"A Piece of Blarney Stone" 10 ways to empower your communication
The Blarney Stone is a historical stone, or actually part of the
Blarney Castle in Ireland where it was believed that kissing the
stone can grant you the gift of gab. Yeah, it seems strange in this
day and age, but who are we to question tradition? It's not like I'm
saying that Santa Claus doesn't exist (OOPS!).
There is so much to know about conversation that anyone, even I,
could ever realize. You can go though watching talk shows; radio
programs; clubs dedicated to public speaking; ordinary
conversations; certain rules still apply when it comes to
interaction through words. It may sound tedious, I know, but even
though it's your mouth that's doing the work, your brain works twice
as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way to
start learning to be an effective communication is to know the very
person closest to you: yourself.
1. What you know.
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective
speaker is to practice what you've learned. My stint as guest at
every Toastmasters' meeting I go to taught me that we all have our
limitations, but that doesn't mean we can't learn to keep up and
share what we know.
2. Listening.
It's just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to
the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident
with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.
3. Humility
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words,
stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know
what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a
group, don't be afraid to ask if you're saying the right word
properly and if they're unsure about it then make a joke out of it.
I promise you it'll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it
as well.
4. Eye Contact
There's a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to
your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It's important that you
keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a
gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous.
5. Kidding around
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse
boredom when making your speech. That way, you'll get the attention
of the majority of the crowd and they'll feel that you're just as
approachable, and as human to those who listen.
6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You'll get a
lot of ideas, as well as knowing what people make them as they are.
7. Me, Myself, and I
Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know
I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice
your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the stress areas
of your pitch. And while you're at it you can spruce up as well.
8. With a smile
A smile says it all much like eye contact. There's no point on
grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless it's a
wake. You can better express what you're saying when you smile.
9. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have
listened to when they're at a public gathering or maybe at church.
Sure they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they
emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage.
10. Preparation
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes
and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down
on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as
they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for
clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you know since
you enjoy your work.
And that about wraps it up. These suggestions are rather amateurish
in edgewise, but I've learned to empower myself when it comes to
public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to
listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable
as well as educational.