“Communication-The Human Connection- is the key to personal and career success”
Paul J Meyer- Author; a pioneer in self-improvement
The art of communication is the art of getting your message across in the right direction to the right audience.
The article deals with all aspects of communication, including types of communication, means of communication and effective methods of communications.
Students will be introduced to various methods of developing good communication skills and realise the importance of communication in every walk of life.
What is Communication?
Communication is the art of mutual transmission of information between people, in such a manner, that it is clearly understood and acted upon by the receiving party.
Good communication skills lead to the right understanding. Communication could be through many ways. It could be through hand gestures, letter writing, through spoken words or even pictorially.
The underlying aim of good communication is that it has to be understood correctly.
Why Are Good Communication Skills Important for Students?
The answer to this lies in the fact that students today are the future of tomorrow. Students need to be able to communicate their ideas, plans and intentions to be successful.
It is heart-breaking to see a bright and hardworking student not being able to realise his full potential because of the lack of good communication skills.
Developing communication skills in students should be one of the core aims of elementary education. By communication skills we mean the skills to interact intelligently with peers and higher authorities.
Without developing communication skills in students right from the school level, students tend to become recluse and even fall-back in academic performances.
Practicing best communication skills opens many doors of opportunity. It is a step towards an incredible personality, a lucrative professional career and great leadership powers.
It also allows you to mix easily with the masses and grab their attention. Good communication skills enable you to mesmerise the audience thereby making you an effective personality development coach.
It has become imperative to train students, from a primary level, in good communication skills.
Communication skills are one of the most important skills recruiters around the globe still look for when hiring graduates for various job profiles.
Graduate Management Admission Council, conducts a survey every year to find out the top skills recruiters look for when hiring.
The survey revealed that communication skills top the charts every year. Recruiters believe that academic recruiters find most applicants have the technical know-how and high scores to fit the job profiles.
However, it is the communication skills that make all the difference.
No matter what job you have, your success will be measured 5% by your academic credentials, and the rest 95% by your communication skills.
Consequences of Ineffective Communication Skills
Even if a student is bright and talented, the inability to communicate well may result in a loss of confidence in the student.
For example, when a student is asked to answer a question in front of the whole class, despite knowing the answer well, may not be able to answer.
The student may have the anxiety of answering in front of a large gathering or may stammer or stutter in front of his peers.
This is the result of underdeveloped communication skills and is an unfortunate scenario.
9 Types of Communication Skill for Better Professionalism
As discussed above, communication can be of various types- Oral, written, or even pictorial.
However, in this article, we will concentrate more on oral and written communication skills and the importance of these communication skills for students.
1. Oral Communication Skills
Oral communication skills refer to the interaction with spoken words. It also includes facial expressions, body language and eye to eye contact.
The importance of oral communication is so much that it can make or break a student’s career. Let’s see how.
A student who asks questions to the teacher or answers questions that are asked is likely to be more successful than students who are unable to communicate their doubts with teachers.
Also, students who can communicate well at interviews will have a heads-up over those who cannot face interviews well.
In Major UPSC Exam Results, highest consideration and marks are given to the candidates with the best communication skills in the final interview.
2. Written Communication Skills
As the name suggests written communication skills is the ability to communicate well through written words and mostly include letter writing, emails and other texted documents.
Good written communication skills are judged by the use of salutations, the ability to convey crisp and clear messages and the choice of words and punctuation.
Having good written communication skills is important for students because it is through these written submissions that students are judged during the examination.
Students should know how to convey their answers in written format. Usually, answers contain an introduction, the body and the conclusion. Each answer should contain the matter in question.
Although communicating may appear simple and a no-brainer, have good and effective communication skills in students is a little more complicated.
Good communication skills are the building block of interaction in the future. Now that we are aware of the importance of good communication skills, let us look at how to develop effective communication skills in students:
3. Good Posture and Body Language
The first and foremost method is to have good posture and body language while speaking or writing. Good posture while writing ensures neat and clean handwriting.
When we speak of body language it means you have to have eye contact while interacting with others. If you are speaking to a single person make sure you have an eye-to-eye contact.
This ensures that you have the attention of the other person. Also, having eye contact shows respect.
Body language includes hand gestures, facial expressions, touch and use of space along with eye contact. It is a kind of communication through physical behaviour.
Totally 55% of our body language speaks more than the words used while talking.
4. Tone, Tempo and Volume
While communicating, it is important to keep track of the volume, tone and tempo of the language. Speaking softly without being heard or speaking fast can be of no use and the communication will not have an impact.
5. Active Listening Skills
Developing effective communications skills necessarily improves active listening skills too. As you learn to communicate, you learn to listen to others too, thereby indirectly helping you to up your own communication skills.
There are many benefits of active listening. For example, we listen to get information or gain knowledge of a subject or we even listen to enjoy. Listening improves your general awareness. This awareness allows you to talk on many subject matters.
6. Telephonic Communication
Good communication skills improves telephonic communication. Telephone is a mode of communication where one can only hear but not personally see the other person.
In this type of situation it becomes very important for audio communication to be effective because there is no visual impact to compensate for ineffective audio.
While talking on the phone 90% of the time, the receiver at the other end can judge the dialer and his personality as well as attitude.
Adopting effective communication skills ensures you become an incredible telephonic communicator.
