HOW TO KILL PUBLIC SPEAKING FEAR?


1) What are research findings of Stage Fright?

Stage fright, also known as performance anxiety, is a common phenomenon that affects many individuals across various performance contexts, including public speaking, musical performance, acting, and sports. Research into stage fright has yielded several key findings:

Prevalence and Demographics

  1. Commonality: Stage fright is widespread, with studies indicating that it affects a significant portion of the population. It is estimated that about 75% of people experience some degree of anxiety when speaking in public.
  2. Demographics: It affects individuals across all ages and professional backgrounds. However, certain populations, such as students, performers, and those new to a field, may report higher levels of anxiety.

Symptoms and Manifestations

Physical Symptoms: Common physical symptoms include sweating, trembling, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and dizziness. These symptoms are part of the body’s fight-or-flight response.
Cognitive Symptoms: Individuals may experience negative thoughts, fear of failure, self-doubt, and difficulty concentrating.
Behavioral Symptoms: Avoidance of performance situations, excessive preparation, or, conversely, inadequate preparation due to fear.

  1. Causes and Contributing Factors

    Biological Factors: Genetics and brain chemistry can play a role in an individual’s predisposition to anxiety. The amygdala, which processes fear, is often more active in those who experience higher levels of anxiety.
    Psychological Factors: Personality traits such as perfectionism, low self-esteem, and high levels of neuroticism are associated with increased performance anxiety.
    Environmental Factors: Past experiences, especially negative ones, can contribute to future anxiety. High stakes and pressure from peers, family, or audience can exacerbate symptoms.
  1. Impact on Performance

    Negative Impact: High levels of anxiety can impair performance by causing cognitive overload, reducing working memory capacity, and leading to errors or omissions.
    Moderate Anxiety: Some research suggests that a moderate level of anxiety can enhance performance by increasing focus and motivation, often referred to as the Yerkes-Dodson law.
  2. Intervention and Management Strategies

    Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is one of the most effective treatments for stage fright. It involves restructuring negative thought patterns and gradually exposing individuals to anxiety-provoking situations.
    Medication: Beta-blockers and anti-anxiety medications can be used to manage physical symptoms, though they are typically recommended for severe cases and not as a first-line treatment.
    Relaxation Techniques: Breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation can help reduce physical symptoms of anxiety.
    Performance Preparation: Thorough preparation and rehearsal can increase confidence and reduce anxiety. Visualization and mental practice are also beneficial.
    Support Systems: Peer support, coaching, and mentoring can provide reassurance and constructive feedback, reducing feelings of isolation and fear.
  1. Recent Research Trends

    Neuroscientific Approaches: Studies using neuroimaging techniques are exploring how brain activity changes in anxious performers and how interventions can modulate this activity.
    Technology-Based Interventions: Virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy is emerging as a tool for helping individuals practice performances in a controlled, simulated environment.
    Positive Psychology: Focusing on strengths, resilience, and positive emotions is gaining attention as a way to build confidence and reduce anxiety.


2) Causes of Stage Fright?

Stage fright, also known as performance anxiety, can be triggered by a variety of psychological, physiological, and situational factors. Here are some common causes:

Fear of Judgment or Rejection: Concern about how the audience will perceive and judge the performance is a primary cause of stage fright. This fear can stem from a desire for approval and a fear of negative evaluation.

Lack of Preparation: Insufficient practice or feeling unprepared can heighten anxiety. Knowing one is not fully ready for the performance can lead to increased nervousness.

Perfectionism: High personal standards and a fear of making mistakes can contribute to anxiety. Perfectionists may worry excessively about delivering a flawless performance.

Previous Negative Experiences: Past experiences of poor performances or negative feedback can create a lasting fear of similar situations, leading to heightened anxiety in future performances.

Biological Factors: Physiological responses to stress, such as increased adrenaline, heart rate, and cortisol levels, can cause physical symptoms of anxiety like trembling, sweating, and a racing heart.

High Stakes: The perceived importance of the performance can influence anxiety levels. Higher stakes can increase pressure and lead to more significant anxiety.

Lack of Experience: Inexperienced performers may feel more anxious due to unfamiliarity with the performance environment and the process.

