Sounds like a simple question however…how easy is it to communicate with you? If you’re unsure, join the crowd. Most of us don’t know so this post will provide a good starting point for what aspects of communication deserve your consideration. See which ones apply best to you.
1. Vocal Volume: Are you easily heard? Some of us don’t accommodate the loudness level of our voice based on our surroundings and as a result may be speaking either too softly or too loudly. We may not be breathing efficiently which also hinders our vocal volume.
2. Intelligibility: Are you easily understood? A common habit is to cover our mouths with our hand or hold our face in our hand and restrict jaw movement. When we limit visual cues or restrict movement, our articulation is compromised. As a result we come across as mumbling.
3. Rate of speech: Are you speaking too rapidly? Whether due to nerves, feeling pressed for time or a longstanding habit, the faster we speak the more challenging it is for others to follow us and we’re also more prone to making errors. This can lead to confusion and frustration. When we have to repeat information we’re no longer saving time; in fact we’re wasting time.
4. Organization: Are you making sense and following a logical order? The less time we spend preparing what we want to convey the greater the risk of losing our listeners. It’s imperative that we provide the necessary context, offer the right amount of information and check for understanding by asking open-ended questions.
5. Non-verbal language: Are you speaking from head-to-toe? When we use gestures, eye-contact and posture effectively we paint a picture that enhances our message. This applies to communication in-person as well as on the phone.
6. Confidence: Are you viewed as a confident communicator? This has nothing to do with your job title. It has everything to do with your ability to use optimal vocal volume, intelligibility, rate of speech, organization, and non-verbal language. Those who implement these elements are perceived as confident speakers.
When we pay attention to our communication we make it easy for others to communicate with us. Try these 6 recommendations and see how well they work for you.