There is so much to know about conversation that anyone, even I, could ever realize. You can go through watching talk shows; radio programs; attend clubs dedicated to public speaking; ordinary conversations. But, certain rules that apply when it comes to interaction through words. It may sound tedious, but even though it's your mouth that's doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way to start learning to be an effective communicator than to know the very person closest to you: yourself.
1. What you know.
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective speaker is to practice what you've learned. My stint as a judge at Toastmasters' meetings taught me that we all have our limitations, but that doesn't mean we can't learn and share what we know.
It's just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don't be afraid to ask if you're saying the right word properly and if they're unsure about it.
4. Eye Contact
There's a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. Focus on the eyes of the friendly face or the forehead of the crowd. It works!
5. Humor Works
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you'll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they'll feel that you're just as approachable, and as human to those who listen.
6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You'll get a lot of ideas, as well as learn about your contacts.
7. With a smile
A smile says it all, much like eye contact. There's no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering. You can better express what you're saying when you smile.
8. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they're at a public gathering or maybe at church. Take a mental note of how they emphasize what they say. This will help you once you take center stage.
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other come from the cuff. Just be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy your work.
And that about wraps it up. I've learned to empower myself when it comes to public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.