Social Anxiety: Individuals who generally experience social anxiety may be more prone to stage fright, as performing in front of others can be particularly challenging.

Self-Doubt: Low self-confidence and self-esteem can lead to doubts about one’s abilities, increasing anxiety about performing well.

Audience Size and Composition: The size and nature of the audience can impact anxiety levels. Performing in front of a large, unfamiliar, or highly critical audience can be more intimidating.


3) How to prevent Stage Fright?

Stage fright, or performance anxiety, is a common experience that can be managed through various strategies. Here are some effective methods to prevent and reduce stage fright:

Preparation

Practice Regularly: The more familiar you are with your material, the more confident you will feel. Rehearse in front of a mirror, record yourself, or perform for friends or family.

Know Your Venue: Familiarize yourself with the performance space. If possible, visit the venue beforehand to get a sense of the layout and acoustics.

Visualize Success: Spend time imagining yourself giving a successful performance. Visualization can help build confidence and reduce anxiety.

Physical Techniques

Deep Breathing: Practice deep breathing exercises to calm your nervous system. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and then relax different muscle groups in your body. This can help reduce physical tension caused by anxiety.

Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to reduce overall stress levels and improve your mood.

Mental Techniques

Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of past successes and focus on your strengths.

Stay Present: Focus on the present moment rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on past mistakes. Mindfulness techniques can help you stay grounded.

Set Realistic Goals: Aim for progress, not perfection. Setting achievable goals can help reduce pressure and build confidence.

Practical Tips

Arrive Early: Give yourself plenty of time to settle in and prepare before your performance. Rushing can increase anxiety.

Connect with the Audience: Make eye contact and engage with your audience. Remember, they are there to support you.

Use Notes Wisely: If appropriate, have notes or an outline to refer to during your performance. This can serve as a safety net and boost your confidence.

Long-Term Strategies

Perform Regularly: The more you perform, the more comfortable you will become. Seek out opportunities to practice in low-stakes environments.

Seek Feedback: Constructive feedback from trusted individuals can help you improve and build confidence over time.

Professional Help: If stage fright is significantly impacting your life, consider seeking help from a therapist or coach who specializes in performance anxiety.

Immediate Pre-Performance Tips

Warm-Up: Do vocal or physical warm-ups as appropriate for your performance.

Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated to keep your energy levels up.

Dress Comfortably: Wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable.


4) How to practice your speech before facing the audience?

Practicing your speech before facing an audience is crucial for delivering a confident and effective presentation. Here are some steps and tips to help you practice effectively:

  1. Understand Your Content

    Know Your Material: Make sure you understand your speech thoroughly. Know the key points, the structure, and the flow of your presentation.
    Organize Your Notes: Use cue cards or an outline to help you remember the main points. Highlight key phrases or concepts that are essential to your speech.
  2. Practice Out Loud

    Rehearse Verbally: Speak out loud as if you are presenting to an audience. This helps you get used to the sound of your own voice and the rhythm of your speech.
    Use a Mirror: Practice in front of a mirror to observe your body language and facial expressions. Ensure your non-verbal communication is consistent with your message.
  3. Record Yourself
    Video Recording: Record your practice sessions with a camera or smartphone. Watch the recordings to identify areas for improvement in your delivery, gestures, and posture.
    Audio Recording: Recording just your voice can help you focus on your vocal delivery, including pace, tone, and clarity.
  4. Get Feedback

    Practice with Friends or Family: Present your speech to friends or family members and ask for constructive feedback.
    Join a Group: If possible, join a public speaking group like Toastmasters where you can practice in front of an audience and receive feedback.
  5. Simulate the Environment

    Practice in the Venue: If you can, practice in the actual venue where you will be presenting. Familiarize yourself with the space, the podium, and any equipment you will use.
    Use Visual Aids: Practice with any slides, props, or other visual aids you plan to use. Ensure you know how to operate them smoothly.
  6. Focus on Timing

    Time Your Speech: Use a timer to ensure your speech fits within the allotted time. Adjust your content as needed to avoid running over or under time.
    Pace Yourself: Practice speaking at a steady pace. Avoid rushing through your speech; instead, speak clearly and deliberately.
  7. Refine Your Delivery

