COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Modulate your Voice to create Impact!

Modulation makes meaning. A change in frequency in speaking tone provides the listener with a signal that something is happening. Voice modulation means the fine-tuning of the pitch or tone of voice that helps the audience clearly hear and understand the lecture, presentation, and speech delivered by a speaker. Modulating your voice means moving the pitch up and down. A downwards pitch adds authority to a sentence i.e. unquestioning acceptance. An upwards pitch adds interest to a sentence. It questions and provokes engagement and response.  If the voice is not modulated and the pitch kept same in the entire state then it will sound odd at its best and at worst dull, boring or confusing.

For e.g.:-

I was just wondering…whether you would like…maybe to come today?

Some tips you can follow:-

  • Listen to the TV presenter introducing a program or reading the news. Notice how their voice goes up and down very deliberately. They know very well what they are doing.
  • Notice also how the TV presenter moves their head and there in time with the modulation. Their body is often positioned by a table or even off-camera. They have to use just their voice and their head to convey meaning.
  • The most important three speech organs of a human being are lips, jaws, and tongue. You have to exercise these three speech organs like other parts of your body. Reading loudly can help you discover the variety, power, ability as well as faults of your vocal organs. Such a regular practice will certainly help you correct and improve your voice modulation.
  • You can at times record your speech on a device, and listen to it later for any flaws. Besides, whenever you attend a meeting, event, lecture, or seminar, you should mark carefully how effective speakers vary the pitch of their voice to match the thoughts, ideas, and feelings they convey. Also, consult a dictionary not only for the meaning of a word but also for the pronunciation of the word.
  • Always convey your message with the variation in the pitch and tempo. Never deliver your speech in a monotone as it will not only bore but also send your audience to sleep.
  • Speak normally at about 125 to 150 words per minute. Check your speed and try to bring it within this range.
  • Pronounce words properly, putting stresses at the right syllables.
  • Speak loud enough so that everyone in the audience can hear you clearly.
  • Pause for a moment in between sentences to control your speed and approach better.
  • Avoid vocalized pauses and nasalization such as ‘er’, ‘ah’, ‘unh’, ‘umm’, etc.
  • Take care that you do not repeatedly use such phrases as ‘you see’, ‘I mean’, ‘What I meant,’ ‘Understand?, ‘Have you understood,’ ‘Clear?’, ‘Is it clear?’, ‘Was it clear?’, etc.
  • Avoid lazy lip movements always try to maintain a balance while speaking or delivering your lecture.

Non-verbal Communication

You’ve been waiting a very long time for this day to come. It’s Monday, and you are going to listen to a speech about ‘Why People Should Not Wear Skinny Jeans.’ All cozied up in the audience, you anxiously await the speaker’s arrival. And does he ever arrive!

With a loud drum roll, the speaker rushes the stage with a great big smile, bows down and gives the audience a slap on the hands, points randomly at certain individuals and even gives a thumbs-up to others. But most importantly, he looks directly into your eyes and winks! Wow, it’s as if he knew each and every person in the audience.

That, my friend, is nonverbal communication, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the speaking event. It is the use of body movements to send a message to the audience. A dazzling smile, high-fives, and waves probably make the audience feel very special. There are several ways in which the speaker can connect with the audience without ever saying a word.

What does this actually mean?

Your words, the content of your presentation, are clearly very important. Try giving a silent presentation using only non-verbal communication (visual and tonal cues) and you’ll find it very difficult to convey a clear message that everyone understands. Words convey meaning.

Non-verbal cues compliment or accent the words and provide information about emotion and attitude. Good presenters understand the importance of this and bring their words to life in how they tell the story.

Gesture                      

What you do with your hands. Common gestures include waving, pointing, and using fingers to indicate numeric amounts

Facial Expression      

Facial expressions are responsible for a big proportion of non-verbal communication. How many business presentations have you sat through where the presenter didn’t smile once. Expressions can vary dramatically between cultures, yet facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, and fear are similar throughout the world.

Eye Contact                

It means levels of eye contact, staring and blink rates. Sometimes a nervous presenter will stare at a fixed point at the back of the room to avoid getting eye contact with their audience.

Posture & Movement 

How you stand and move gives information to your audience about your confidence and levels of control among other things.

Touch                         

You may not have physical contact with your audience members, but you will be constantly touching yourself or other objects around you.

Personal Space         

In a crowded space this might be quite small, but for a typical presentation situation it is likely to be around 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters)

Appearance               

Our choice of color, clothing, hairstyles and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication.

