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​Margaret Chamblee Outlines Tricks to Develop Your Communication Skills

Originally published on

Communication skills are among the most highly regarded skills to have in your pocket, in both personal and professional paths. An excellent communicator knows that interactions go beyond the message you want to convey; you must understand nonverbal cues, become a good listener, and train yourself.

Margaret Chamblee is an experienced marketing and sales professional. Here, she shares nine ways to help improve your communication skills.

Prioritize communication.

In order to develop your communication skills, you must first make communication a priority. Take time to explore classes, read books or articles from successful communicators, or find a mentor.

Keep it simple.

Conveying a message doesn't have to take an eloquent, hour-long speech. Don't stray from the message you want to share and keep it simple, short, and concise.

Rephrase your message if needed.

Sometimes you may need to reword your message to get it across to the intended recipient. Make sure they understand what you are trying to say. If they don't, do not blame them but instead find a different way to get your message across.

Engage those around you.

If you want your message to be heard, seek feedback from those you are speaking to. Open communication involves asking questions and seeking opinions from your audience.

Become a good listener.

Communication is a two-way street. It is equally important to focus on developing strong listening skills. A good listener does not distract themselves by pondering how to respond and listens without concluding. Listen, understand, and then develop a response. There is a big difference between responding and reacting.

Be patient in your response.

Once you have solicited feedback from those around you, take a moment to understand what they are telling you entirely. Before you respond, take the time to be methodical in your approach and how you want to answer.

Non-verbal cues are essential.

Most people know that a significant amount of communication is relayed through non-verbal cues such as body language. Be aware of your listener's behavior; actively take the time to notice if your audience understands your message, agrees with it, or disagrees. Common signs can be a puzzled face, nodding of a head, or crossed arms. Also, understand any signals you may be sent to your audience as well in your actions.

Keep eye contact.

Whether you are communicating in a one-on-one setting or a meeting with several members, eye contact is a powerful way to build rapport and credibility with your audience. Many make the mistake of thinking that eye contact can be forceful, but in reality, it shows that you care about who you are speaking with.

Give your listeners respect.

The message you want to convey should go beyond what you want or what you need. It takes more than just listening to feedback your listeners provide; you should genuinely care about what they have to say and care about what is important to them.

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