    Work on Intonation: Vary your pitch and tone to keep the audience engaged. Avoid monotony by emphasizing key points and using expressive speech.
    Pause for Effect: Use pauses strategically to emphasize points and give your audience time to absorb information.
  8. Manage Nervousness

    Practice Relaxation Techniques: Use deep breathing, visualization, or other relaxation techniques to manage anxiety.
    Positive Visualization: Imagine yourself giving a successful speech and receiving positive feedback.
  9. Review and Revise
    Continuous Improvement: After each practice session, review your performance and make necessary adjustments. Focus on areas where you feel less confident.
    Adapt Based on Feedback: Incorporate the feedback you receive from others to improve your speech.
  10. Practice Regularly
    Consistent Practice: Rehearse regularly leading up to the presentation day. Consistency helps build confidence and reduces last-minute anxiety.


    Thanks for reading.

HOW TO PREPARE AND PRACTICE YOUR SPEECH?

1) How to understand and research the topic?

Understanding and researching a topic effectively involves several steps, from initial comprehension to deep exploration. Here’s a structured approach to guide you:

1. Initial Understanding

a. Define the Topic: Clearly articulate what the topic is about. Write down the main question or thesis statement.

b. Background Reading: Start with general sources like encyclopedias (Wikipedia, Britannica) to get an overview.

Identify key concepts, terms, and related subtopics.

2. Gather Information

a. Identify Reliable Sources: Academic journals, books, and reputable websites.

Government and educational institution websites.

b. Use Library Resources: Access academic databases like JSTOR, PubMed, Google Scholar, etc.

Consult librarians for resource recommendations.

c. Online Research: Use advanced search techniques to find specific information.

Verify the credibility of online sources by checking author credentials and publication reputation.

3. Deep Exploration

a. Read and Annotate: Read materials critically, making notes and highlighting important points.

Identify the arguments, evidence, and methodologies used.

b. Synthesize Information: Compare different sources and viewpoints.

Look for patterns, contradictions, and gaps in the information.

c. Organize Findings: Create outlines or mind maps to structure your understanding.

Group related ideas and note how they connect to your main topic.

4. Analysis and Critical Thinking

a. Evaluate Arguments: Assess the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments.

Consider the validity, reliability, and bias of the sources.

b. Develop Your Perspective: Formulate your own opinion or thesis based on the evidence.

Be prepared to revise your perspective as you uncover more information.

5. Writing and Presentation

a. Drafting: Write a clear introduction stating your thesis or main question.

Develop body paragraphs that present evidence and analysis logically.

Conclude by summarizing your findings and stating the implications.

b. Cite Sources: Use proper citation styles to credit your sources.

Include a bibliography or works cited page.


2) What are the methods of preparation of a public speech?

Preparing a public speech involves several steps to ensure the speech is well-organized, engaging, and effectively delivered. Here are the key methods:

1. Understand Your Audience

Research Your Audience: Know the demographics, interests, and knowledge level of your audience.

Tailor Your Message: Adjust the content and language of your speech to suit the audience’s preferences and expectations.

2. Define the Purpose

Clarify the Objective: Determine whether your speech is meant to inform, persuade, entertain, or motivate.

Set Goals: Establish specific goals you want to achieve with your speech.

3. Conduct Research

Gather Information: Collect relevant facts, statistics, anecdotes, and examples to support your points.

Verify Sources: Ensure the information comes from credible and reliable sources.

4. Organize Your Content

Create an Outline: Structure your speech with an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction: Grab attention with a strong opening, such as a quote, question, or story. Introduce your main points.

Body: Develop your main points with evidence and examples. Ensure logical flow and clear transitions between points.

Conclusion: Summarize the main points and end with a memorable closing statement.

5. Write the Speech

Draft the Speech: Write the full text based on your outline, paying attention to language, tone, and style.

Edit and Revise: Refine the draft to improve clarity, coherence, and impact. Remove any unnecessary content.

6. Practice Delivery

Rehearse Aloud: Practice delivering the speech multiple times to get comfortable with the content and timing.

Use a Mirror or Record Yourself: Observe your body language and facial expressions. Adjust for natural and engaging delivery.

Seek Feedback: Present your speech to a friend or family member and ask for constructive feedback.


4) How to take care of your body language while making a speech to a large audience?

