How to get better communication skills

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Hello,
I work at a marketing firm where presentation skills are required.
Meetings occur frequently and I need to speak freely and confident infront of people. There is no place for anxiety and nervousness which I totally get, but of course cannot fake. This is something I want to work on, and wondering if you guys can recommend any online resources or real life training you have done and like? Thanks!

Otherwise it's all good! Thanks for the help.

Anton
  • Profile picture of the author sylarrr
    i think that the best training is participating in live actions rather than sitting in a classroom and studing.
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  • Profile picture of the author yue
    I really got nervous too when I am speaking in front of people, but if you know the topic or the subject to be discuss then, you will feel confident while speaking to them. Why not try talking in front of the mirror or in front of your friends and relatives first as an exercise for you in this way they can give feedback on what you can improve while talking in front of the crowd. I believe that constant practice makes it perfect.
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  • Profile picture of the author GT
    You can find speaking tips online, but there is no substitute for practice in front of people.

    I recommend Toastmasters International as a great group for training, experience and constructive feedback in a friendly, supportive environment. There are clubs almost everywhere - you can check out the Toastmasters International organization website to find the nearest club to you.

    There is a cost to be a member, but it is typically cheaper than most public speaking training programs. Each club has its own personality. Many are very friendly, supportive and inviting.

    You will also find many public speaking tips and resources at the Toastmasters site.

    GT
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    • Profile picture of the author BradleyWin
      Hello!
      It takes consistent action over an extended period of time to get good at public speaking/social skills.

      This might do the trick to improve your communication skills:
      Offline: Toastmasters Public Speaking (check in any major city)
      Online: Conversationland.com for daily conversation skills coachings (google them)

      Brad
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    • Profile picture of the author terrafirmalyn
      I agree with Yue and Gt. Practicing in front of a mirror is really good idea and you can improve with your speech and how you present. Toastmasters is also good as you get the practice in public speaking and this ultimately gives you more self confidence to interact with others. Good luck.
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  • GT is right...there is no real substitution for doing it...even a community college debate class will help, if the toastmasters aren't available...

    But - knowing your subject, and being passionate about it helps...everyone who has ever been good at getting their marketing point across has been passionate about it...dull, drab, or boring, just won't work.

    Remember the "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin ? - here he was, talking about conservation of an animal that was feared by most, capturing them bare-handed, and many people probably initially thought he was crazy...yet his passion and enthusiasm for what he did could not help but rub off on you...you could SEE IT in his face and posture...and it really drew people in. I miss that guy...he was fun to have around.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    GT has a good suggestion with Toastmasters. A few Dale Carnegie books along with that kind of practice can go a long way, too.

    Perspective helps, too. If you have information that people want - they aren't worried about you, the presenter - they want to hear what you have to say. If you are being clear and covering the information they want to know well, there's a lot you as an individual can get away with without them giving much of a rat about it. If people are judging you yourself while you are talking - you need to look at where your information is failing to deliver for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Yeah, Toastmasters, and some similar things are literally MADE for this! They actually run competitions, that are really more against YOURSELF than anyone else, giving speeches and the like. They actually have people track the time, and thing like um and ah, etc... and make comments. NOBODY is perfect, and they may catch things others merely sense, because they have people tht track them. I haven't gone through it, but I have been to a few meetings, and have thought about it.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jager
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      Yeah, Toastmasters, and some similar things are literally MADE for this! They actually run competitions, that are really more against YOURSELF than anyone else, giving speeches and the like. They actually have people track the time, and thing like um and ah, etc... and make comments. NOBODY is perfect, and they may catch things others merely sense, because they have people tht track them. I haven't gone through it, but I have been to a few meetings, and have thought about it.

      Steve
      I'm curious about the competitions you mentioned. Could you link one or something, I think I'd be good at that

      Thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Jager View Post

        I'm curious about the competitions you mentioned. Could you link one or something, I think I'd be good at that

        Thanks
        Toastmasters International - Speech Contest FAQs are the different types of speech contests

        Dennis has a good point. Although the setting is probably almost like one you would expect one to make a toast in, I don't think they give many toasts. They mainly just get together trying to improve things in a structured way. They try to be friendly and probably usually are. Realize that MOST are there to improve, so they have probably perceived themselves as bad once. In other words, in a way, they ARE there only in their underwear.(even if it is generally casual dress and they appear clothed. ) Of course, I haven't been there in a while.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

          Toastmasters International - Speech Contest FAQs are the different types of speech contests

          Dennis has a good point. -snip-
          I do? DANG IT! I really tried hard not to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Toastmasters?

