How to Improve Your Communication Skills

The Blarney Stone is a historical piece of the Blarney Castle in Ireland, which is believed to grant you the gift of gab, after kissing the stone. What you do not hear very often, is you have to hang far out of a high story window to reach far enough to actually, kiss the stone, a time honored tradition. In other words, it does take effort.

Conversation encompasses so much that no one could ever know it all. Certain rules apply when it comes to communication, you can see this by listening to radio, watching talk shows, ordinary conversation as well as public speaking associations. It may sound boring, however, it is your mouth that does the verbal work, you brain is working twice as hard to provide everything you know. You can start learning more about effective communication by understanding the person closest to you, yourself.

– What You Know

Education is learning the basics, however to become an effective speaker you need practice of what you know. Toastmasters’ taught me that we all have limitations. However, this does not mean we cannot learn to converse and to share our knowledge.

– Listening

Listening is as essential as asking questions. Listening to the sound of your own voice builds your self-esteem allowing you to say what you believe in with a strong conviction.

– Humility

There are times when we may slur, stutter or even mispronounce specific words, although we may understand what they mean and only use them to impress others. Therefore, while in a group setting, remember we all make mistakes and you should never shy away from asking if you are pronouncing it properly, if they do not know either, you can then turn it in to a joke. You can get away with it easier while filling the room with laughter.

– Eye Contact

It is essential to gaze upon your audience with focus, no matter what type of gathering it may be, from meetings to interviews. Sincerely directing your attention to your audience, says a good deal about who your are.

– Humor

Humor is useful for lifting any boredom or tension of a room while offering a speech. This allows the crowd to view you as human and very approachable, when you have the attention of the majority.

– Mingle

Mingling with others is interactive fun, you get tons of ideas while meeting other individuals.

– Me, Myself, and I

I bet like many others, my self included, that you too sing in the shower. Practicing your speech in front of the mirror assists in correcting the areas of stress in your pitch, while listening to the sound of your own voice. While there, you might as well freshen up a bit.

– Smile

Smiling while speaking is as essential as eye contact, allowing you to express yourself much easier. The only gathering that may accept a frown as casual is during a funeral.

– Role Models

In your life there may be others you have enjoyed listening too, while in public at various meetings and gatherings. They may read their lines, however, you should always pay attention to their emphasis on words as the speak, can aid you in better communications.

– Preparation

Rather than scribbling out notes in a hurried rush, you will do better with preparation. There are individuals who write their speech out on index cards or even make notes in their palms, however clammy. You can be perfectly comfortable by preparing for your speech and then enjoy yourself.

These ideas may seem rather slapdash, however, I have learned to own my power of communication when it involves speaking in private or public. Spending time with others and listening to how they converse during meetings is educational and enjoyable.


  • Cheree

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Great post, Reed,
    Yes, the art of communication is definitely a labor of love! I’ve seen pictures of people kissing the blarney stone (not very pretty pictures, by the way — as they usually just show their backside!).
    As a former Toastmaster President, I highly recommend that organization as a great way to develop and polish your speaking skills.
    I also highly recommend taking a speech class at your local college and entering a speech competition through them.
    This is a great way to hone your skills and get past your fear of getting up in front of people.
    To your success!

    Cherees last blog post..WebProsperity Freedom Compensation Plan

  • Ron Passaro

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Good advice for use during those rare moments that we’re not communicating online! 🙂

    Ron Passaros last blog post..Why Membership Sites are the Wave of the 21st Century

  • Nickolove Lovemore

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Hi Reed,

    Thanks for the tips on improving your communication skills. I do think that one of the most important points about communication is being an excellent listener.

    All too often people are so eager to put their point across that they do not listen to what is being said. You can miss out hearing vital parts of a conversation when you do this.

    However, being an excellent listener is not just about listening to what is spoken. It’s also about listening to what is not spoken as well and that is an art in itself.

    Nonetheless, if you show someone the courtesy of simply listening to them it will help you to improve your relationship with that person by leaps and bounds.

    Nickolove Lovemores last blog post..FREE Report Reveals How to Make a BIG Difference to Your Bottom Line in 2009

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Good tips on how to socialize, it really reflects our character to success and what kind of persons we want to be.Practice makes perfect

    Ari Lestarionos last blog post..New Year’s Resolution: Best Natural Foods for Longevity

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    That’s why we have 2 ears than 1 mouth is to pay attention and discerns.

  • kristi

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    I think I will keep my mouth SHUT until I master these skills! Thanks for great info, Reed. or join our social network site with all others who have preregistered at:

    kristis last blog post..Hello World!

  • Octave

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Thanks for the great tips, as usual. Learning to listen is definitely an art that many people have not learned to master, usually because their mouth muscles tend to want to add their own comments and opinions on everything, most often about things they know nothing about. It is amazing how much a person can learn if they first learn to listen.
    Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

  • Sankar

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    It’s quite amazing and really useful. I very much enjoyed reading this article.