Taking care of your body language while making a speech to a large audience is crucial for effective communication. Here are some key tips:

1. Maintain Good Posture
Stand Tall: Keep your back straight, shoulders back, and head held high. This conveys confidence and authority.
Balanced Stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to appear grounded and stable.

2. Use Hand Gestures Purposefully
Emphasize Points: Use hand movements to underscore important points. For example, open palms can suggest openness and honesty.

Avoid Overuse: Too many gestures can be distracting. Aim for natural movements that complement your words.

3. Facial Expressions
Be Expressive: Use your face to convey emotions appropriate to your speech. Smiling can help establish a connection, while a serious expression can underscore important points.

Avoid Tension: Relax your facial muscles to avoid looking tense or nervous.

4. Eye Contact
Engage with the Audience: Make eye contact with different parts of the audience to create a sense of connection. Avoid focusing on a single spot or person. Practice the “Z” Pattern: Move your gaze in a “Z” pattern across the audience to ensure everyone feels included.

5. Movement and Space
Purposeful Movement: Move around the stage or space if possible, but do so purposefully. Avoid pacing or shifting nervously.


5) How to engage your audience and ensure that they are fully attentive?

Engaging an audience and ensuring their full attention requires a combination of strategies that appeal to their interests, maintain their focus, and encourage interaction. Here are some effective methods to achieve this:

1. Understand Your Audience
Know Their Interests: Tailor your content to the interests and needs of your audience. Research their demographics, preferences, and pain points.

Set Clear Objectives: Clearly define what you want your audience to take away from your presentation or content.

2. Start Strong
Captivating Opening: Begin with a compelling story, an interesting fact, or a thought-provoking question to grab attention immediately.

Visual Impact: Use visually appealing slides, props, or multimedia to create a strong initial impression.

3. Use Engaging Content
Tell Stories: People are naturally drawn to stories. Use anecdotes and real-life examples to illustrate your points.

Incorporate Multimedia: Use videos, images, and graphics to make your content more dynamic and visually stimulating.

Interactive Elements: Include polls, quizzes, or live demonstrations to keep the audience involved.

4. Vary Your Delivery
Change Your Tone and Pace: Avoid monotony by varying your tone, volume, and speaking pace to maintain interest.

Body Language: Use expressive body language and eye contact to convey enthusiasm and connect with your audience.

Movement: Move around the stage or room to engage different parts of the audience and create a more dynamic presence.

5. Encourage Participation
Ask Questions: Pose questions to the audience to encourage them to think and respond.

Interactive Activities: Incorporate activities like group discussions, brainstorming sessions, or hands-on exercises.

Feedback Opportunities: Provide opportunities for the audience to ask questions or provide feedback during and after the presentation.



Thanks for reading.

BODY LANGUAGE

What is body language?

Body language is a form of non-verbal communication a lot of information. Body language includes gestures facial expressions I contact, and even the tone of the voice. Body language gives a lot of information to the audience. In fact it enhances the speech and often emphasises the points which Speaker wants to make. When the Speaker wants to express himself or herself clearly and effectively body language lends a helping hand. Therefore it’s necessary for the speakers to understand the body language as well as the practice of the language should be their mandate.
Positive body language is critical for your confidence and for giving your presence felt. standing tall using open gestures and maintaining eye contact makes you make you appear more confident and assertive which in turn can influence how others perceive your personality.

Building relationships
good body language can help you to build a rapport with your listeners and establish connection with others. You can be on the same page to influence people you will sound more trustworthy with a positive body language. It in its facilitates better communication and augments relationship building.

Helps creating an impression
Whether it’s a professional situation or you are conversing to a group of friends your body language definitely helps you to create a better impression. Authentic and genuine expression body language can foster better understanding and deeper connections with others.


Enhances self-awareness
When you pay good attention to create your own positivity with the body language it also helps you in self-awareness. It allows you to recognise your conduct and behaviour. It also helps you to make adjustments as they will be needed to improve your interaction with others and overall personality
Insured body language is a powerful tool for communication, relationship building and self-expression. Being mindful of your body language can contribute to the development of a good personality by a nursing your communication skills, building confidence and fostering meaningful connections with others.

