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Communication Skills (Part II - Speaking)


We talked about listening as one of the fundamentals of communication in my previous blog, today we will talk about speaking.

Let us first talk about the fundamental purpose of “Speaking”. When we are talking, we are sharing some experience that we have been through and we are trying to recreate the same experience in the mind of others by telling them about it. So, it is important to understand that during the conversation, it is not about us but, it is about the person that we are speaking to. Without wasting any more time, let us get right into it. So here are the fundamentals that every person should follow to be a good speaker.


Speak slowly:


I can not emphasize the importance of speaking slowly. A lot of people have the habit of just running through the words. The problem with this is that most of the time when we are speaking fast, we skip through half of the words. This makes your statement ambiguous or hard to understand. If you often experience people asking you to repeat yourself then this might be the problem with you. Also when you are speaking fast, you are not allowing your brain to keep a check on what you are saying so you either end up saying something irrelevant/bad/off-topic, hence speaking slowly is crucial for good communication. Also, it asserts your confidence and people think that whatever you are saying is important and must be heard.


Talk Sense:


No matter how confidently or slowly someone speaks, nothing can outrun the demerits of speaking without context. Do not speak unless you have something worth saying or you would just see people rolling their eyes on you. There are a lot of blabbermouths out there who just cannot keep their mouth from emitting noises, you do not want to be one of them. People who speak too much could never be a good communicator since listening is also a part of communication.


Language Does matter:


People say that language does not matter if you are speaking confidently but it does, and it should be changed as per the person that you are talking to. You should never use the tools that your audience does not have the access to. For example, you might have noticed that when we talk to a toddler, we are trying to speak as simply and slowly as possible without using any heavy words. You even make hand signs like pointing at something that you want the toddler to focus at. Why do you think you do that? You do it since you are aware that your vocabulary and the toddler’s vocabulary is not the same. Similarly, you should avoid using words, phrases that are hard for your audience (person/s that you are talking to) to understand.


Talk about one thing at a time:


Do you remember the concept of “Pressure” from high school? If you do, you might remember that the same force exerts higher pressure if you focus it on a single point. Be aware of the topic that you are talking about and do not lose track of it. Explain your point thoroughly and then move on to the next one. Do not over-stuff your talk with multiple things. Remember overstuffed equal under-explained. When you focus your pressure of vocational skills through different points irrelevant to each other, you end up giving nothing of value at all, you though mentioned everything but did not explain anything thoroughly. So, exert your force at a single topic at a time to make your speaking style more elegant.


Avoid monotones:


No matter how good the content of your advice/talk, it can not outrun the devastating effect of speaking in a monotone. Like seriously, you are not trying to sing a lullaby here, you need to show that you are passionate about the thing that you are speaking. Your pitch should go through highs and lows (low pitch/heavy voice to emphasize on a point/sentence and high pitch/ sharp voice to show your excitement/anger/happiness and normal pitch for the other part of the talk). This gives off a vibe that you are interested in the conversation.


Torso facing the audience/people that you are talking to:


Always talk to the person with your torso facing him/her. Talking to a person with your body not facing the person signifies that the person you are talking to is not worth the effort. This is not only rude and disrespectful, but it also makes people insecure and they might think that you do not care about their presence at all. You do not want that since to a good speaker, everyone matters. Also not facing a person could also backfire. Your audience (the people you are talking to) might think that you are either not confident or phony since you are just steering yourself away and not facing them.


No matter the type of environment, the above-mentioned things will help you stand out from others. Most of the advice about speaking on the internet is either built on these basic ideas or is a subset of this. Try this and let me know your experience.


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