Communication is essential for all, and by all I mean even for people who have lost their voice. People with special disabilities learn different ways to express what they want to say. Similarly, people who are completely well must know good language skills to become good communicators
Effective speaking includes the use of logical terms that relate to the situation and balanced emotions mixed with it. There should be correct posture, articulation, projections, and dictions while you correspond.
When you speak with clarity, it helps you deal with any mass. Be it at a personal B2B meeting, public conference, or while having a walk with your friend. People should know what you are trying to express through your words. History is the witness of people who has made a difference and had charismatic talking personalities. Their words were enough to lure the audience.
There is no particular time and age to improve communication with more clarity. You just have to start learning and executing. I know, by now you will be excited to unravel this talent. Remember nobody is born a genius, at least the majority of them are not. You can materialise your inner self however you want. Just give it a try.
So let’s get started with the valuable 9 gems of how to speak with clarity.
Know the hindrances that are preventing you from effective speaking
Have you ever been in a conference or stage debate where out of sheer nervousness, you forget your lines? It takes place for most of us. Mostly this happens when we are on the stage for the first time. You fail dreadfully. But only some dare to get up and try again.
This is where the difference comes in. People who choose to improve communication with more clarity, are more likely to become good leaders in further life. So how to know where to start? You can turn over a new leaf only when you know where the loophole lies. Only then you can fix it.
Some of the commonest impediments are such as bad time management and forgetfulness. Other than that fear of getting judged by your colleagues stops you from expressing your views on a topic. You have to measure your words and place them tactfully to not let people put a question on you.
Avoid unnecessary fast rate of speech
Speaking too fast when you know the subject very well, will never leave a good impression on your listeners. On the other hand, anxiety from stage fear also leads to unclear fast speech. Effective speaking comes when your audience understands what you are delivering. This gives your audience the time to process and understand the topic.
Stuttering while speaking is also not impressive. Rather go for deep casual breathing between paragraphs. These short breaks will also help you with your audience’s response.
Extra advice alert!!! Too much slow speech aggravates this fast-paced generation. To gain clarity at a moderate pace.
Other healthier ways of slowing down in a speech include
- Self Practicing by recording yourself while at home. You should be able to figure out what you are trying to say. Self-comprehension helps but take ideas from someone else who is going to hear you for the first time.
- Watch and learn from eminent speakers who have been to shows like Ted talks and are proficient in podcasts. Learning the art of small talk with listeners between ongoing topics is a masterstroke.
- Take help from a speech coach or consultants.
Keep it Clear and Loud
Mumbling words on stage can make the audience turn a deaf ear to your data. As said, fast speakers sound like buzzing bees if they don’t stop. So mumbling is a culprit in barring effective speaking.
Make visible your mouth movement while you speak. This prevents you from mumbling. You need to relax your jaws and tongue so they go in coordination while on stage. Using hand gestures and props makes it manageable to express.
I have seen communicators fumble because they don’t know the correct pronunciation of a word. Some words are enunciated differently in different parts of the world. So it’s not their fault completely. Just opening up and accepting the fact will make it easier.
Some people fumble because of a lack of confidence in their topic. Before speaking for or against the topic, you have to have faith in your words and yourself. What you have to say is merciful and not everybody is born perfect.
Control your Pitch
To improve communication with more clarity, you must know the correct volume of your vocal cords. Remember your ears will hear a louder version of what you speak than the complete audience. Your every word should be clear, loud, and concise.
Speaking loudly doesn’t correspond to shouting. It will have a wild impression of your imposing your opinions on the public. Similarly, a sweet voice is good for singing but in a conference be firm and straightforward.
Embibe the atmosphere of the place and take short deep breaths. You can try the mantra, ‘All is Well’. It helps a lot. Your brain should be on alert mode and be sending vibrations all over the body so that you need not strain your voice too much.
Again, recording your voice and facial expressions during practice sessions before the show day will help you clean up a lot. After all, who doesn’t want to rock the stage with their fierce hosting skills?
Don’t Fake the Accent
Developing an accent while you have stayed away from your motherland is a good thing. It shows how you have adapted and adjusted to the place. The people there would be able to relate to you. But do you carry the same accent at home? NO, right. You are back to your Desi accent that feels homely.
