Regardless of the communication style, effective communication involves a connection with others. This means the most powerful skill you can leverage is being in agreement with your audience. But achieving that can take some practice.
Below are some effective communication strategies to help you listen and communicate better.
1. Keep your audience in mind
Your audience will naturally be more interested and engaged when you align your communications with their interests. Capture their interest by speaking directly to what matters to them will naturally engage their desire to understand and interact with the information.
2. Use fewer words
The use of too many words can get even the most engaged and committed audience bored. Keeping your message simple and straight to the point will make it easier to understand and retain.
3. Make eye contact
The best way to know if your message is getting across is through eye contact. By making eye contact when speaking to a person, you can tell if you’re being understood, if the person is distracted, worried or confused. It also shows the person that you’re interested in him/her.
4. Ask for feedback
To confirm if you’re being understood, ask! Ask for the person’s view on the point you’ve made so far. That will help you discern if the person is getting what you’re trying to convey. This will help minimize misunderstandings later on.
5. Minimize distractions
If you’re chatting with someone (or a group) face-to-face, keep unnecessary electronic devices out of the space. Keep the attendance limited to just those who need to be there, and avoid scheduling at a time when people are likely to focus on something else (like just before the end of the day or right before lunch).
6. Use of body language
Developing the ability to understand and use nonverbal communication can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships.
You can enhance effective communication by using open body language—arms uncrossed, standing with an open stance or sitting on the edge of your seat, and maintaining eye contact with the person you’re talking to. You can also use body language to emphasize or enhance a verbal message. For example, patting a friend on the back while complimenting him on his success or pounding your fists to underline your message.