Achieving better communication skills can be a rewarding and self-fulfilling experience. Enhancing your communication skills can help you advance in your career and establish meaningful social relationships.
There are many approaches to achieving better communication skills in our natural environment. But the first step is mastering our intrapersonal communication skills. We all have that little voice in our heads that feed us positive and negative words. However, it is how we respond to those words; that tell us how we communicate with ourselves. You can tell if a person’s intrapersonal communication skills is negative or positive by their posture.
Communicating with competence requires self-esteem. Have you ever conversed with a person who lacks self-esteem? Here are some characteristics of a person exhibiting low self-esteem: mumbling, talking with head down, limited eye contact, poor posture, and inappropriate body language. It may be difficult for such people to obtain careers in leadership (i.e. manager, supervisor, boss) and establish authority over others.
Many people do not know where to begin when it comes to enhancing their speaking skills. Beginning with the ‘parts of speech mechanism’ is the best place to start. Because this is a brief article, I cannot be thorough or talk about all of the parts of speech. But if you are really interested in improving your speech, I can imagine you are because you are reading this article, you can seek a speech language pathologist (speech therapist) to help you improve the areas that you need improving.
The following are strategies that may be beneficial to improving your oral (speaking) skills. The strategies that I am about to give you are not in any particular order. Depending on where you are in your life, at any given point in time, some strategies may be more important than others, at that point in time.
1) Position. Positioning yourself as a valuable person through your expressive (oral, speaking) communicative skills increases your opportunities in your work environment. Grammar is the art of speaking and writing. Gaining control of your abilities to correctly use semantic and syntactic structures may have a positive impact on your public speaking skills.
Semantic is being aware of the meaning of words and using them correctly. Syntactic is grammatically organizing sentences in a clear and precise structure, such as, a simple sentence with a subjective verb agreement, or a compound sentence that contains two or more simple sentences, joined together by one or more connective words.
Knowing how to correctly use complex sentences that have indirect meanings embedded within them can help you climb the ladder of success, as well as, increase your credibility. People tend to believe people that so eloquently use the English language.
You are more believable when you correctly use the rules of grammar appropriately.
2) Receptive language. Receptively interacting with your environment can have a positive impact on your people skills. Receptive language is understanding and adequately responding to the elements of your environment. Without competent knowledge of your receptive language skills, you will frequently be in hazard of misunderstanding others. The parts of speech are the foundation, or as some may call it, the core of communicative strategies. The parts of speech mechanism is as follow: article, noun, adjective, pronoun, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.
3) Awareness. Awareness of the way you enunciate your words can help you enhance your oral presentation skills. Improving your diction to accurately produce sounds and phonemes in words, phrases, and sentences can help you achieve phenomenal success. People will become emotionally engaged in your conversations or presentations skills when you speak with poise. Articulation is considered the first principles of language. Articulation is the ability to form sounds (phonemes) in words correctly. Sounds have its own characters.
We form speech using our articulatory structures and voice. Articulation is performed not by the lungs, but by the action of the throat, palate, teeth, tongue, lips, and nostrils.
The vowel sound(s) is a simple, articulate sound formed by a continued effusion of the breath, and a certain shape of the mouth.
Consonants are divided by different classes, such as, the lips, teeth, palate, and nose.
Prosody is the pronunciation of words consisting of accent, quantity, emphasis, pause, and tone.
Accent is the laying of a peculiar stress of the voice, on a certain letter or syllable in a word, that it may be better heard than the rest, or distinguished from them: as in the word presume, the stress of the voice must be on the letter u, and second syllable, ‘sume’ which take the accent.
Words are the marks of ideas. Any confusion in the marks; may cause confusion in the ideas for which they stand.
4) Goal setting. Goal setting is an essential part of you improving your speaking skills. Setting goals mean to create an action plan and generating long and short-term goals. Your goals are easier to follow when you have written them down on paper. It is okay to change/tweak your goals as you go. Sometimes, your initial goals may not be feasible. Your short-term goals should lead you toward accomplishing your long-term goals.
5) Modulation. Modulation is the ability to use your voice in a colorful manner. Acquiring the vocal tones that are natural for you can help your speaking skills come alive. Practice various tones in the comfort of your home and in social settings. If your voice becomes fatigue or scratchy then the tone you are using is not your natural voice. Your diaphragm should provide adequate breath support in the modulation process.
6) Attitude. A positive attitude combined with tenacity is detrimental in achieving better communication skills.
7) Tenacity. Tenacity is constantly being in the training mode. No great speaker has come by his ability without careful and persistent training. Great speakers overcome adversity by strengthening their voices through training. They learn how to prepare and arrange material. They made themselves able to explain topics to others.
8) Imagination. Imagine what it would be like once you have mastered the strategies to effectively speak in front of anyone. As you are imagining (visualizing), practice the strategies in the comfort of your home in a mirror, gradually practice the strategies within your environment. Self-development is fundamental in enhancing your public speaking skills. As you practice these strategies within your environment, you will become more confident in your speaking skills.
9) Charisma. Charismatic leadership approach is to speak with eloquence. To call people to action, your vocal expression and verbal expression (your voice and speech) should be filled with a multitude of colorful tones while your choice of words should be impelling and spoken with enthusiasm. People are moved by your authenticity, illumination, and empathy of your narration. Great speakers are made not born. No great speaker has achieved her optimal level of communication performance without careful and persistent training.
Charismatic leaders know the three elements that make a good story. The three elements are as follow: the setting or situation in which the story composes, the mood in which the characters create, and the plot or the action in which the characters engage. Learn your listener’s wants and needs and provide them with a solution to obtain it.
Remember, “words are the signs of our ideas and the medium by which we communicate our own thoughts and ideas.” (Lindley Murray).