The variety and volume of products available in the market staking claim that they can help you improve your physical appearance stand testament to the idea that we all want to look as good as we can. Some will argue that they do so to be the best version of themselves but most agree that physical appearance is important because we tend to judge people based on how they look. But these days we are slowly coming to terms with the idea that looks can be deceiving and are usually more invested in hearing the person out before making an impression of them
So whether it is a social gathering or an official meeting, the way you communicate decides the kind of impression everyone will form of you. This is especially very clear when we look at the selection rate at job interviews. Let me create two user personas to elaborate this point. Let’s say John and Jane are appearing for the final round of interview. Now John is really good at the skills required for the job, has done some projects in the relevant field but is not very good at communicating his ideas and often indifferent to the tone of the conversation.
On the other hand Jane has only a beginner level understanding of the role, has only worked on things which at best have a slight overlap with the desired skill set but is very good at conveying not only what she knows but the kind of attitude and drive she will bring to the job. Now, it is not always that the recruiter will end up hiring Jane, if they are out for the best talent, they will both be rejected. But if that vacancy had to filled, it is a lot more likely that Jane will be selected.
The reason people often select the candidate with good communication is because they are very likely to be good team players and not cause any unnecessary friction
Now good and effective communication has several aspects to it. We will be discussing all of them under the banner ‘Good Communication’. In this particular blog we will focus on Verbal Communication
While your body language along with hand and face gestures are also part of ‘communication’, the words you use are of far greater significance. But when we look at our day to day conversations, we see that most people use the same set of words and very rarely would you find someone using words which are, well, let me call them fancy! So what exactly is it, that makes one person a better speaker compared to others
Seven key factors for effective verbal communication
Below is the list of seven factors which make your verbal communication clear and effective.
The most basic aspect you need to make your communication effective is clarity. We will shortly write a detailed account on clarity but for now we will leave you with a brief. There are two aspects to clarity
Clarity in voice – Whenever you speak, make sure that your voice is clear. You must not speak too softly because the decibel of your sound helps catch people’s attention. Also don’t speak too fast unless you are going over a point once again
Clarity in thought – Practice speaking only after what you are about to say is a fully formed thought in your head. Especially in an interview, don’t start a sentence and then start figuring what it is that you want to say
Fluency means speaking without taking too many pauses. While you sometimes have to pause to deliver the desired affect, taking a pause to think gives a bad impression. It clearly indicates that you are not clear about what you are discussing and it is very likely that during one of these pauses you will get interrupted and thus will not be able to finish what you were trying to say!
Nothing distracts your listener more than when you pronounce words in a rather unconventional manner. Practice speaking out loudly the words you feel unsure about and listen very closely to how others are using those words. You can even try recording your voice and then listening it over to improve.
Enunciation means taking the right pauses and stressing the key syllables while pronouncing a word. Which actually makes it very close to pronunciation but focuses more on stressing on key parts. When we, here, talk about enunciation we mean bringing ‘clarity’ in terms of saying each word out clearly without slowing down your speech.
Modulation refers to change in the loudness of your voice as you say a sentence. Most people say everything they need to in a very flat tone, meaning they don’t make those subtle changes in their volume which makes it interesting for the listener. To understand this better you should videos of good orators and watch how they change the intensity of their voice as they deliver their speeches.
Even if you have mastered all the other skills your communication will be lacklustre if you don’t speak with conviction. When you speak confidently you automatically feel your voice turn firm and people who are listening to you also feel drawn to what you are trying to say. Now there is no shortcut to building confidence, so you will have to take the arduous path of reading-a-lot
Communication is a two way street. If you do not pay attention to what the other person is saying you may go off on a tangent thus losing the other parties in the conversation. More importantly if you pay attention to the entire conversation and keep with the flow of it, you may, at most times, be able to continue that conversation meaningfully even if you are not familiar with the details of the subject being discussed.
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