PublicSpeaking and body language.
The role of body language in PublicSpeaking is critical. Holding high head straight back and avoiding drooping shoulders gives a very impressive picture of yours to the audience. It enhances your confidence and also your credibility. you are able to maintain good eye contact with the audience whether it is one person or it’s a group of people or you are speaking on from the stage. It also helps you to use your gestures and gestures and facial expressions to enhance your communication.


what is the ideal posture?

The ideal posture is one where your body is properly aligned in a balanced position promoting optimal health and minimising strain on muscles and joints. Some suggestions are as below.
Keep your feet shoulder with apart distribute your body weight evenly on both feet straight line from your ears through your shoulders hips knees and down to your ankles. Tuck in your chin slightly and keep head aligned with your spine. Relax your shoulders and keep them Old back forward avoid leaning to one side or oscillating from 1 foot to another
While sitting sit back in your chair properly supported keeping your spine straight and head upright on the shoulders.


How to maintain eye contact with the audience?

It’s critical that you maintain a good eye contact with your audience. You don’t have to fix your gaze on one or two persons you have to scan the entire room so that we entire audience feels that you are with them. Hold attention with appropriate VoiceModulation. and face gestures.


What is the ideal movement on the stage?

The ideal movement on the stage depends on various factors such as context of the performance the style of your presentation and the mix of the audience. Movement should be purposeful. Don’t go for the sake of moving but advancing or getting back or going to one direction or the other if it is done with deliberation the same can be very effective.


How to use body language to emphasise an article that further the points that you are making in the speech?

As has been detailed above use your hand gestures to further illustrate your concepts for example if you are talking about size of size of something you can use your hands to indicate it scale. Likewise facial expressions also convey range of emotions. Spiling following or brown or raising your eyebrow can help you emphasise the tone and importance of what you are saying. Likewise your posture gives dignity and grace your presence on the stage. In short body language must be properly understood By the public speaker and he or she must use it to their advantage.


Thanks for reading.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

Public Speaking

What is PublicSpeaking? Your ability to communicate to an audience whatever you have in mind clearly and effectively insured is PublicSpeaking. However, it must be understood that the elements of good PublicSpeaking or also this is Siri for your good conversational skills. Thus unless you are able to communicate clearly and effectively it becomes difficult for you to build relationship and influence people.


What are the main elements of PublicSpeaking?

Cicero said the most important thing is that you should know your audience. You should know their likes and dislikes. You should know what is the desired outcome that they need. Cicero said it in three words: ethos pathos and logos, ethos refers to your credibility or your status to speak on that particular subject for which you have invited you have an invite. Pathos is of course the need of the audience he said earlier you must understand audience and what they expect of you. Logos is how you construct your arguments and how you deliver so that there is Takeaway and people feel that the time they have spent with you is worth it.
Thus, clarity in speech, effective modulation so that you are aware able to hold the attention of the people, understanding the response of the audience from the stage to keep them well-connected are the few things you must concentrate upon. You can carry out above by working on the subject, practising and developing your communication skills.


One might ask what are the benefits of developing public speaking skills. This has been the concern of people from times immemorial. The simple answer to this question is: (a) to influence people, (b) to convince them of your views, and (c) to impress them in any kind of interviews. If you have something to say and you are committed and you feel that it is good for the society which you want to serve, there is nothing like developing the area of public speaking. Effective communication on the subject to the desired audience makes public speaking critically important. This has been so in the past. This is so now and it will remain so in future times to come.


Why should a leader must be a good public speaker? Or even a person who wants to grow and be highly successful?

Being a good public speaker is essential for a leader for several reasons which are listed below:

  1. Effective communication is primary means through which leaders express their vision strategies and inspire their team to follow the same. They can motivate only if they are enthusiastic and good public speakers. Another important point is that they have to build the trust. Trust can be built only with effective communication which should be also be honest is delivered confidently.
  2. A great leader definitely possesses a Charisma which depends on how committed and honest he is to what he is expressing we have seen that great leaders over the world have been spending a lot of time and they have been practising the important speeches. It has been said that John Kennedy who is reckoned as one of the most effective speakers spent six months creating his inaugural speech. This inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy is recognised as one of the finest speeches in the world.


What is the importance of good public speaking skills in modern times?

