Mastering Communication: 12 Powerful Strategies to Enhance Your Skills

Enhance your career prospects by mastering effective communication skills. Discover what it entails and how to improve yours.

  • Release Date: 30 March 2024
  • Update Date: 31 March 2024
  • Author: Speaker Agency
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Developing the communication skills necessary to drive a business forward or excel in a highly competitive marketplace can only be challenging with sufficient help and guidance.

Advanced communication skills are necessary for many job roles, and learning to speak confidently and interact with others can boost your chances of success and career prospects.

So, what is effective communication, and how can you improve your communication skills?

Let's find out.

Here's a look at the various types of communication, the advantages of good communication, and a few communication strategies you can adapt to help you present and converse well with others!

Types of Communication

It's easy to assume that the ability to communicate effectively comes naturally, and for some, that's true. However, for the vast majority, developing good communication skills takes practice, especially in the workplace.

There are five main types of communication used in a business. These include:

  • Verbal Communication

Verbal or oral communication refers to the spoken word and is the primary basis for human interaction. It's the ability to speak confidently to others, interact with colleagues, participate in meetings, and lead or pitch in presentations or bids.

  • Written Communication

Referring to the written word, this type of communication refers to the way you present your thoughts on paper, in emails and letters, and the content you write in a text message or advertisement.

  • Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is communication without using the written or spoken word. Examples include gestures, body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and eye contact.

  • Active Listening

Active listening involves paying attention and responding appropriately to the information provided. Examples include paraphrasing, the questions you ask a speaker about the content, and the nods of agreement and focus you give to a discussion to show you are listening.

  • Contextual Communication

Contextual communication is how you ensure attendees understand the purpose and context of the meeting or absorb the contents of the letter you sent.

What is Effective Communication?

Effective communication is creating a positive verbal or nonverbal connection with others!

The best professional speakers understand how to interact with their audience and can express their opinions and thoughts in ways that engage and relate to those present. In contrast, poor communication, or the inability to communicate ideas and concepts clearly, can result in the loss of business or sales and potentially damage personal and professional relationships.

Everyone's communication style is different, and how one person expresses their words and opinions can vary dramatically from another. Good communication is more than simply writing a good speech or pitching a winning presentation; the best communication practices take time to hone and perfect.

12 Powerful Communication Strategies

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Communicating clearly to clients, co-workers, and employees has become essential in today's ever-evolving commercial marketplace.

With hybrid and remote teams now the norm, effective business communication no longer revolves around how you communicate with others in a physical office; it now requires communication via video platforms, technology, social media, and other technologies. It can also involve juggling multiple time zones and languages – all of which can be challenging.

That said, competing with professionals and developing the advanced corporate communication skills needed in the workplace is possible.

To give you an idea, here are twelve tips to help you achieve the communication skills you need to succeed:

1 - Target Your Audience

Strategise your communication: Identify your target audience, personalise your message, and quickly increase impact.

First, prevent sharing unimportant details, think about what you want to convey, and find the most effective way to express your message.

Ask yourself what the goal of the discussion is, who needs to hear the information, and how you can present your message.

Once you have established your target audience, whether face-to-face, by telephone, via email, or in a letter, you can start planning the content of the communication.

2 - Set a Time Limit

Optimise meeting efficiency: Hold communication direct, establish clear time expectations, and provide brief recaps for lucidity.

Whether the meeting is online or in-person, keep the communication short and to the point to avoid wasting time and causing frustration.

Tell attendees in advance how long you expect the meeting to last. Keep the question-and-answer sessions short and follow up with pre-prepared notes or minutes to recap and safeguard everyone's understanding.

3 - Encourage Two-Way Communication

Engage the audience: Encourage the discussion participation and tweak your approach to maintain interest.

No one wants to be bored, so ensure you secure the interest of those attending by encouraging them to interact with you and take an active role in the discussion.

If you are holding a presentation, ask them to listen and save questions at the end of the discussion. Alternatively, if you are discussing a complex issue or concept, clarify the attendees' understanding by asking open questions or asking for feedback at the end of each section.

4 - Keep Communication Clear and Concise

Be direct: Maintain concentration during interactions, use precise language, and provide relevant examples to help people comprehend.

