Communication a Key Part of Success

How many times have you heard someone say “I just love talking to you!” only to realize ”wait a second, I haven’t really done very much talking here?“ Plenty.

Communication has been a key concept since before we learned to speak. As babies, we cry. It lets everyone know you want something or you’re upset, since you can’t use words to tell them yet.

Today, as an adult, you’ll notice a crucial part of communication is listening. People can develop a feel for your personality just by your listening ability. Facial expressions, short comments and nodding while a person speaks to you give them feedback to let them know you’re listening and how you feel about what they’re saying.

The way you communicate also contributes to first impressions. If you’re on the phone and a potential employer hears “Uh yo dawg, ‘sup? Yeah we hangin’ at yo place tonight” instead of “Hey, how’s it going? Yeah, we’ll meet at your place tonight,” your chances of earning a job may have just been lessened.

Published by the Princeton Review, here are some tips you can follow to improve your speaking:

  • Have an appropriate expression. Words can very often be misunderstood. Phrases can have completely different meanings just by the expressions and tones used when speaking them. If you’re not angry, don’t look angry. Nonverbal language is the strongest.
  • Moderate your speaking speed. Speaking too quickly or slowly can throw people off. Listen to yourself speak. If you notice your words are running together or you’re pronouncing each syllable at a snail’s pace, change your speed accordingly. People are more likely to listen at a comfortable speed.
  • Use pauses. Speak the way you write. Give people time to think about what you say. Add three seconds into speech where a period would be and one second for a comma.
  • Eliminate fillers. Try not to use words like uh, umm and like in conversation. If you want to be seen as a professional, speak like one.
  • Speak loudly enough to be heard, but not too loud. Practice adjusting your volume so you are not seen as overbearing or condescending.
  • Smile while you talk on the phone. Phone conversations are easily misunderstood because of the lack of body language. Try to keep a pleasant expression on your face while you talk on the phone to avoid the misinterpretation of messages.
  • Watch the use of diction. Adding –ing to the end of words instead of -in’ make you seem more credible. If you enunciate clearly, you are easier to understand.
  • Control your breathing. It’s easy to breathe heavily when you’re excited or nervous. This can easily create heightened pitch and make you sound hysterical. Controlling your breathing can help control your speech.

Improved speaking and listening allow you to give the first impression you desire. It betters your chances at maintaining integrity and makes you an all-around more pleasant person to communicate with.