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Reach Out and Connect


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This is the first in a series of articles to help you improve your communication skills and establish stronger relationships at all levels.

A lot of stress and angst can be removed from our lives if we can learn to effectively communicate.

Communication is far more than words; it involves body language, eye movement, contact and actions. In total silence it is possible to convey a message of aggression, love, anger, fear or intolerance.

Great communication is when the physical, mental and verbal activity is all in one state. When they are not there, it can be misread or confused messages, a shutdown of communication or an interpretation of dishonesty.

The best state of mind to communicate effectively is of course a calm state of mind, but we all know this is not always possible. However there are still ways to communicate, and actually connect, more effectively than most of us do today, even when stressed.

Great communication is always two way – even in a one way address – such as a guest speaker.

Even when you address an audience, you are actually speaking to each member of the audience in a two way communication between each person and you. If you are a great speaker, your audience will have no communication with anyone other than you, during the time allotted for your speaking. You are speaking to them, they are listening and trying to comprehend your message. The more interesting and relevant your message to them, the better will be the level of communication.

Members of your audience will communicate back to you, most likely silently with the use of body language, and attention, (even eye contact) how they are receiving your message. If they receive it well, you will note they are paying attention to you, nodding smiling and looking comfortable in their seats. If they are not happy, you will see restlessness, perhaps people leaving or talking to each other, looking around the room – in short not looking comfortable. This is a two way communication that many speakers miss.

When you are in a group conversation, similar interaction takes place. Next time you are waiting in a public place – a bus, a train station, a restaurant – take a look at the people having conversations around you. Observe the speaker and then their audience. Is their audience listening with interest? What is their body language? What messages are they sending to the speaker? How many people are sitting together, and not speaking or communicating at all?

From this simple art of observation, you will begin to understand the energy exchange that takes place between any two people engaged in communication. You will see easily, how well they are communicating, and whether they have connected or not. If we are not connected it is like talking to a telephone line that is not connected, a waste of breath as no one hears you.

Remember that practice does improve subconscious performance, so I encourage you to practice daily to better understand and influence your audience.

In the coming articles we will review some simple techniques such as how to do 30 second research; the power of calm; and the synergistic use of body language. Integrity is essential in every aspect, as to be believed, and to connect positively, we must be in a place of integrity when we reach out to communicate.

By improving your communication skills you will be able to reach out and connect with any audience, be it one person or a room full, and your message will be remembered.
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