An effective communication skill is a skill needed to modify the behavior patterns of those he/she deals with by convincing, persuading, influencing or indirectly "manipulating" them.
Everything from voice, posture, poise and tactfulness plays an important role to a person’s success in mastering an interpersonal skill. The ability to deliver the message clearly to the intended audiences is critical piece of effective communication.
Think about the time when someone able to connect to you and get his/her message across to you pretty well. Think about a message which has touched your heart. Or think about when someone confronted you with an issue, but it was handled so well that you didn’t feel offended at all. Think about the elements of which the message has to be able to reach to you.
To effectively deliver your message you need to learn how to get your mind across without offending anyone. Tough, but this are some of the tips for building an effective communication skill.
1) Consider the timing.
Timing is everything. There is place and time for everything. Plan ahead how to what to approach the subject matter. Be sensitive to people’s feeling. If the message is meant to be for 1x1 discussion, make sure you find a private time and space to say it. On the other hand, if your message is for a group of people - make sure the logistic is properly handled, location is accessible and comfortable, the topic is appropriate and that you can be heard by all who attend.
2) Know what you want to deliver and how you want to deliver it.
Preparation is very important. Organize your thoughts in a manner that help them to flow easily. Structure your approach to how you want to present your message. Limit your message to few key points. It is not what you say, but how you say it makes a difference.
Depending on the setting and your targeted audience, your approach may be different. Therefore know your audiences and what is expected from you – brainstorm about the questions that they may ask and prepare beforehand help to facilitate the questions when arise. You have the answers ready.
Avoid any emotional attachment to the subject, and be professional – bring no judgment and finger-pointing to the table! Judgment is NO-NO, once people sense the judgment, they either retaliate or withdrawn.
Use some metaphor or charts to help you deliver your message crisply.
3) Stay focus.
Stay focus to your points. Don’t wander off the points. If your audiences wander off the topics, bring them back. If you find yourself intimidated, take a moment and take a deep breath, but don’t back down!
If you find yourself losing focus, mumbling and stumbling over your words, take a deep breath, pull yourself together, gather your thoughts and pause in conversation as a tool to emphasize what you want to say next. It gives the listener the opportunity to digest what you have already said while you compose yourself and start again.
If you don’t know the answer to the question, say so but committed to take find the answers for them. Don’t try to explain the answer that you don’t know.
4) Eliminate distractions
Avoid distractions. Good logistics, cell phones off. Keep your hand gestures to minimum and your emotion checked. Remember – your objective is to get your message across, don’t let anything come in between, especially yourself!
If there is a "joker" in the meeting who causes the distraction, respectfully ask him to hold his questions/acts, and you will attend to his questions after the meeting to avoid distraction to the current ongoing meeting. Make sure you committed to your word, and attend to him after the meeting!
5) Open feedback.
Be open to the feedback during the meeting; gives an honest and open answers to questions being asked. People appreciate openness and honesty. Ask for the feedback from audience/audiences. With large group, you may want to have a question and answer period at the end of the discussion. Having listeners paraphrase what they have heard can help ensure your message is coming through loud and clear.
Knowing when and how to broach a sensitive topic is the key to effective communication skill. And listen! You will never understand what the other person felt until you put yourself in his/her shoes.