Paralanguage            

How we sound. The loudness, pitch, modulation, speed, rhythm, intonation and emphasis of our voice

So finally we can conclude that Non-verbal communication plays a vital role in the success of any presentation. It has the power to engage your audience with crystal clear messages or confuse your audience, leaving them doubting what you have said and distrustful of your message.

The Impact of Effective Communication

Communication means sharing of feelings, emotions, ideas between two or amongst more individuals. The prime objective of communication is understanding. The person to whom the message is sent, should understand the message and intentions of the sender. Communication is said to be effective when the objective of communication is completed.

Effective communication involves active/reflective listening. Let’s look at the 5 Strategies for Effective Communication.

Confirming – using short comments, gestures or non-verbal sounds to let customers know you are interested, and to verify that you understand what they are talking about.

Examples:

Comment – “I understand”

Gesture – nodding

Non-verbal sound – “Mmm Hmm”

Paraphrasing – restating information to make it clearer and more understandable.

Example:

A postal clearance will go out.  That means we send a letter to the postmaster to find out if s/he receives mail at the address we have listed.  That tells us if the address is good.

Reflecting – listening to information, processing it, then restating it back to the speaker to summarize your understanding of what s/he is saying.  Reflecting statements should also reflect the customer’s emotions and feelings whenever possible.

Example:

“So in other words, he claims he hasn’t had enough money to make a payment in 6 months, yet he bought a brand new car? You sound angry at him, and I can see why.”

Making Eye Contact – letting the customer know you are interested, you are listening, and you want to help.  Lack of eye contact can create an environment of distraction or distrust.

Questioning – listening to information, then asking questions to expand on that information.  Questioning enables you to understand the meaning of customers’ comments or phrases.

Example:

“You said you don’t think you should be paying this amount anymore.  How have your circumstances changed?”

Guidelines for effective communication:

Clarity of purpose : It is said that think before you communicate. You should know the purpose of communication only then you will be able to convey your feelings properly

Needs of the receiver : Needs of receiver should always be considered because what we communicate, should have some value to the receiver. If we are aware of the needs of the receiver then we will be able to satisfy him because he becomes more receptive.

Feedback : Problems in communication arises because we never try to know whether the message is understood. Feedback improves learning so by asking questions and encouraging the receiver to give his reply/ reactions we can know whether the message is understood or not.

Listening : Since communication is a two way process so the receiver should also pay proper attention towards the speaker.

Control your emotions : Your emotions should only intervene when required, during communication when you are required to apply brain your heart(emotions) should not be allowed to intervene.

Eliminate barriers : Barriers may give differently different meaning to a message. In order to make a communication effective, barriers should always be avoided.

Effective Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are fundamental the essentials to achieve success in life.  As many jobs require strong communication skills and people who have taken steps to improve communication skills usually enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family.

Effective communication is one of the most important keys to interpersonal skill and by learning how we can improve our communication has many benefits.

Improving your English speaking skills will help you communicate more easily and effectively, so follow certain tips to make your communication more effective:

  • Practice where you can, when you can. Any practice is good – whether you speak to someone who is a native English speaker or not.
  • It’s important to build your confidence. If possible, use simple English sentence structure that you know is correct, so that you can concentrate on getting your message across.
  • Try to experiment with the English you know. Use words and phrases you know in new situations. Native English speakers are more likely to correct you if you use the wrong word than if you use the wrong grammar. Experimenting with vocabulary is a really good way of getting feedback.
  • Try to respond to what people say to you. You can often get clues to what people think by looking at their body language. Respond to them in a natural way.
  • Try NOT to translate into and from your own language. This takes too much time and will make you more hesitant.
  • If you forget a word, do what native English speakers do all the time, and say things that ‘fill’ the conversation. This is better than keeping completely silent. Try using um, or er, if you forget the word.
  • Don’t speak too fast! It’s important to use a natural rhythm when speaking English, but if you speak too fast it will be difficult for people to understand you.
  • Try to relax when you speak – you’ll find your mouth does most of the pronunciation work for you. When you speak English at normal speed, you’ll discover that many of the pronunciation skills, such as linking between words, will happen automatically.

Remember these, when speaking English…

Try to become less hesitant and more confident.

Don’t be shy to speak – the more you do it, the more confident you’ll become.

Remember to be polite – use “please” and “thank you” if you ask someone to do something for you.

