Effective communication skills are the key to improving your productivity and helping you advance your career. Not matter what your area of expertise is, being able to communicate with others will greatly perk up your chances for success. Even if you are naturally shy and prone to nervousness, there are some things you can do to help you achieve good communication skills.
Start by evaluating your personality and try to find areas where you excel and areas where you could use some improvement. Maybe you have effective communication skills when it comes to gestures and body language, but lack a strong voice. Or maybe your voice is fine but you tend to get nervous and fidget too much when you are in front of a group of people. Knowing what areas you need to work on will give you a chance to become better at effective communication with others around you.
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If you need to develop your body language, start by practicing in front of a mirror. As silly as it sounds, you will soon find out that looking at yourself gives you a chance to closely examine how you truly act. Eye contact is top priority when it comes to establishing an effective communication rapport with your listeners, not matter if you're talking to your boss or making a presentation to a room full of people. Eye contact gives the impression of competence and self-assurance, and will make others see you as confident. Body language is also essential for effective communication. Rather than keeping your arms crossed or your hands on your lap, make your body talk, moving as much or as little as needed to match the topic and the personality of the room.
Another way you can achieve effective communication skills is to develop your voice. Slow down, which gives the listener the feeling of serenity and confidence, and avoid sounding monotonous. Put emotion in your words. You don't have to scream or be loud, but you should vary your pitch and make sure the volume you use is appropriate for the size of the room and the topic you are covering. Don't mumble, and don't use vocabulary inappropriate for the environment you are moving in.