15 Ways Students Can Immediately Enhance Their Communication Skills

So you have just graduated from the college or university, and looking for promising job opportunities.

But while all your peers are getting placed at reputed organizations, you’re still lagging behind and waiting to land a decent job.

Maybe it’s your communication skills that are making you a little less desirable in front of the interviewers. It sounds like it’s straight out of your nightmare, right? Well then, you're going to see what we’re talking about.

Having great communication skills can be a major driving force for your success. If you possess the appropriate communication skills and apply it efficiently, then there will be no stopping you from landing that dream job of yours.

To be able to communicate effectively is the most important life skills that you can acquire, yet somehow people don’t invest enough time in it.

Whether it’s for social obligations or to carry out work-related commitments, a better communication process always gets things done.

So how do you nurture and inculcate a good communication skill? Let’s enlighten you further.

Acquiring the perfect communication skills intrinsically involves developing the habit of reading, writing, speaking skills. So here are some tricks that you can employ to enhance your communication skills.

  1. Practice the art of listening

If you seriously want to consider improving your communication skills, the best thing you need to do is practice listening, instead of talking. This is the cardinal rule to pay attention while the other person is talking. And it takes a lot of effort.

But this way, even if your communication style is different with the one you’re communicating, at least you’d know that you both are on the same page. And if you are attentive to the other person, it’s likely that they will extend the same courtesy.

  1. Understand who you are communicating with.

Using informal language is perfectly alright when you’re with a friend. But if you are sending an email or a text to your superiors or professors or the dean, using acronyms, or colloquial terms is extremely inappropriate.

While communicating, you shouldn’t assume the other person will know the acronyms. This could further make way for unnecessary misunderstandings.

In this case, the key is to frame your message depending on who you are dealing with. Try to think about the person you’re communicating with, so that you can get your point across successfully.

  1. Body language is an essential factor.

This is applicable in case of meetings or video conferencing. Always ensure that you come across approachable, so developing an open body language always helps.

So don’t cross your arms while talking or listening, and make sure to maintain eye contact so that the person in front of you is assured that you're attentive.

  1. Learn to empathise

Communication works both ways. If you welcome the opposing ideas presented by another individual, you’ll notice that your anxiety has considerably lessened, which may at times creep in when trying to communicate with others.

Having empathy allows you to decipher even the unexpressed parts of your interaction with others, and helps you react more effectively.

  1. Be focused and concise

When you write emails, ensure you keep them short and to the point. It’s a good rule to follow for both verbal as well as non-verbal communication.

Always remember, clear and concise are the two most significant factors in the 7Cs (Clear, concise, correct, concrete, complete, courteous, consideration) of communication.

  1. Refine your skills of verbal interaction

No, you don’t have to practice public speaking to effectively communicate your ideas or feelings. However, while in college or university, you will have to frequently deliver presentations in class. Under such circumstances, you must find the right way to elaborate your points cohesively.

You don’t necessarily have to acquire great oratory skills, but you still need to learn how to present your ideas. So make sure to always emphasise on how you deliver your statements and ideas in a way that intrigues your audience and leaves a lasting impact on them.

With practice, it will become a lot simpler for you to sit for interviews.

  1. Keep distractions at bay

Toying with your phone or tablet while someone is talking to you, never works in favour of effective communication. Maybe you have obligations or compulsion that doesn’t allow you to stay away from technology, but just making an eye contact and being responsive makes a huge difference in the process of communication.

  1. Ask questions and repeat the same

Humans are known to have limited attention. It may happen that your attention is diverted while listening to another person.

 In this case, asking questions and repeating the last few words uttered by the person indicates that you are genuinely interested in what they are trying to convey, and helps you to avoid confusions that could be misinterpreted. Incidentally, this is a common scenario for students while listening to long lectures.

Rather than trying to strike up a vague conversation like talking about the weather, try asking more genuine questions and answer their questions. The key is to be interested rather than being interesting.

  1. Follow a script for indulging in small talk

Indulging in small talk is no less than art that not many people have that right. To fill in those awkward silences with people you’re barely acquainted with, you need to have a plan.

So there are methods that might help you to carry on with such small talks more effectively, and you can also turn them into full-blown conversations by sharing details that could help you and the other individual to find something to agree upon.

  1. Stay away from irrelevant conversation filters

This refers to the sounds you utter when you can’t find the right words to express yourself clearly. They’re extremely unattractive and do little to enhance your speech or everyday interactions. If you want to sound more persuasive, you need to get rid of them, and that way you will appear more confident as well.

So keep a check on the words like “seriously”, “you know”, or “like”. You could also try to pause in between talking.

  1. Develop a proper attitude

For a seamless communication process, it’s essential to have dignity and respect for other people and yourself.

Be open and show a willingness to understand what people are trying to express and don’t dismiss their opinions abruptly. This will boost your communication skills within your personal and professional relationships.

  1. Know what you want to achieve

Understand what you want to achieve through the process of communication. Making this judgment would allow you to know what to express and what not to.

This form of self-control will make sure that you don’t indulge in any emotional discussions or arguments, and you will be able to achieve exactly what you wanted to, in the process.

  1. Check your pronunciations. 

Your vocabulary is often a determinant that people judge you by. So if you are particularly unfamiliar with a word, then avoid using it.

Improve your vocabulary by reading new words in daily routine. Look in the dictionary to help you learn how to pronounce a new word.

  1. Develop a proper tone of voice

A high-pitched or whiny voice is never considered to be authoritative. Also, a soft and inaudible voice can make you come across as underwhelming to your classmates or co-workers and may make it easy for them to dismiss you while you communicate.

Try practising some exercises to tone down the pitch of your voice. You can indulge in singing but begin with an octave lower than usual. With constant practice, you will notice a marked improvement in the tone of your voice.

  1. Seek honest feedback.

Receiving genuine feedback from peers, classmates and partners on your group projects is crucial to improving your communication skills.

If you frequently ask for feedback, others will be able to point out your problem areas for improvement that you otherwise would have ignored.

Many people confuse knowing a language or two with having a good communication skill. But communication skill has more to do with how you express than what you express.

So with these above mentioned tricks, you will notice a significant change in how you communicate with the people around you. 

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