What many of us don’t realize is conversational skills, public speaking takes practice. Very few are born with the gift of gab. You need to develop the confidence to speak out spontaneously. And for that, you need to practice and develop a few key points that you can draw on automatically when you need to speak up.
Today we are sharing general tips on creating the right climate for successful conversations.
- Be sure the time is right. Delay the conversation if you or the other individual is angry, frustrated, upset or pushed for time. When talking about a difficult or contentious issue, both parties need to be in the right frame of mind.
- Be cognizant of your language. Avoid negative language that includes words like can’t, won’t or unable to, instead, focus on positive phrasing and language that:
Tells the other person what can be done, suggests alternatives and choices or sounds helpful and encouraging
- Check your body language. Assume a relaxed posture, angle your body forward, maintain eye contact, keep your arms and legs uncrossed and smile to signal your approachability and openness.
- Stick to the facts and then stop talking. Some people tend to ramble when their nerves get the better of them. Stay focused on the issue and be concise.
- Don’t interrupt. Someone who does it frequently sends a message that they are not interested in the opinions of others.
- Be open to feedback. Don’t get upset when people don’t like your ideas. Feedback tells you that people are paying attention and respect what you had to say.
- Be present and listen actively. When you show you’re interested in what others have to say, they will be interested in what you have to say. Don’t text or answer your phone.
- Stay calm. If someone becomes defensive or angry, remain calm, polite and focused. If necessary, agree to take a time out and come back to the issue at another time.
- Know when NOT to speak out. Don’t be the one who has an opinion about everything and dominates meetings and discussions.
Next time we will share how to develop key talking points so you can speak up anytime anywhere.