Whether you are talking to one person or a whole group, the following tips will help to make you feel natural, at ease and confident in your communication.
How can communication be about listening when it’s really about talking? The key thing about communication is that if you are able to listen intently to the other person and hear beyond the words, you’ll have more value to add to the conversation. You’ll be able to say something that is beyond the surface level. Listening intently doesn’t just mean hearing their words, but also how they’re feeling and what they are truly trying to express or not express. Use your intuition and listen for what they are truly saying. They will automatically feel more connected to you and feel more comfortable sharing with you.
Tell a story that relates to what the other person is talking about. The story obviously must have a point and be in relation to what you are discussing. A good story follows the same pattern as a good movie. There are three important parts: situation, action, and results. The majority of the movie is made up of the situation: getting to know the characters and their challenges. Next comes the action. This is where you see the steps the character is taking to resolve the initial problem or situation. The last part is the conclusion or result: what ended up happening? When you tell your stories using this structure, the other person will feel more engaged and get the point you’re trying to make.
So many professionals overlook. You must practice ahead of time what you plan to say! If you had an important presentation at work, you would practice ahead of time. It doesn’t hurt to do the same for other situations. You want your stories prepared ahead of time so when you deliver them, they are fluid and come off naturally. Without thinking through your stories, you won’t succeed in your delivery.
Work on your communication skills by practicing in your own time. Make sure you also practice listening intently when others speak. The next time you have to go into a conversation, one on one or to a whole group, you will feel much more confident!