  • John Bonzo

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Hi Reed,

    I sure do agree with you, communication is very important. When you find yourself in a business like internet marketing you have got to comunicate well. The only way to do this is through practice (like you say) and that does take time. Infact, the more time the better.

    I hope evryone takes you seriously on this article. The whole world could really be better.

    Thanks for your insperation and hard work,

  • Jeff Sargent

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Hey Reed,

    I definitly can relate to all your points in trying to improve on my communication skills. I try to do all your bullet points buts sometimes it’s easier than others. I can remember a long time ago in high school that I would break out in a sweat and then actually black out while trying to give an oral report.

    I’m much better now. I still get very nervious when public speaking but I find that the more prepared and the more knowledgable I am about the subject the smoother it goes.

    Jeff Sargent

    Jeff Sargents last blog post..Happy New Year – Let’s Shine In 2009

  • Ray Bundulis

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Good advice I receive up to 20 phone calls some days about my business opportunity and after six months, practice does help.Listen and learn and you on your way

  • Dfewta Serf

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Good day to you Reed,

    This is a good advice and I will note this one…I know how important it is to convey what a person wants to say thru good communication…but as they say…”Practice makes perfect”…but…”Nobody is perfect…so why practice?”joke only…..
    But for people who want to or into Marketing of whatever sort…communication is vital and should be made clear…so…I want to practice more….and in my case…where I just survived a second stroke…I like to do it more with writing because my speech slurs and I am ashamed that people may not clearly understand me…so I like to write it instead of saying it…but like you said…we should practice for us to improve whatever way we want to relate to others…thanks for these tips and I look forward to getting more ideas from you…Before I forget…I am already excited to read the ebook I bought from you thru my friend because I dont have a credit card yet….the bloggingpro 101….I wanted to learn more how to communicate more thru blogging…and I know you are the authority on this subject….thanks again…

  • Jerry Goodwin

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Hi Reed,

    Great Post, as usual. I totally agree that communication is the key to success in life and sepecially in business. My youngest son Christopher has Autism and has no speech, he is 28, but he can tell you when he is hungry, thirsty or uncomfortable or when he is happy.

    While verbal communication is important in most cases, sometimes you can say far more by staying still.

    I remember something I heard, I think it was from Ben Franklin. Not a direct quote but it goes something like this; It is better to hold the tongue and allow people to think you a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt. Preparation will remove that possiblity, not being prepared will almost always affirm it.

    Preparation is key for you not only be able to speak, but to speak with authority.

  • normz2

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Good post again. It is a must to be able to communicate effectively if you wish to be successful. It takes work and a lot of practice. Years ago in another life time I wanted to teach high school. To prepare myself I joined Toastmasters. After 10 lessons I was ready. I would highly recommend Toastmasters.
    We had a group of 10 people and met once a week for a luncheon. Some speeches were prepared and others were spontaneous. Everyone participated. Everyone gained.

  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply January 5, 2009

    Reed this is an excellent blog post and is so very important at this time of year. Now is when people are excited about their business and making the preparations for success!

    Please post this as an article at ArticlesBin…

  • Greg

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Interesting post Reed.

    You have given some very useful advice on how everyone can improve their “gift of the gab”.

    And being that I’m not very fond of heights, and I’m certainly not going to Ireland any time soon, it was indeed relevant to me!

    To be sure 😛


  • Percival

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Communication is always a two-way process, often involving exchange of roles between the parties in the communication process.

    The first of this process is the sharing of ideas. This can be done verbally and bodily. So, communication should not only be limited to verbal expressions, but include the body, facial expression, and voice tone. What is expressed must be what is actually in the mind. Many times, words say something that is different from the idea in the sharer’s mind. Congruity between one’s words and mind spells integrity.

    It is important that when using verbal language, the words are properly chosen. Grammatical rules be properly observed. And in the case of oral communication, correct pronunciation and accent be used. Otherwise, miscommunication results.

    The second of this process is listening. When you listen listen not only to the words but also to what the body is saying (body language). The latter is a more reliable guide to understanding the true meaning of what one is saying. When you listen, listen not only with your ears, but also with your eyes, and most especially with your heart.

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Reed, a fine article indeed. Intention is everything. Intention to ‘share your heart’ for the good of the majority, in a speech, will work like one of Joe Vitale’s miracles. Once I was in a Baha’i group and I spoke from the heart and everything came together in a flowing unity – so your emotional intention or Heart must be aimed towards truly helping The Good. 2 cents worth i reckon.

    Geoff Dodd

  • Terrie Routh

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Reed, a very interesting post indeed with some great comments. I especially liked the feedback by Persival. I would like to add that there are some people out there that have communication barriers due to disability and make up for weakness in some areas of communication by being strong in others.

    Terrie Rouths last blog post..Pro Giveaway Opens

  • Dave McIntosh

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Thanks Reed

    Your advise is great as usual.