7. Mass Communication and Journalism
Effective communication skills are vital for any profession or career. However, Mass communication and journalism are professions that are built solely on the hinges of communication.
The very name mass communication means communicating with the masses. It works through several media channels like advertising, public relations and marketing.
Each of these channels are interchangeably called communication modes.
In journalism, the pivotal role of communication can not be undermined. Journalism can mean writing, or reporting and writing. In any of the two cases, writing takes centre stage.
Journalism can mean copywriting, content writing, editing and proofreading. Being able to attract an audience to a written text is also an effective communication skill.
This mode of mass communication tests your skills of being able to communicate and listen at the same time.
8. Visual Communication
Visual communication is that form of communication that can be seen. Not only does it cover actions, or signs but also typography, drawing, or anything that can be perceived by the eye.
For example, advertising is an effective form of communication. Catchy advertisements get a hold of your attention and the visuals remain in your mind for a long. It may also influence your purchasing power. This is the power of visual communication.
There are different types of elements that influence visual communication. shape, colour, design are just some of the elements that influence the art of visual communication.
Social media and television are the two main sources that make indefinite use of the advantages of visual communication
Visual communication is an important type of communication.
9. Corporate World Communication
Another type of communication skills can be categorised under corporate world communication. In this type of communication, stress is laid on the language and presentation.
The crux of corporate world communication is being simple in language but at the same time being formal. Another factor that influences corporate world communication is the ability to be able to communicate the message in such a manner that it is understood and acted upon.
Further, corporate world communication can be classified into two:
- Internal communication – This is communication within the company. It could be communication between employees, management, and employees, or even between different departments of the company.
- External communication – This refers to communication between management and the outside world. It could involve the communication between the sales team with prospective buyers or communication between the company and different suppliers of vendors.
What is pertinent to note is that both these types of communications are effective only if it is simple in language but at the same time formal.
9 Amazing Tips Improve Your Communication Skills
1. Think Before You Act
One of the most popular life principles to live by is to think before you act. A hasty act could have adverse effects on relationships or even your personality.
Therefore, thinking before you speak is one of the greatest tips to improve your communication skills. Remember, words once spoken cannot be taken back or erased from memory.
So, it is advisable to think before you speak. This is an important tip to improve communication skills.
2. Public Speaking
You may think that you can speak publicly only if you know the art of communication. Now try to think of it in reverse.
You can improve the art of communication through public speaking. Public speaking gives you confidence and improves your body language.
Both these elements form an integral part of the art of communication. Therefore public speaking is one of the best ways to improve communication skills.
3. Keep a Tab on Your Emotions
Another great tip to improve your communication skills is to train your emotions. You may not believe it, but emotions play an important role in the way we communicate with others.
For example, when you need to lend an ear to a bereaved friend, you must emotionally connect with the person before you communicate. You may want to feel the other person’s emotions and try to speak and act accordingly.
Manage your emotions according to the situation and the audience.
4. Medium of Communication
For effective communication for students, it is necessary to make a note of the medium of communication.
For example, a communication with a professor or university head will look professional through a formal email and not a text message.
Always keep in mind the medium of communication varies according to the situation.
5. Communication Skills Are Two-Way
Developing good communication skills in students involves listening too. If you listen to others, you grab their language too. You pick up the plus points from them and learn to include them in your style.
Therefore, listening to others is an effective method of developing good communication skills in students.
When you speak you want others to listen. The same way others need you to pay attention to when they talk.
We can use the example “As you sow, so shall you reap”. As you listen to others, you learn too.
“The greatest communication skill is paying value to others”
Denis Waitley – American Motivational Speaker
6. Be Approachable and Friendly
Being approachable and friendly is another method of improving communication skills. The more friendly you are, the more people you interact with.
You get to listen to the way different people communicate. Thereby indirectly fuelling your communication skills.
Being amiable and cordial allows people to communicate with you better.
7. Participation in Debates and Discussions and Other Stage Performances
Another sure method of improving communication skills is to take part in debates and discussions. This removes any kind of fear that may exist.
For example, with continuous participation in debates and discussions, you can notice your improvement from your previous actions.
Participating in these stage performances allows you to get over stage fear. Stage fear or act stage fright is the anxiety you may feel when you have to perform in front of a large audience.
Strictly speaking, it does not necessarily mean that there has to be a large audience or a stage present. It simply means that you are afraid by the very thought of performing, even in front of a camera.
Following these small tips can help you overcome stage fright and thereby improve your communication skills.
- Be prepared
- Have a plan B if things go wrong
- Share eye contact with random people in the audience
8. Watch and Learn
As a student, you have the opportunity to attend seminars and talks by renowned people. Take this opportunity to learn from these seminars and talk shows.
Notice how the speaker communicates with the audience. The style, tone, and body language used. Use these tips in your conversations with others.
With advancements in technology, it has become easier to learn from online videos and audio grabs of famous personalities.
9. Engage Your Audience
Communication can be effective if you can catch the attention of your audience and engage them. The best way to do this is to have interactive conversations with your audience. This way the audience is always alert.
Communication skills are the key to a successful career, be it corporate or business. When you can communicate with others, it means you are understood and the flow of work goes smooth.
Developing good communication skills in students must be a priority and must be inculcated right from a young age.
Communication allows you to move forward, but effective communication can work wonders.