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The Importance of Effective Communication while Studying Abroad

Posted on Feb 08, 2017

In today’s world, as we deeply rely on information sharing, strong communication skills are considered an essential life skill.  Communication is the act of transferring information from one place to another.  This can be in numerous forms including vocally, written (e.g. using printed or digital media), visually (e.g. utilizing charts or graphs) or non-verbally (e.g. using body language or gestures).

 Whether it is about acing your classes, getting elected as the president of a school club or about getting your dream job, effective communication will always help you move closer to your goals and aspirations. Good communicators can explain their thoughts and ideas to others in ways that make sense and are easy to understand. You will be able to tell your group what you need to do your job well. You will be able to communicate with your team to make sure you are all working together towards completion of your group project. If you are working on campus , your communication skills can make the difference between a satisfied customer and an angry one!

Good communication skills will help you at each stage and age of your life, not only within the office or classroom walls but also beyond.

How can one develop effective communication skills?

1. Become a good listener. The best thing you can do to improve your communication skills is learn to listen. Pay attention to what others are saying, let them put their point across without interrupting them, show interest in what is being said and set aside your judgments. This will help you become an engaged listener, which is a key quality of a good communicator. Only when people will think you are interested in their thoughts and opinions, they will be willing to listen to your ideas.

2. Learn articulation – be brief but specific. Nobody likes listening to long speeches or reading long mails when the same message could have been implied through fewer words. Try to keep your communications short and crisp, be clear about the point that you are trying to make, and avoid beating around the bush. For people lose interest easily when any form of verbal or written communications lacks clarity and brevity. Follow this advice while writing your next assignment at school or during your upcoming presentation in the office, and see the difference!

3. Tailor your message to your audience. This is another very important communication hack that best communicators use. If you are addressing a room full of students, include stories/anecdotes that will be relevant to them. For example, if you are talking to students about importance of community service, you might want to throw in short stories about some famous person from their generation or add references to latest movies or TV shows. This will get them interested in your speech and your message will be conveyed to the audience with a much better impact.

4. Improve your body language. While communicating face to face with people, it is important to watch your nonverbal signs along with the words that you say. Use your body language to bring attention to your words. For example, pounding your fists to emphasize on your point or using air quotes to highlight something. Also, try to maintain a steady stance as you communicate as moving too much is a sign of anxiety and under confidence. Make eye contact with your audience from time to time, which also reflects confidence and keeps them involved in the conversation.

5. Assert yourself. You can communicate the best only when you believe in whatever you are saying. Value your opinions, know your needs and wants, offer constructive criticism and always receive feedback positively.

6. Ask questions. Communication is a two way street. If you want others to be interested in whatever you write or say, you need to prompt them to express their thoughts and opinion too. This will ensure an engaging and fruitful communication.

7. Learn new skills. Join a club of your choice at college, or volunteer for presentations, explore new opportunities around you and develop on them. Stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging with new people will help further sharpen your proficiency.

8. Do not be afraid. In order to be a good communicator, you need to convey your thoughts with confidence and assertiveness. So do not be afraid of expressing yourself, you will only get better with each mistake.

Effective communication skills are the ability to express yourself clearly and concisely, in a way that things are understood and done. A student with good communication skills can read other people’s behavior, compromise to reach an agreement, avoid and resolve conflict, and adapt to new and different situations.  Good communication skills will help you at each stage and age of your life, not only within the classroom walls but also beyond.

ReachIvy  sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation  or career counselling  with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources  to access our free premium content.

This article was also published in The Better India on 07/02/2017.

Posted in Study Abroad

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