Similarly, your false accent will be quickly caught by the listeners. They may get offended if you have not practised the pronunciation of common words well. So be natural.
A known accent mixed with a moderate understandable pace and clear voice is people’s favourite. Speakers with thick accents may not speak with clarity at first. But there is no stepping back. You can still be a fantastic speaker. Rigorous practice with a talented coach will solve all the problems.
I won’t give you false beliefs. But my friend, you need to work on it hard. It’s like learning to sing. Correct placing of tunes is the key.
Confidence is Your Partner on Stage
Just being on the stage doesn’t mean that you have the brownie points to speak anything on the stage. People listening to you get influenced easily and some might even backfire with cross-questions. This will land you in trouble if you are not fully prepared for the consequences.
So think twice before uttering words. Cases, when you have the liberty to choose the topic of discussion, will give you ample time to know the subject. You should be aware of your passions and strength to choose the right issue.
Listeners come to listen to you because they believe you know better than them what you are talking about. So feeding the right information is quintessential at the time of effective speaking.
Overconfidence and incomplete mastery over a subject spoken never give good results. This exemplifies the lack of seriousness in the speaker.
The best example of wrong dissemination of information is adolescents blindly following celeb ads just because the person speaking is their favourite.
The bigger the Words, Complicated is the Delivery
I am not against the use of a better vocabulary that contains bigger words. They may define the smaller terms better. But they are uncommon words. So my advice to you will be to elaborate on the phrase before you move on.
Using long uncommon vocabulary presents a bizarre image when you are unable to use it correctly. Some people use it to shadow their weak performance on stage.
The more educated class of our society believes that the longer the word they use, the more classy it seems. It’s not true for all. Lengthy unusual words lead to miscommunication and false imagery. Using when necessary with proper exasperation is the healthy way of speaking.
Interact and Let Your Audience Engage with You
Knowing the taste, background, and common culture followed by your audience helps you connect more easily. You should not be blabbering about difficult medical terms in a school conference where students hardly know the medical field. You may feel proud to be known more but the final result isn’t worth enough. The students there should understand you.
Stay away from complicated jargon words that are completely unfamiliar to your audience. If you are the master of what you are going to speak, you should know how to present it to a common man. The presentation should be in understandable words.
Simple, entertaining, and interactive exposition of ideas are eye-catching. You will be able to hold on to their attention till the end. Don’t be long-winded for a single topic.
You need to throw interesting questions related to daily life to help the audience relate to your thoughts.
You must have seen stand-up comedians, the business runs on successful comedy transmission in the form of stories. Even the most introverted kid opens up when he/she is supported.
Read, Write, Understand, and then Speak
Imaging and visualising a positive outcome seems pleasant until you face the real crowd. So if you are going to face an important audience where your speech is going to determine a lot, you need to be thoroughly prepared.
The term thoroughly prepared here, means writing, reading, and understanding your words before you spit them on stage. Primarily know what about your subject matter. Then write down the principal points you are going to display. While you write you will be able to cross-question yourself, why, how, and when. This prepares you for the audience’s response.
To improve communication with more clarity, you should not nest the arguments. This creates confusion in understanding. Arrange the topics based on their importance and then present them. All these matters need to be contained within the time limit.
- Refresh Your Vocabulary every time
Here is an extra tip for you from my bag of ideas. Learning new words is a great thing. So in case, your audience is not aware of one, you don’t fall short of the synonyms. You can even switch to regional languages if you know. This brings more interest to the listeners. Monotonous speaking is dreadful and nobody wants to hear that.
Repetitive words can be used but try to include synonyms and create differently structured sentences. A change of vocabulary for speaking patterns grabs the attention of a roaming mind.
Effective speech presentation is not a cakewalk as it may seem to many. It does not always happen that you get adequate time to prepare. So for those times, prepare a morning journal and note the points. This prepares you for the worst scenario. Don’t forget to take a confident, clear face and voice with you. If you believe in yourself, the toughest can be conquered.
Life Coach Ritu Singal aims at counseling and supporting young people, adults, and anyone interested in improving their communication skills. It’s not just a skill, it’s the way you present yourself. She has coached several students in effective contact and is known as a successful entrepreneur in counselling services.