Scientifically, effective communication is described as a two-way process where the information or idea expressed by the speaker is well received by the listener. However, we often find that people mumble and jumble when it comes to conversation. One of the major reasons for this is because of the difference in written and spoken language. Secondly, if that language is not our mother tongue, we have difficulty in speaking in it, due to lack of confidence. If you too are stuck in a similar situation, then here is a guide to it which will be helpful to you.
Ways to Improve Oral Communication
One of the basic principles you need to keep in mind is, the more you are into the language, more proficient you will be in it. Reading, listening, speaking it all the time is the best way in learning the language fluently and improving your communication skills. Now, if you are fluent in writing the language, try to gain confidence for speaking it. Here are a few simple yet most efficient rules that will help you know how to improve oral communication skills in English.
Reading is undoubtedly the best way of improving your vocabulary, and keeping in touch with the language. Reading aloud will help in improving accent and pronunciation of words. Talking of accent, you should remember to develop and use only one accent and not mix up. For e.g., learn the British or American accent and always speak in the similar one. Secondly, if you come across new words and phrases, look for their meanings and usage in a sentence. Now memorize these words and try to use them while speaking. This will not only make your language rich, but will also create a good impression on the listeners.
You need to listen to native speakers in order to improve your pronunciation and accent. If English is not your mother tongue, you should try to listen to the way English speakers speak. You can even watch English language movies, or listen to songs (without the captions) and try to follow it. Mark the different words and try to pronounce them like the native speakers pronounce. Write down the sentences and try to speak them just like you hear them. There are also several voice and accent software available in the market which can be useful.
Now lastly, the most important method is to actually speak. Try to find a native speaker with whom you can practice. Try to communicate in English with the person, even if you make grammatical errors. Do not hesitate if the person points out your faults; you should remember that practice makes a man perfect. Conversing on a daily basis will also improve your confidence. If speaking with a native speaker is not possible, you can form groups with people trying to improve their oral communication, take a topic and speak on it. Doing this every day will boost your confidence and also enrich your language skills.
Tips to Improve Communication Skills
Apart from the above mentioned methods, following are some tips to improve your communication skills:
- You should speak loudly and clearly. Talking very slowly and in an inaudible voice is the biggest hindrance in communication.
- Talking hurriedly, covering your mouth while speaking, and talking in non-understandable accent leads to failed communication.
- The intonation and tempo of your speech is also important. Try to raise or lower your voice when emphasizing some word.
- It is wise to have your speech short and concise. Beating around the bush will lead to failed communication.
- In order to have a free flow of communication, you need to make use of different words. However, it is perfectly normal to use simple words to convey your thought or idea to the listener. You do not always need to use rich and extensive vocabulary.
- Lastly, another important tip is to use proper body language and facial gestures. Using hands, and nodding the head also helps in transmitting a lot of information.