Improve Your Communication Skills

The Art of Communication

It’s the skill we so often use but take for granted every day. We use it to order our morning coffee; give world class presentations and even build strong, lasting relationships with our colleagues. We use communication for an array of reasons, but most importantly we use it to enhance productivity and collaborate with others to get things done. 

“So, what happens if I can’t communicate effectively?”  

Well in most cases, that would probably mean you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with like-minded people who can help you achieve your goals. Luckily for you, Author & Expert in Communication, Graham Shaw, recently hosted an event where he gave our members incredible top tips on improving their communication, and we’re going to share some of these with you right now. 

Whilst dazzling the audience with his cartoonist drawings, Graham highlights 3 main areas to consider when trying to improve your communication skills: Words, Voice and Body language. Watch this eye-opening short clip of Graham demonstrating the importance of tone of voice in speech below.  

In the clip, you can see how the verbal emphasis you put on different words can drastically change the meaning of your sentence. Have you ever received an email from a colleague and sensed a hint of resentment in their tone? You go on to worry about it all day, just to bump into them in the office and find out they were telling a funny joke (perhaps a bad one, but nonetheless a joke).  

Graham says, “The words are really important, but the point is, many people say it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. This can be even harder to grasp with non-verbal forms of communication, which is why it’s so important to be clear with your words from the beginning and leave out the guesswork for the other party.  

It’s very similar to that old example you’ve probably heard about the importance of grammar: 

Let’s eat Grandpa. 

Let’s eat, Grandpa. 

Graham continues to enlighten us with great techniques for gesturing with intention, setting the scene with body language and structuring your words to engage an audience. 

Throughout the session, the audience had the chance to ask Graham their burning questions during Q+A. At the end, Graham invited a member to share their dilemma and role play a scenario with him, applying all the knowledge they had gained from the session. If you were there, I’m sure you could say the member did a fantastic job and it’s great to see how the event positively impacted members before even leaving the room!  

Here are 3 learnings from a whole host of spectacular knowledge gained from the event: 

1. How you say it, is just as important as what you say. 

2. People do make initial judgements based on body language, so be aware of your movement the minute you walk through the door. 

3. Giving structure to your speech will not only help you to engage your audience but allow them to leave with clarity, better understanding and trust in you as the speaker. 

If you’d like the opportunity to develop your leadership skills or rewatch the entire event with Graham in our learning hub, then maybe a membership with London business Forum is for you!  

If you’re interested, check out Graham’s website to learn more about the great work he does here

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