A big public speaking event or a presentation where you have been invited to address certain group of people for a course is of utmost importance. It requires great public speaking ability.

Networking is very important today.In the business environment you should be excellent in conversational skills. Above all, good conversation requires all the qualities of a good public speaker but of course with the difference that it is more intimate and does not require the rhetoric which helps the public speaker on the stage. Besides people who go for interviews we have to communicate very well and that also requires it that public speaking ability.

Insured public speaking is critical for a person to grow in his career and be a successful person.


Thanks for reading.

4 Tips on Developing a Good Presentation

We all have to make presentations these days. Presentations, when we have to speak in Public. Undoubtedly, it is difficult and often avoided slyly. There could be various reasons, but the foremost among them is ‘Stage Fright’. Primarily stage fright occurs because of inadequate preparation and/or because of faulty preparation.

Let me give 4 important tips which will help you to prepare a good presentation.

1. Be clear about Objective:

The first tip is that you must be clear about your objective. Why you have been asked to speak on the subject and why you have accepted the invitation? Both must be understood and realized.

The best thing is to write it down. What is the expectation of your audience is something of cardinal importance. So, contemplate on it and note down the main points. It may require you to define the group, the profile, age group, gender mix, no of people, likesand dislikes or whatever other information you can gather.

2. Understand your audience:

Understanding an audience is at the core of any speaker’s reputation. It’s what drives effective marketing strategies, gets you more assignments and reconition.

But “understanding” isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. It’s a process of constant review, refinement and readjustment. Without regularly revisiting its target audience, the performance of a brand will decline at worst or stagnate at best. To ensure you have the tools and knowledge you need to understand your audience and grow your brand, we’ve constructed this guide to researching your audience, dividing it into segments and ultimately building accurate, useful buyer personas to drive your strategies.

3. Content is the King:

The next and critical step is the content. Even when you know the subject very well, you have to modify it every time you speak regarding the same subject. Redesign it, keeping in view your new audience and their objectives. Content is the king.

If you don’t have anything significant to say, anything which will improve then knowledge or something they can use in their daily life; then keep your mouth shut. In short, there must be good amount of takeaway from your speech for your audience.

One thing that has been helping speakers lately is to batch these types of activities. Have a content creation day or research day. Today, we have so many possibilities to find out stories behind any significant subject. Websites like, Wikipedia, Wiki how, Quora constitute great resource for seekers of serious research.

4. Express Effectively:

The third but most important part of your speech is your ability to express yourself effectively. Never think of impressing anyone. But you just have to express yourself. You should be able to communicate exactly what you have in mind. You are already clear about your objective and the objective of your audience. You have already gathered information which will interest them. You already know what you are going to give them as takeaways. But if you lose out in holding their attention, if your audience is not hooked by you on the subject, all knowledge might get wasted.

There’ s lots to consider when expressing yourself. Get the overview of effective expression and learn the Most Important Rule for Effective Communicating.

If you want to be a great leader you will have to get good at expressing yourself effectively to engage others and influence them.  

Thanks for reading.

Communication is a double edged sword; which is your edge?

What is communication? How can we define it? First of all let’s understand it’s origin and it’s meaning. Communication is derived from the Latin word “communis” meaning to share something or hold in common. Communication can be defined in following ways:

Communication is the process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, speech, signals, writing or behaviour.  First, let’s try to answer the most pertinent management question. What is important in motivating people, forming a successful team, getting all your work done? Answer is simple. Successful communication skills! It demands efforts, it needs motivation.  Motivational speaker, Tony Robin stated that for effective communication we must realise that we are all different in the way we perceiveg. So we must respect each other’s perspective, then only we would lead to a successful communication.

Arguing is not communication. It is noise. But responding without understanding is also not communication. We all have our own choice to say yes or no. That choice is the medium of communication. If you express that answer politely then only you can have an effective communication. “You should know how to present your point in front of others. There should be no chance of confusion with you.”

Winston Churchill said “it is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip”. If you qualify telling even rude words in such a way that they turn to as good words for the listener than you are the master of communication. This is how communication impacts the world.

