communication. When working with clients on interviewing, I will ask something like, “what do you want to do in the future?” And my client will answer, “I think, I probably would like to…” How about, “I want to…I will…I plan to…” Just say what it is.
7. Avoid, um, using, um, like, um, UMS! Just say no. Do you need an explanation?
8. Don’t be distracting. Don’t pop your knuckles, play with your hair or crack your gum. You shouldn’t be chewing gum in public anyway! Keep nervous habits locked up. Or better yet, break them.
Speak well, be taken seriously and land the job, promotion or title.
Author: Robin Jones Gifford

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