Don't waffle! The best way to keep someone engaged in a conversation is to avoid getting sidetracked, state issues clearly, and use easy-to-understand language and sentences.

When discussing a complex topic, use relevant examples, diagrams, graphs, or statistics to make the content easier to understand. Adding interest and being concise helps retention.

5 - Establish Preferred Methods of Communication

Strengthen relationships: Improve relationships by learning about people's preferred communication techniques and developing your approach accordingly.

To build lasting relationships with clients or co-workers, learn about their preferred methods of communication.

All of us are different, and while you may prefer someone to call you or discuss things face-to-face, others may choose to be contacted by email or WhatsApp so they can digest the content later.

Taking the time to discover what communication method works best increases the chance of engagement, boosting your chances of them buying into an idea or retaining the information given.

6 - Encourage Face-to-Face Interaction

Optimise connections: Adopt face-to-face communication for deeper insights, better ties, and more effective responses.

Be it a weekly catch-up with a team member or a boardroom pitch to multiple clients, encouraging face-to-face communication gives you access to a wealth of information.

Physically meeting people helps you form a lasting bond. Being physically present during a conversation enables you to understand someone's level of interest in what's being said and lets you evaluate their nonverbal reactions. Moreover, your presence allows you to respond to any questions, objections, or concerns that may arise more effectively.

7 - Avoid Distractions

Maximise engagement: Choose strategic meeting times, limit distractions, and maintain focused conversation to increase productivity.

Trying to communicate with someone focused elsewhere or who attends a meeting distracted is pointless. For this reason, avoid scheduling meetings just before lunch or an hour before the end of a working day, and keep the use of phones and unnecessary devices to a minimum.

8 - Be Courteous

Boost your communication:

- Sustain respect.

- Maintain your composure when faced with a difficulty.

- Respond constructively to professional dealings and maintain a strong reputation.

Have you noticed that the best speakers and communicators remain respectful and courteous no matter the situation?

One of the most challenging skills is to remain calm and positively answer complex questions or opposing opinions without causing offence or succumbing to anger or offensive words and gestures.

Keeping calm and presenting your proposals is essential to maintain your communication with others professionally and your reputation intact.

9 - Composure and Emotional Intelligence

Master communication: Use emotional intelligence to impact relationships by actively listening, relating, and successfully communicating.

Effective communication is more than combining words and sentences to create an impact. The best communicators also understand their strengths and weaknesses and use them to their advantage when communicating with others.

Examples of using your emotional intelligence when speaking to others would be using active listening or body language to suggest an understanding of a subject, empathising with a colleague going through a hard time, or expressing frustration over a difficult situation.

10 - Poise, Movement, and Expression

Speak with effect: Increase engagement by changing tone, using expressive body language, and infusing curiosity into your speech.

What you say and the way you say it matters!

Regardless of the content's interest, people are less likely to engage if the delivery is monotone and needs more expression.

Be aware of your body expressions and your tone of speech. Use gestures and movement to create interest and inspire listeners to keep attention.

11 - Briefly Summarise and Recap

Ensure comprehension and retention: Outline critical points, highlight takeaways, and ensure understanding for efficient communication.

Communicating your ideas only when they are comprehended or remembered. So, it is critical to summarise important communications and highlight key takeaways before wrapping up a session.

12 - Show Your Appreciation

Develop long-term relationships: Share your gratitude, suggest next actions, and encourage continuous participation to provide remarkable and engaging communication.

It's all good to give a speech and get your points across. To forge a long-term relationship and make your communication memorable, you must show appreciation and thank the attendees for their time and interest.

Let them know how they can learn more about what's been discussed or that you will be in touch as necessary. Make them aware of the dates of the following presentation or who they should speak to if they want to purchase, learn more about your concept, or need further advice.

The Upshot: Why Leveraging Effective Communication is an Asset

You can significantly enhance your career and business prospects by developing the ability to speak and communicate well with others. Mastering effective communication does take time and effort.

Still, by implementing the simple communication strategies suggested and considering the content of your words and how you present them, you should see positive results quickly.  

Good luck!  

Would you like to discover the magic of nonverbal communication in public speaking? To learn more about effective workplace communication, continue reading our blog.

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