More often than not, people are aware that their communication skills could be improved and are already on the road to success by attempting to improve and develop them.
But it isn’t always that straightforward and many end up getting sidetracked along the way! Presentation coach Simon de Cintra, author of Unlock Your Business Voice: How to Sound As Good As You Think (£12.99, Rethink Press), reveals the 5 common mistakes people make when trying to improve their communication skills.
Trying to Change Your Personality
It can be easy to get bogged down and spend a whole lot of time trying to distil all the awesome techniques you have seen a professional speaker, celebrity or colleague use. However instead of improving your communication skills and unlocking your business voice you may get trapped in a never ending quest for perfection that does not match up with your personality. A disparity between what communication skills you use and your personality will look inauthentic and not deliver results and will be very overwhelming for you to take on. Instead of trying to change your personality think how you can enhance it and embrace your strengths to improve your communication.
Avoiding Challenging Conversations
To be effective at communication you cannot avoid challenging conversations unfortunately. This is a common mistake made by individuals trying to improve their communication skills as we all try and avoid awkward and tricky situations. Avoiding such conversations can be very detrimental for an organisation as often these are the most important conversations that need to be had in order to drive the business forward. Therefore make sure you communicate in difficult conversations as avoiding them will only lead to further problems down the line in the long term.
Neglecting Your Body Language
Effective communication is not just about how you talk, your non-verbal communication such as your body language is key to how your message is perceived. If you want to make an impact you need to look confident yet approachable, also facial expressions need to be managed over or under expressing can lead to miscommunication or unintentionally change the delivery of your message. Simple tactics such as avoiding crossing your arms when communicating can help improve your communication.
Not ending with a Strong Conclusion
To be influential you need to hook your audience with a strong conclusion; when trying to improve your communication it is easy to neglect your conclusion. In fact your conclusion is the most important in influencing or communicating ideas to others, you need to summarise your key points with enthusiasm in order to convince your audience.
Panic, when thrown in at the deep end
We have all been put in the uncomfortable situation where we have felt completely out of our depth and we are left to sink or swim. The biggest mistake to make when faced this situation is to panic and inevitably your mind will go blank. Take a step back and breathe, assess what is needed of you and how you can achieve it. Breaking down a goal into manageable chunks will help make it seem more achievable putting you in a motivated mindset. If you are ever stuck on what you need to do, communicate and ask questions. This is a perfect opportunity to improve your communication skills further.
About the Author | Simon de Cintra
Simon de Cintra has over 25 years experience in business and provides coaching and mentoring for people who are looking to gain confidence with their public speaking skills or want to learn how to lead and influence others.
In 2006 Simon founded MyFirstTrainers® and has delivered workshops at leading business schools and internationally for major blue chip companies. Simon specialises in personal impact, influencing and persuading stakeholders and public speaking skills for introverts working in complex and highly technical environments.
His varied career inspired him to seek the formula behind authentic communication revealed in his new book Unlock Your Business Voice – How to Sound As Good As You Think (£12.99, Rethink Press). On-sale now from Amazon at £12.99