In today’s fast going world one needs to understand the importance of connecting with others and the ways to do so. Most of us take the meaning of word communication as verbal conversation. Does it mean only verbal communication?  No, it’s half the statement. Communication can be verbal, nonverbal or the body language. It simply states that in today’s world what is said is important but what is not said is equally important, Even the hidden objective is taken into consideration.  Communication skills are of more importance than anything else, as it holds the personality of a person.  As the old saying says that there is a large difference in the word ‘having something to say and having to say something’. They look similar but meaning of both is different.

Content, being the king in communication, plays a major role in changing the whole personality. Here again who takes the hold of audience or the listeners? More patient the audience more is your benefit. But understanding audience is critical. They can understand even what you have not spoken. You might be thinking what is the difference? Difference is as clear. The one who understands what you have not spoken is living in the present. He is there with his mind and soul in what you are doing. Your communication skills including verbal, nonverbal and your body language play a vital role here. So if the listener is impressed by your communication skills then only he will be active in the process and further interaction or communication is possible.

It’s not one way process. It is open and two way path. It can be either the speaker affects the listeners by asking questions, seeing to his body language or understanding him/her, can be the other way round also. Again a question arises on the lifestyle which you are living. Are you satisfied with it? Is your concentration level upto the mark to meet the present day requirement? Or you are still in some dreams while a lecture or another topic has started?

Today’s requirement demands near 100% accuracy and concentration for a wonderful and beneficial communication. The famous Management Consultant, Peter Drucker has stated that most important thing in communication does, understand what is not said. Observing this way, you can understand the full concept of what is being spoken. Hence communication is not defined by its effectiveness but   the response of effectiveness. Audience plays a major role no matter it is one or many. Until and unless communication serves the purpose of the listeners, it is of no use. A well said quote will completely set your minds to it. “Communication is dream more – compare less, listen more – talk less, love more – argue less, hope more – fear less, relax more – worry less, believe more – complain less, play more – work less.”

These quotes can be taken as the steps to a successful communication. Author of the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey has well said that often people have character strength but they lack communication skills. And that affects the quality of relationships. Generation gap is the best example to support the above statement.

Communication must not be complicated. It may not use very extensive vocabulary, it may be as simple but as clear as possible. If ideas are not drawn into action, they just turn to be simple paper work. Only with the help of communication skills ideas can turn the dreams to a reality.

4 Intriguing Possibilities of Communications 

Let’s examine four possible combinations of speaking & listening. This will enable us to understand what communication can do to our lives and to our organisations.

Possibility 1.Effective speaking but poor listening. If this is the leader’s characteristics the results could be as under:

It will increase your focus. You may have generated good followers & good soldiers. But the potential leaders will leave. There will be practically no innovation. Stress level will increase.

Possibility 2.Effective speaking and active listening. That is the perfect combination for the leader. The focus of the leader and of the organisation will remain in the forefront. Things will happen fast. Loyalty of employees will increase. Appreciation of mind and ability to enjoy the work will bring in more breakthroughs, more innovations. People will collaborate with each other and also compete with each other. The best will blossom with the leader’s effective speech and active listening. An atmosphere of sustainable leadership will prevail.

Possibility 3: Poor speaking but active listening. It will amount to lack of focus. Also, waste of time & money. There will be thrust on management by committees. People might get an impression that anything goes.

Meanwhile active listening will also result in the positives. The employees will become more self-expressed. Application of mind by them will increase. There would be greater innovation.

Possibility 4: Poor speaking and poor listening. It will be nothing but a slow death of the enterprise. The death of textile mills in Mumbai & Ahmadabad can be attributed to this syndrome. Misunderstanding and conflicts will rule. Opportunities will be missed. There would be high rate of attrition. Isolation will result in fragmentation, and finally extinction.

Just perusing the above possibilities would shake our slumber. Importance of communication will then be fully realised. So, I will deal with both aspect of communication- good speaking and good listening.

What should one do to become an excellent Communicator?

First of all it is necessary to have strong content. Content is the king. Effective communications take this into account more than any other aspect of management or even life. Content means domain knowledge. You can’t fool people with shallow thoughts. Much less you can impress them. Lot of hard work goes into acquiring knowledge. The biggest problem is seen when you have worthwhile knowledge but you can’t use into your advantage due to lack of effective speech. Your expression remains impaired. People would barely know that you are a storehouse of useful information.

