In the first portion of this blog series we discussed five different tips to help with effective communication. We reviewed the need for eye contact, smiling, and using a slower talking pace. However, we also discussed how important a proper handshake is and the necessity to not move while you are speaking in front of an audience.
There are seven more tips, however, to ensure clear and concise communication. All of which are taught in the communication courses provided by Thinker Base.
Though this motion has a funny name, the action is even more hilarious. For some people, speaking in front of an audience can be stressful. In order to cope with that stress, some people have developed a nervous tick in which they tuck one foot behind their knee. The result of this action makes them look similar to a flamingo, appearing very unprofessional. When speaking in front of a group, it is wise to have both of your legs grounded and spread very slightly. Having a planted stance will make you appear more assertive and the width of your legs will give yourself stability.
No Uh’s, Um’s, or Ah’s
Nothing is more unprofessional than uh’s, um’s, and ah’s in a sentence. These sounds appear in sentences when the speaker has a break in their thoughts. Though sometimes they can be subconsciously said, you can train yourself to break the habit. When you separate your thoughts with awkward sounds, you make yourself sound less knowledgeable and unprepared. By practicing uninterrupted communication, you will gain stronger auditory skills.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with our flamingo leg example: keep yourself centered. By keeping your two feet on the ground, you stabilize yourself and give off a more confident appearance. However, especially for women, they have a habit of shifting their weight from one hip or the other. Though their feet are planted, their pose can be interpreted as unprofessional. Also, by putting pressure on their hips, they increase the likelihood of popping their hip bone and creating additive joint damage.
As you stand up on your two feet, be sure not to lock your knees. By locking your knees, you can cut off blood flow to the rest of your body. The result, of course, is fainting. When you are speaking in front of a crowd, keep in mind to slightly bend your knees to maintain healthy blood circulation.
Use Subtle Hand Movements
It is okay to use some hand movement when you are talking. Hand and arm movements are both very natural and using them as a communicative tool is acceptable. However, overuse of hand movement can be overwhelming to the person or audience you are addressing. Also, overactive hand use can be considered manic or aggressive. Even if your intention is not to threaten the person you are talking to, fast and wild hand movement can be interpreted as aggressive and overbearing.
At the same time, don’t refrain from using hand movements. If you stand talking to someone without any movement, you may resemble something too close to a tree or a manikin. Use relaxed body language but still maintain small arm and hand movements.
Don’t Tug On Clothing
Children often tug on their clothing as a way to relieve stress or anxiety. Of course, in children this nervous tick is adorable. In adults, the motion is silly. Much like any nervous tick, the habit can be broken with proper training. Although, because the habit has been used since you were a child, you might subconsciously pull on your clothing while you speak and not even know it. That is why it is so important to have a communication coach or communication lessons. Only through close examinations will you be able to identify your bad communication habits.
Stand Big and Tall
Even the smallest person can be the biggest person in the room. If you talk with conviction and confidence, it won’t matter who you are or how you look. In order to achieve this concept, you must stand tall. When you stand hunched or slouched, you give off the impression of being disengaged or bored. By standing upright you give off the impression of being alert and perceptive.
Also, another way you can add to your appearance is by acting bigger than you are. This simply means by making bigger motions or sitting more spread out. A shy or meek person will always revert to shrinking into themselves, making themselves smaller. A big person will spread out, put their elbow on the table, use arm movements, and spread their arms and legs when speak.
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