In conclusion, organize your thoughts before you speak. Think twice before you open your mouth. Always keep the message simple and clear. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Never lie and never mislead anyone. Say it with style, confidence, and enthusiasm. Make sure you’re understood. Make sure you practice a lot and rehearse. You’ll soon be an effective communicator. In fact, to say is one thing to do is another. It’s easy to say but uneasy to work.

How to Communicate Effectively | Effective Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are fundamental the essentials to achieve success in life.  As many jobs require strong communication skills and people who have taken steps to improve communication skills usually enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family.

Effective communication is one of the most important keys to interpersonal skill and by learning how we can improve our communication has many benefits.

Improving your English speaking  skills will help you communicate more easily and effectively, so follow certain tips to make your communication more effective:

Practice where you can, when you can. Any practice is good – whether you speak to someone who is a native English speaker or not.

  • It’s important to build your confidence. If possible, use simple English sentence structure that you know is correct, so that you can concentrate on getting your message across.
  • Try to experiment with the English you know. Use words and phrases you know in new situations. Native English speakers are more likely to correct you if you use the wrong word than if you use the wrong grammar. Experimenting with vocabulary is a really good way of getting feedback.
  • Try to respond to what people say to you. You can often get clues to what people think by looking at their body language. Respond to them in a natural way.
  • Try NOT to translate into and from your own language. This takes too much time and will make you more hesitant.
  • If you forget a word, do what native English speakers do all the time, and say things that ‘fill’ the conversation. This is better than keeping completely silent. Try using um, or er, if you forget the word.
  • Don’t speak too fast! It’s important to use a natural rhythm when speaking English, but if you speak too fast it will be difficult for people to understand you.
  • Try to relax when you speak – you’ll find your mouth does most of the pronunciation work for you. When you speak English at normal speed, you’ll discover that many of the pronunciation skills, such as linking between words, will happen automatically.

Remember these, when speaking English…

Try to become less hesitant and more confident.

Don’t be shy to speak – the more you do it, the more confident you’ll become.

Remember to be polite – use “please” and “thank you” if you ask someone to do something for you.

In conclusion, organize your thoughts before you speak. Think twice before you open your mouth. Always keep the message simple and clear. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Never lie and never mislead anyone. Say it with style, confidence, and enthusiasm. Make sure you’re understood. Make sure you practice a lot and rehearse. You’ll soon be an effective communicator. In fact, to say is one thing to do is another. It’s easy to say but uneasy to work.

Communication Channel – Choosing the best medium!

The essence of good communication remains the same despite the technological advances… Emotional intelligence and self-awareness are important for you in communicating with others. You need to think through not only what to say and how to say it but also how your message is influenced by the technology you use.

While choosing a medium of communication, the most important decision is to consider who is the respective audience and the objective of the message itself. To help such decision, it is important to refer to the list of mediums below.

Team meetings

Team meetings give an opportunity for discussion, feedback, questioning, and ideas and can help build understanding and involvement. It can make communication personal and relevant to the team involved.

Email

It can reach mass audiences fast. It is cost effective and simple to use. Also, consistent and controlled message reaches the recipient directly. It is good for information, awareness or instruction

Video

It is also consistent, controlled and a creative and entertaining medium as it shows real people talking about their experiences. The camera never lies so it can show proof or progress of any kind.

Print magazine

Even time-pressured staff can read in coffee breaks, on trains, etc. It can address/reflect staff feedback and respond and can show how everything fits together and reinforce company brand. It can reach the entire company with a consistent message.

Audio

It is good for remote workforces and also effective for information and instruction.

Notice boards

It is visible and may catch people’s eye when to time pressured to read anything else and also good for instructions and information

Text messaging

It is good for reaching remote workers and crisis communication. It can be used to direct people to further sources of information. It can be used to update senior managers on important news whilst on leave

Events/ road shows

It acts as an opportunity for key people to reach mass audiences face-to-face. It is flexible and responsive. It can include Q&A sessions, break-out groups and involve people. It can build team spirit and motivate and also used to address controversial issues

Open forum

It gives the opportunity to raise and discuss the real issues and also helps leaders to understand how things really are. It also enables people to feel heard.

Voicemail

It is helpful for remote workers. It also provides the opportunity to hear about issues from senior leaders.

The communication options you choose will depend on what you want to accomplish and what you and your clients find comfortable.

Communication Skills Are Desired by Business and Social groups

Communication is key to your success – in relationships, in the workplace, as a citizen of your country, and across your lifetime. Effective communication is a vital tool for any business owner. Your success at getting your point across can be the difference between sealing a deal and missing out on a potential opportunity.