    The problem is not the advise but the putting it into practice and that is where we all can fail.

    Then it’s good to be reminded.


    Dave McIntoshs last blog post..Installing Ceramic Wall Tile in your Bathroom: part 2

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Hey Reed, Hows the Family? Fine I hope. Being able to converse with your fellow man is probably the most important part of Creating a business based on “You” and not some System. If you are trying to build a Team in MLM you need to “Brand Yourself” and you must be able to reach the people with your Ideas and your Voice.
    The best way to learn speaking is to listen to many others and then just do it, It is really fun when you get started. Timothy Millar

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Make Money Online with Hubpages

  • Dick Turosh

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Another great article Reed. I heard in a management training class once, that “Communication is not just getting something said, it’s getting it heard”. I know for me I tend to get nervious so I have tried a number of things that work for me, humor being one of them. The other is being prepared and knowledgeable of my subject, be as natural as I can, and never appear to be an expert. You see an expert is nothing more than a drip under pressure…..!!

    Dick T
    The Auctionologist

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Hey Reed, Kudos to you my friend, My hub :
    hit page one on Yahoo and just dropped to ad 11.
    All because of the guidance and knowledge I receive here on this blog of yours! See, it really is not that hard if you have a system and the right Mentor. Have A Wonderful Day, Timothy Millar

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Make Money Online with Hubpages

  • taufikramly

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Great article , i hope i could use your article in my internal office presentations meeting.
    i really like this part “Education is learning the basics, however to become an effective speaker you need practice of what you know. Toastmasters’ taught me that we all have limitations. However, this does not mean we cannot learn to converse and to share our knowledge”


    taufikramlys last blog post..Ebookforsales New Year 2009 Offer!

  • T Leonard

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Reed, many thanks for a reminder of past a education. I am lucky as speaking for me is a rush and fun. I enjoy sharing what has been in my past, good and bad.
    Keep your education coming.

  • Danette

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Thanks again Reed for an informative post. Many people neglect to follow the common courtesies of listening instead choosing to ‘hog’ conversations.

    Having recently released an ebook “How To Use Effective Communication Skills To Get What You Want” which has proved extremely popular, I guess there are a lot of people out there who now wish to brush up on their communication skills.
    Understanding how others ‘see the world’ and communicating in their language will produce the results you are looking for-every time.

  • charles chan

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Many thanks Reed for your blog. Communication help us learn pricelss information from others. Leanring is one thing but one have to be on feet to take challenge by himself.

  • Dominique

    Reply Reply January 6, 2009

    Communication is one of my weak points which I need to work on. Thanks for the tips. Really need to put in more effort to communicate well with strangers/ potential clients.

  • Ben Jackson(Resolve2)

    Reply Reply January 7, 2009

    Just a couple of tidbits for the newbies. One of the things I learned was that Prior Preparation makes for Perfect Presentations and that you must learn to relate to all manner of people at their levels.

    This is done by using your senses of sight, hearing, and speech. You do see them as a person and make eye contact, You truly listen to them and and lastly when speaking to them you reach out to them and relate to them where they are or in other words at their level of comprehension.

    To our success and remember to always resolve2 accomplish your goals and dreams.


  • Jussi Koiranen

    Reply Reply January 8, 2009

    Great points! Though I regard myself as quite shy to begin conversations I was hoping some tips on that.

  • bet

    Reply Reply January 9, 2009

    Another great post with excellent comments, also. Jussi, I used to be extremely shy and even public speaking courses didn’t help. If you go to any meeting of a few people, speak up and express your thoughts and feelings. Every time you are in public try to say something meaningful and it will get easier. Of course, if you have knowledge of the subject so much the better.

  • TeasasTips

    Reply Reply January 12, 2009

    For me, listening has been the main key to my success. When you listen to your customer, you learn more than what is actually being said.

    TeasasTipss last blog post..Making Money Online Changes Focus

  • Public speaking is a difficult skill to learn for some and some just have the gift. Personally I hate it but learned that it’s important to practice and actually do it as hard as it may be.
    I was involved in a small business networking group and we met once a week for breakfast. We each had the opportunity to introduce ourselves in a 1 minute infomercial. It became easier as time went on.
    If you can communicate effectively you will do well in any endevour.

  • I agree with Nickolove. It is important to try to understand the whole message being sent than just hear only the words that another person is saying. Practicing “active listening” is the way to becoming a better listener.

  • john

    Reply Reply May 3, 2009

    I sure do agree with you, communication is very important. When you find yourself in a Enggineering field you have got to comunicate well. The only way to do this is through practice (like you say) and that does take time. Infact, the more time the better.
    Communication is one of my weak points which I need to work on. Thanks for the tips. Really need to put in more effort to communicate well with strangers/ potential clients.

  • Julia Mason

    Reply Reply October 5, 2010

    niche marketing has been the backbone of my money making websites”‘~

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