Through Green Taylor Partners many and varied methods of engaging our team members, I was doing some research into ‘workplace communication’ to deliver a training session at our weekly meeting.

The purpose of the research was to find out what makes a great communicator and relate this back to one of the Green Taylor Partners ‘Values – Open and free communication’.

I came across an article by Shirley Taylor who’s a leading authority on business communication, email and business writing skills that I felt the need to share and hopefully enjoy.

7 Secrets to Becoming a Great Communicator – Shirley Taylor

We live in a fast-paced and pressurised world. Being able to communicate well with those around you is often critical. The more proficient your communication skills, the more successful you are likely to be within your chosen career. Companies often equate good communication with efficiency, and believe that a good communicator is likely to contribute in a positive way to the business. If you wish to improve your own communication skills, here are 7 secrets (that are really not-so-secret) that will make your communication skills more efficient and effective:

Relationship Building

A good communicator will concentrate on building the basic foundations of relationships quite simply by making an effort to speak. Even a good morning and a smile speak volumes. Someone with good communication skills will not just ask a question, but will wait to hear the answer; this increases the potential to build rapport.

Speak Clearly and Confidently

When presenting, a speaker must be able to reach out and communicate to the audience on a wide scale. Talking in a clear and engaging manner helps. They will speak from a position of authority, and have a natural and appealing tone. Confidence is quickly recognised by an audience on a sub-conscious level. Most people feel nervous when speaking in public, and tell-tale signs include talking faster and in a higher tone. Knowing the subject matter well always helps, and you will come over as an expert; this will help to influence others too.

Increase Listening

Many people believe that listening comes naturally, but a good communicator will often listen more than they speak themselves. A good communicator shows interest in the other person by listening and not tuning out of a conversation. This helps to break down any potential barriers and avoid misunderstandings or confusion.

Non-Verbal Clues

Communicating well also means listening and understanding any non-verbal clues – including body language, posture, facial expressions, and not simply the actual words that are used. A verbal message may mean one thing, but a good communicator can often pick up hidden signals through observation.

Breathing

Presenting or managing meetings at a high level can be daunting; nerves can very easily get in the way. A good communicator controls any nervousness by using breathing techniques that serve to calm any inner anxieties, enabling them to speak clearly and with confidence.

Make Eye-Contact

Many people believe that communication is all about the words we speak, but this is not so. Making eye contact increases the ability to connect by creating a bond at that moment. This connection becomes a bridge between the presenter and listener.

Practice

There are always skills to improve upon, but practice helps, a lot. Anyone speaking to large groups of people has to analyse their speaking style and address any areas of concern. Looking into a mirror while practicing is one way; watching other professionals to comprehend how they interact and engage is another.

To become a good communicator, adopt these tips and learn how to communicate successfully in your own way, building rapport, capturing attention and portraying any message in a professional and efficient manner.