Verbal Communication – Using Effective Communication Techniques

Have you sometimes been talking to someone and wondered what on earth they are talking about? It’s something that has happened to all of us. Either we don’t listen, we don’t understand, the message isn’t clear or something interrupts the transmission of the message. However, having effective communication skills is a key component of successful relationships both at work and at home.

You don’t need to be a communications expert to look at the different ways you communicate and see if how you can improve your communication skills by applying effective communication techniques. You want to know that the messages and information you want to convey to other people are heard and understood. If you don’t use effective communication techniques, at best can irritate people and at worst can lead to a break down in relationships.

So what effective communication techniques should you be using?

      1. Speak clearly: Don’t try and convey several messages at once. People often ask two questions at once and then wonder why they haven’t been understood.

2. Use language appropriate to the level of the ‘audience’. Whoever you’re communicating with it’s important to do it at the right level. Don’t use complex words for the sake of it. It is not patronising to use simpler words.

3. Open your mouth wide enough. If you don’t open your mouth widely enough there is a danger that you will be mumbling.

4. Be aware of your pitch, tone and speed. Our voices can have a significant impact on how our messages our received and heard. Speaking too loudly or too quietly, too quickly or too slowly, too high pitched will all act as barriers to effective communication.

5. Remember to pause for breath. If you don’t breathe properly you can easily run out of breath and your voice can peter away. This doesn’t just occur in meetings or when people are presenting. If often happens when people are just holding a 1 to 1 conversation.

6. Use the appropriate non-verbal cues. If you have to convey a happy message, then make sure you smile. If you’re trying to convey a message and your body language doesn’t match people will immediately be suspicious that you’re not being sincere. If you want to convey interest then make sure that you nod.

7. Use active listening skills. People sometimes forget that communication is a two way thing. You need to be able to listen to what people say and be able to check for understanding.

8. Make eye contact. In some cultures making eye contact can be problematic, but if it’s expected then it can help you to convey your message.

If we want to communicate effectively, we should see our communication skills as a skills that can always be improved and built on. I hope you found these tips for using effective communication techniques useful. If you have anything else you would add, I’d be interested to hear your comments.