Mastering Communication: 6 Essential Tips for Becoming an Exceptional Communicator

Great communication skills underpin every successful career and effective social interaction. These skills open the door to a wealth of opportunities and experiences. By embracing such skills, you can not only enhance your speaking abilities and job prospects, but also transform your life.

Here are six tips to help you become an exceptional communicator:

1. Be self-aware
Self-awareness is the ability to understand how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours impact others. It is an essential quality that allows people to be more at ease with themselves so they can relate to others with genuine confidence and kindness. Self-awareness fosters trust and steers the ego away from aimless speaking.

According to organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich, self-awareness is a vital trait for leaders and employees, as corporate settings demand honesty and authenticity in communication.

2. Be a good listener
If there's one communication skill everyone should master, it's good listening. Good listening is the ability to receive and interpret messages during the communication process accurately. In other words, good listening allows people to understand what someone is saying and the meaning behind the words.

A prime example of an excellent listener is the inspiring Oprah Winfrey. A trailblazer in her field, Winfrey understands that listening is as essential, if not more important, than speaking. Through her honesty, she effectively addresses the issues her audience raises. People see Oprah as nurturing, trustworthy, and genuine because she genuinely cares about the words and ideas of others.

3. Be confident
Confidence in communication is a delicate balance. Too much confidence can be perceived as arrogance, while excessive modesty may suggest a weak demeanour. Nonetheless, confidence is crucial for effective communication. Words and gestures presented with confidence inspire assertiveness and provide brevity and clarity. Moreover, confidence is a prerequisite many top employers look for when hiring or promoting a candidate, such as enthusiasm and motivation.

Balanced confidence is the key to great communication. Nobody exemplifies this better than Kat Cole, CEO of Cinnabon and group president of Focus Brands, Inc. Cole communicates with authority and conviction that compels you to listen. Cole consistently exhibits a highly effective executive presence by combining warmth and credibility. Her light-heartedness and humour demonstrate that maintaining a poker face isn't necessary to be taken seriously. She encourages employees to dream big and make a difference.

4. Use effective body language
Communication goes beyond mere words. Studies have shown that body language is as important as speaking in effective communication, as 93% of a message is conveyed through non-verbal communication. Using appropriate gestures and expressions allows for a more impactful mode of communication.

Leadership expert Nick Morgan points out that great communicators don't rely on overly rehearsed gestures or gimmicks. Instead, they create energy and emotional connections with their audience through non-verbal communication. Additionally, great communicators opt for postures, facial expressions, and gestures that convey power, authority, trust, and warmth.

5. Be well-articulate.
Great communicators are best understood when their stories expand beyond themselves. Professionals and leaders excel at using language, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is one extraordinary example.

Sandberg is noted for her carefully intimate yet well-detailed diction. During her commencement speech at the University of California – Berkeley, Sandberg employed authentic emotional vulnerability, powerful vocal convictions, and a series of inspiring stories. Accomplished executives like her project their personal stories with both detail and vulnerability. They hone their experiences through words that connect, influence, and inspire.

6. Be clear and coherent
Great communicators engage in clear and logical conversations. Clarity and coherence reveal the purposes of a communicator's message by clarifying expectations and reducing misinterpretation. These qualities ensure a transparent and credible exchange of information and often form the foundation of an impactful message.

Winston Churchill, one of the most quoted leaders of the 20th century, delivered his most memorable speeches in a short, clear, and straight-to-the-point manner. Churchill avoided complex jargon and believed that less is more. His words provided strength to people during history's darkest moments.

Great communicators are self-aware, confident, articulate, and clear. They actively listen, inspire others, strive for effective action, and eliminate barriers limiting their understanding.

Effective communication is less common than one might expect. Chances are, we have all experienced lukewarm online interactions and jargon-filled text messages. By employing the six strategies above, you can embark on your journey to becoming the best communicator you can be.

Creo Incubator's course on communication can support entrepreneurs and encourage them to innovate by providing the necessary tools and insights to enhance their communication skills. By learning from the experts and applying the principles outlined in this article, entrepreneurs can effectively convey their ideas, foster collaboration, and drive their businesses towards success.

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