There are a considerable number of communication skill lessons, theories and demonstrations that have been put up on the web. However, it is equally important to implement some of these skills on ourselves. Improving and polishing such skills is no crash course, but a lifelong process. This improvement and development process continues to go on and on. Therefore, one of the best methods is to start talking correctly, in a grammatical sense. Apart from that, start solving small grammar and composition exercises, once or twice a week. Reading the newspaper and writing down your interpretations in a few lines, or writing the summary of a book that you have just read, in a single paragraph, are some effective exercises.
In order to make these methods more simplified and transparent, they have been classified into verbal and written. They aim at overall development of speech, writing and presenting content.
Verbal communication is an important aspect of our day-to-day life. It is also the most frequently used form of communicating. The following tips will help you.
The best way is to practice, by actually communicating. For this, select a topic such as 'Comments on Obama administration' or 'Summary of Mama Mia!'. Start off, as if you are narrating the facts to your friends or colleagues. Record the facts on your cell phone and hear it later. Re-record and try to grammatically and factually correct yourself at the second attempt. This is the simplest exercise and also the best test, as all you need is your cell phone.
This can be further enhanced by other tests, like playing 'Whose line is it anyway?' games, as it makes your brain think quickly in a proper manner. A similar test again involves using your cell phone. Sit on a park bench and try to imagine and conduct conversations with far off people.
The Mirror Method
This involves a considerable amount of body language. Stand in front of a mirror and narrate to yourself an imagined dialog between yourself and your boss or colleague. Make sure that you flash off a considerable volume of 'style' in the language, as well as your body language. It would be a great idea to record the entire conversation. This might sound stupid, but it really helps as you can easily point out your own clumsiness and mistakes in the entire conversation.
Select a Topic and Relate the Sentences
Another method is to have a general conversation with a group of friends. Start off with any topic under the sun and successively add sentences in a synchronized and uniform order. There must be no grammatical mistakes and out of context or unrelated sentences.
Often, you have fall-outs and misconceptions in presentations and meetings, as a result of not being able to communicate effectively. Hence, whenever you have some important meeting or presentation, present it beforehand in front of three types of audiences. Beginners (people who do not understand anything about your work), common people (your friends who work in the same or related fields) and experts. This will enable you to phrase your discussion in a simple as well as complex manner.
Written skills are as important as verbal skills and even a simple reminder note posted on your colleagues desk can be very important.
Write a Summary
The best workout is to write a short summary of your day, in a small diary. Let the handwriting be neat and the content factually and grammatically correct. Believe it or not, the improvement in your writing will be clearly evident after a few days. You can take this writing to a new level by writing out your reactions and emotions on a daily basis. Again, accuracy and factual clarity is necessary.
Describe an Object/Emotion
The second method is to write a description. All you need to do is describe some object or an emotion. The best topic is to write about nature. Take a flower, for example, say rose. Write down your emotions about the flower, make it generic, but very thoughtful. After a certain time, start using complex adverbs and adjectives in your writing. It is necessary that you factually stick to the chosen topic. After some days, start setting a time or word limit for yourself.
Address Your Writing
The next method is to address the same write-up to somebody, such as your parents or family. It might sound stupid and out of context, but believe it or not, it would definitely help you in improving your writing.
Write a letter
Another method is to practice by writing a letter. Address a letter stating some good facts about any subject under the sun. The three important principles that you should bear in mind, while writing the letter, are comprehensive grammatical clarity, punctuation and factual flow.
Such simple methods would help you polish and refine your communication skills. You would realize that these methods are effective in business and would start making an impact on your clients, colleagues and superiors. You may also have to look at some effective tips for guidance. Do one exercise per day and in no time you would become affluent in the art of communicating well.