Communication is a hugely important part of business life. These top tips will take you through common communication barriers and what you can do about them.
This sounds obvious, but make sure there is no physical barrier to communication – can your audience physically hear you. This might mean turning phones off, reducing aircon noise or shutting windows.
Ensure your audience won’t be distracted by anything while you are talking. This means paying attention to your outfit, your presentation style (too many umms and errs can be very distracting) and maintaining eye contact.
TALKING TOO MUCH
When you are nervous, it is easy to end up talking too much as silence is scary. Make sure you give your audience a chance to speak, asking questions is a great way to achieve this.
Interrupting when someone else is talking can have a negative effect on the conversation. If you catch yourself doing it, try to make sure the person you are talking to has a chance to say everything they want to.
You may feel it is very clear what you are communicating, but it may be possible your audience may misunderstand you. Again, use questions to test that your audience is with you and follows your thought process.
BECOMING OVER EMOTIONAL
Some emotion can help to show passion for the topic, however, be wary of bringing too much emotion into play. If you feel yourself becoming angry or defensive, try to close down the conversation and reschedule for another time as it is likely you may not be making the best decisions.
You may believe you know already how your audience will react and what they will think. Be wary of having too many rigid preconceived ideas and try to listen openly to other’s opinions.
EXPECTING ALL TO SHARE YOUR VALUES
Your values and beliefs are important to you, but be prepared for your audience to have different values which are just as valid. You must show you respect their values for your message to get across effectively.
NOT BEING GENUINE
If you fake attention or interest in the conversation it is likely that your audience will pick up on this. If you find your attention wandering in a communication, ask questions to get yourself involved again.
If you or your audience are afraid during a conversation, it is unlikely to be effective. Fear tends to cause people to become defensive. If nerves are stopping you communicating, take a deep breath and speak slowly.