Communication is a critical aspect of leadership. You have to clearly communicate multiple things to those you lead. Some of the pieces you have to communicate may be:
- The vision of the organization
- Your team’s mission
- How to effectively complete a task
- The love you have for your team
- A business presentation to the board of trustees
- Sharing why your products cost what they do
As you can see, there are multiple things you have to communicate. If you can’t communicate, you’re going to stumble and fall. You may even be demoted or removed from the organization.
Okay, okay… enough with the scary stuff. I want to help you become a better communicator.
I wasn’t always a good communicator. I have stumbled over my words while speaking in front of audiences, failed to clearly communicate messages in writing, and more.
The good news is that I’ve overcome most of these quirks. The better news is that you can as well.
5 Steps You Can Take To Improve Your Communication Skills
What does it take to be a better communicator? I’ve thought of 5 steps I’ve taken. These steps were helpful to me. They will be beneficial to you as well.
1. Join a local Toastmasters International group:
If you fear public speaking, your local Toastmasters International group is for you.
Toastmasters help you practice and improve your public speaking in a safe and inviting place. Each time you attend a meeting, you will be given a role that will push you out of your comfort zone.
Think about joining a Toastmasters group if you want to improve your public speaking skills.
2. Think before you communicate:
We get into a lot of trouble because we don’t think before communicating. The words we say are not exactly what we would like to say. Sometimes, those words are even hurtful.
Our lack of foresight is why you need to think before you communicate.
Ask yourself if the words you’re about to say or write are genuinely what you want to convey. Think to yourself about how you would feel if you were to hear those words.
Think through what you’re communicating. It will take you a bit longer to get it out but you’ll be more confident you’re sharing the right words.
3. Take a course:
You’ll be put into a safe place where you can practice communicating with a larger crowd. These people won’t judge you harshly as they’re there to improve as well.
Find a local community college or a university where you can take a course on public speaking. You’ll find yourself more comfortable in no time.
4. Study effective communicators:
Want to really improve your communication skills? Look to the great communicators of our time and before.
There are great recordings of public speakers available for you to study.
I would recommend listening to presentations given by Martin Luther King Jr., Coach John Wooden, Simon Sinek, Oprah Winfrey, and others.
Listen to their words. Think about what makes them so effective.
Start to work these techniques into your communications.
5. Know your audience:
Our communication can fall flat when we don’t know our audience. You don’t want to crack a joke to the wrong person.
Find out who’s in the audience. What are their past experiences? How do they communicate? What are they there for?
All of these things help you to know your audience better and craft a message that reaches them.
Communication Can Be Improved
The good news is that you don’t have to stay at your current communication level. You can take action to improve yourself.
Take the actions above to improve the way you communicate rapidly. You will find yourself more comfortable and confident in the message you have to deliver.