How to Improve Your Communication Skills – 6 Ways

Whether for pleasure or for information gathering, good communication skills can be very beneficial during a conversation and can contribute to a positive experience for you and the person (s) with whom you are speaking. The following six ways to improve your communication skills are applicable in a group setting or a personal conversation and are great ways to build good rapport.

1. Be a Good Listener: When the other person is speaking, you can be a good listener by nodding or shaking your head in response to what that person is saying. Be conscientious and avoid being easily distracted while the other person is still speaking.

2. Be Respectful: You can show respect by being considerate of the other person while he or she is speaking. Avoid interrupting them while they're still talking. Be courteous; that respect you show towards that person will reflect very well on you.

3. Turn-Taking: Allow the other person to finish what they're saying and resist the temptation to finish their sentences; even if you already know what they're going to say. If the conversation gets off your point of interest, you can always bring it back when it's your turn to speak.

4. Be a Conversation Participant: Even if you do not care for the subject the other person has brought up, make an effort to show some interest in it anyway. Be patient, you'll get your turn to change the subject.

5. Remember Names: Sprinkle your conversation with the person's name to whom you are speaking. It may take a little practice if you're not used to doing this, but it makes your conversation more personal and helps you remember their name.

6. Appear Friendly: A smile is a charm, and people are more likely to enjoy having a conversation with a person with a smile rather than a person with a scowl. Your smile says you're receptive to listening while a scowl says, 'go away!'

Having good communication skills is very important and the benefits you reap are to your advantage. Opportunities to practice and to improve these skills arise all the time and the better skilled you are at managing a good conversation, the better your chances of getting your message across in a positive manner.