You should be able to clearly explain company policies to customers and clients and answer their questions about your products or services. It is crucial to communicate effectively in negotiations to ensure you achieve your goals.

Communication is also important within the business. Effective communication can help to foster a good working relationship between you and your staff, which can in turn improve morale and efficiency.

Communication Represents You Socially

You want to make a good first impression on your friends and family, instructors, and employer. They all want you to convey a positive image, as it reflects on them. In your career, you will represent your business or company in spoken and written form. Your professionalism and attention to detail will reflect positively on you and set you up for success.

Communication Skills Are Desired by Business and Industry

Oral and written communication proficiencies are consistently ranked in the top ten desirable skills by employer surveys year after year. In fact, high-powered business executives sometimes hire consultants to coach them in sharpening their communication skills.

Factors responsible for effective Communication:-

Truthfulness in Communication

Tell the truth. You might need to announce an impending layoff or explain a tragic accident to government safety officials. Although you could face employee anger or public scrutiny, don’t let the fear of negative reaction to bad news suppress honesty. Fudging facts or omitting essential, nonproprietary information jeopardizes your business’s credibility with employees, customers, the public and the media.
Grammatical Correctness

Use correct grammar in all communication. Check written messages for misspellings and punctuation errors. Avoid wordy or run-on sentences by sticking to the subject-verb-object structure.

So for example, if you are calling a client, the very first thing you may want to say is: “I realize how busy you are so I will only need one minute of your time to let you know about our service / product.”

Clarity

Tell audiences upfront why you’re communicating with them. Mysterious, vague, distorted or conflicting messages foster mistrust. Use familiar, commonly understood language. Substitute the word “contemplating,” for example, with the phrase “thinking about.” Organize sentences and paragraphs so they follow a logical order in the overall text.

Tone

Choose a communication tone that suits audiences and topics. Emailing employees about the annual office picnic should be upbeat and engaging. A sales promotion also can be upbeat and persuasive to attract customers..
Communication that’s sincere and courteous helps build employee and customer loyalty. Language that angers, belittles, insults or stereotypes audiences is financially and legally risky.

For a sales team, if they call a prospective client and the first thing out of their mouth needs to be something to the effect of, “I realize that your time is very valuable so I will only need two minutes to schedule a time for a second call where I can do a 10-minute demonstration of our product / service.”

Avoid being too direct like” I want to talk to you for some time. Please listen to me about the service / product”

Same advice applies for approaching your manager or boss to set up a meeting. Let them know if it will be painful, how long it will take and the end result you are asking for – they will be much more apt to schedule a time for you.

For Interview Tips and Real Interview Training, click on

Communication skills simply do not refer to the way in which we communicate with another person. It includes many other things – the way in which we respond to the person we are speaking, body gestures including the facial ones, pitch and tone of our voice and a lot of other things. And the importance of communication skills is not just limited to the management world, since effective communication skills are now required in each and every aspect of our life.

First, let us concentrate on the importance of communication in business. We can measure the importance of communication skills in the business sector when we take a look at job advertisements. There is little chance that you will come across an advertisement which does not mention that candidates should have good communication skills. Perhaps this is the only criteria which creates a positive impact when a person goes for a job interview. This is because technical qualifications are likely to be more or less the same for the candidates.

Without effective communication skills, a person may find it impossible to climb up the corporate ladder. Promotions come to those who can communicate effectively at all levels, from senior management level to the lowest employee.

As for communication within relationships, it should be remembered that maintaining good relationships is a way to a healthy lifestyle, and a good relationship can only be maintained by maintaining healthy communication with our near and dear ones. They are the ones we stay with on a regular basis. They are also the ones who see us at our best as well as our worst. Good communication skills help the relationships to develop along good lines, and ensure that arguments and disagreements are kept to a minimum. Good communication will avoid arguments and insults.

Another important part of communication in relationships is taking the initiative yourself. Do not wait for your best friend to call you after a long break. Instead take the phone and also take initiative to start the conversation. Often people have this problem while communicating, which comes from fear. They always think a thousand times whether to approach a person or not. But a person with good communication skills is always the first to start a conversation. Given the importance of communication skills in both the personal and the corporate world, any individual who want to make progress with their life should develop this important skill.

In BM English Course each participant develops three broad aspects of communication – verbal, non-verbal and written. Participants pracitce communicating and expressing on various topics.