Then what should you do? Become a good speaker. Practice the art and science of speaking clearly, confidently and convincingly.

How do you speak clearly? You must understand that speech in the result of decision to communicate. You must also understand what goes into making voice and the speech. The process in simple words is as follows. First of all ‘thinking’ clarifies the idea you want to project to the listener or a group of listeners. Then brain sends a signal to the lungs and some breath is released. Breath strikes the vocal cord to produce sound. But the words are created by the speech organs. So in order to speak clearly, think clearly. Cultivate habit of deep breathing. It enables to have sufficient breath to support strength of your voice. This will also enable you to speak longer sentence without breathing in between. The flow of speech will enable ideas to flow smoothly.

Listening intently is equally important for good communication 

Communication does not mean only effective speaking. In fact, it is the beginning point. But even more important is active listening. Active listening will bring about the results that you are looking for. You communicate with someone or a group of listeners with an objective. How can you influence others? By listening to them actively or with your speech. How do you find whether you are a good listener or not? I give below a checklist which is self- explanatory.

You must always use this checklist to prepare for any important meeting particularly when you have to speak to an audience!

1. Don’t think of what you are going to say next when another person is speaking. Just focus on understanding and assimilating what he/she has to say.

2. You must listen with an open mind. Don’t try to relate with your own experience, similar experience. When someone is relating a story in support of his argument, your tendency to evaluate should be given a pause. Never be judgmental, as they say.

3. When you are listening, try to recreate mentally what the other person is saying objectively.

4. Try to see things from the speaker’s point of view. Empathise and be compassionate while listening.

5. Try to uncover the intent of the speaker. All speakers may not be terse. Their verbosity may require a little extra effort on your part to understand the intent. Make this extra effort.

6. Think what results you can produce through listening rather than speaking. If you want to influence people, you will be amazed to observe how listening comes in handy and helpful.

7. Listen a minute longer than it is comfortable. That extra minute will give you extra input. In any case, you are having a dialogue for understanding the other’s point of view.

8. Last but not the least; you must remember that your words of advice will be seen as unwanted noise. Never give an advice unless asked for. If you are not convinced and the solution demands that you must express your views, do that and say we agree to disagree!

Communications pervade our lives in more ways than we know.

Right from the time we get up in the morning, we start communicating. We speak to our people at home. Each word that we speak has some kind of signification. Either we request for help or we do something for others at home.

We receive telephonic calls. Our talk on telephone is either verbose or we are to the point. We efficacy of our words determine to what extent we can influence the people we speak to.

If we word to list all the jobs that we have to do during the day, our productivity will be reflected in the complication of our tasks. Normally one would not relate productivity with our speech or with our communication.

If you are a team leader, you’re expected to motivate your team members to perform certain tasks. Your success as a leader depends on how successful your team members are in their performance.

If you are working for someone, your performance will depend on how best you can assimilate the instruction. Evidently you may need some clarification on the job assign to you this will also require you to communicate.

Effective communication has certain prerequisites. These are:

1. Language: you must have adequate knowledge of the language. These include grammar a reasonable vocabulary and ability to make perfect sentences to express exactly what you want to convey.

2. Body language: If you are talking in person your body language plays an important role in your interaction.

3. If you are talking on the telephone the clarity of your speech and be efficacy of expression will determine your effectiveness.

4.  I f you are sending a written communication making some request, again the result will depend on the effectiveness of your letter or Email.

5. If you’re communicating with a group of friends through social media, the success of your task will depend on the words that you use while communicating.

6. If you are making a presentation to a group of people, your objective will be archive partially or holy depending on your performance during the communication.

7. If you are a teacher and teach the students. The knowledge that your students may acquire depending on how effective you are in your expression.

8. If you are an advocate you will be able to convince the judge about you clients in a since provided you use the language effectively. Otherwise even your solid evidence can sometimes be our looked.

9. As a journalist you are supposed to report the news as it may happen. You are not expected to include your opinion in your report. But if you don’t have adequate control over your written or spoken language, you will not be able to remain objective.

10. There is no scope for any letup or fault by the General or the officer who is leading an operation.

What has been said above, when assimilated, will empower you to always use the ‘Double Edged Sword’ of Communications to make you a winner.

Thanking for reading,

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