Most employers agree that good communication skills are paramount when hiring new employees. Unfortunately, most people do not pass muster when it comes to those skills: they may have one or two, but they lack the majority of what they need. Education and proper training, such as pursuing a communication degree online, can help anyone overcome these shortcomings.
Engage the Audience
The first step in developing strong communication skills is studying the audience. People will not listen if they feel disconnected from the speaker, and the speaker will not effectively communicate his or her intended message. Once the audience has been identified a great speaker or writer will utilize anecdotes, statistics or some other common perspective to make an emotional connection with the audience.
Whether communication is happening between two people or a crowd in a stadium, no one wants to listen to a boring speaker. Strong communicators engage their audiences, ask for feedback and drive the conversation into interesting territory. Read the audience and act accordingly.
Have a Singular Focus
Very often, people do not remember the majority of what they hear during talks or lectures. Effective, prepared communicators avoid rambling, which challenges the audience’s attention. Know the topic; know your research; avoid contradictions; maintain focus. Shape your speech, lecture, or paper around these directives to minimize message loss, and reinforce key points with stories, context and repetition.
Keep It Simple
Speakers with strong communication skills assume the audience knows very little about their topics. As such, speakers should not overwhelm their audiences with assumptions or advanced information without first laying a logical foundation. Deliver the message simply and clearly, without condescension. Asking for feedback offers speakers opportunities to ensure everyone understands their messages.
Practice makes perfect. Individuals looking to improve their communication skills should study speakers and writers whom they find engaging. They should also ask others for feedback regarding their strengths and weaknesses as well as take classes that hone their abilities and fine tune their skills.
A communication degree online offers many benefits for individuals looking to build strong communication skills. Online programs make school convenient for working adults by offering flexible schedules. Communication degrees can overlap with several fields, including management, marketing, business, government, communication, education and others.
The ability to communicate in an interesting, engaging, simple and focused way will serve graduates well in their future career endeavors.
Learn more about the Arkansas State online BA in Communication Studies degree program.