    What!!!

    You think learning how to make good toast is going to give him confidence to speak in front of a group? You think he can't make toast now?

    What next, Hot Chocolate Masters? Wait, how about Pudding Masters? No no, I got it . . . Beer Masters. Drink enough and you won't care.

    Did I have you going for a bit?
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BTW if you want to find a toastmasters near you:

    Find a Club Results - Toastmasters International

    BTW I don't know how good it would be for English, but they have 242 clubs in india. Only 61 are open to everyone though. Where I live now, there are 13 within about 10 miles, and 3 are within 3 miles. Who knew?

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Pivot
    Well, first off you should start by asking this question by communicating. Computer doesn't help with it much.
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  • Profile picture of the author louisshane
    Communication skills is one of my weaknesses and sometimes I do nervous speaking in the front of many people, but I'm still thankful for those people who help me how to solve it, they suggest to read a books and put it on a practice that I may apply it when talking to other people.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    The MAIN goal of toastmasters is to be more comfortable, and stop using fillers. The secondary one is to make the speaches more interesting, etc... Frankly, if I had more of a need, and more time, I probably would have joined. after this, considering my current situation, I am seriously considering it.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    Experience is the best teacher. Be more sociable and try to converse more with different people and on different topics. You'll get better as time passes by.
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  • If you've never read it...you also might want to have a look at the book

    "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie...

    It's been around a long time...but sometimes the old ways are the best ways...and it still works -

    Everybody's heard of it, and there are lots of free ebooks online.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrislangley
    It's always a good idea to watch videos of people giving speeches, don't be surprised they were also nervous, and speaking in public is one of those skills where experience counts
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    • Originally Posted by chrislangley View Post

      It's always a good idea to watch videos of people giving speeches, don't be surprised they were also nervous, and speaking in public is one of those skills where experience counts
      Boy - we think we have it bad...did you ever see "The King's Speech"?

      That must have really sucked! - to be a stutterer who suddenly is thrust into public speaking...and not exactly at the "toastmasters club" - as King to the Country!
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

        Boy - we think we have it bad...did you ever see "The King's Speech"?

        That must have really sucked! - to be a stutterer who suddenly is thrust into public speaking...and not exactly at the "toastmasters club" - as King to the Country!
        Yeah, but you have to hand it to them. There are a couple people that stutter apparently TO THIS DAY, but sing FINE, FOR A LIVING! There are some actors, and one at least WAS a spokesperson for the society, that stutter but managed to do well acting like they have NO problem.

        There is a show on disney that is dance related. She is one of the lead dancers, and main characters, She plays CC. And she plays someone that is far from bright. On one episode it is revealed that she, CC the character, has been working with a deficit. She is HORRIFIED that anyone even mentions it. When she tells her friend, she says it even affects her dancing, as she can't tell her right from her left. She basically describes EXTREME symptoms of dyslexia. I don't know how much of CC's story is true of Bella, but she, Bella Thorne the actress that plays CC, recently revealed publicly on disney that she HAS dyslexia, had a HORRIBLE time learning to read, and was forced to read EVERYTHING she was around. She says that now she reads a year AHEAD of grade level.

        I have had to deal with a couple BAD stutterers, BAD speech impediments, and a couple ****REAL**** slow talkers. I just tough it out and don't even act like I notice or care. You NEVER know what is going on with people.

        Steve
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  • It certainly has to be psychosomatic and conditional...It is curious how one with a stutter can sing, say lines, or speak to animals, and have no problem...it shows it can be overcome with practice.

    James Earl Jones had an difficult impediment as a child...look at him now...
    Can you imagine Darth Vader with a stutter? :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
    One of the smartest guy's I've ever met, was a stutterer.

    Met him in bootcamp, went into the Nuke program, they only took the top one or two percent...

    Don't think it cause's any problems in thinking.

    Socially, unfortunately, it caused a few problems in short sighted people.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

      One of the smartest guy's I've ever met, was a stutterer.

      Met him in bootcamp, went into the Nuke program, they only took the top one or two percent...

      Don't think it cause's any problems in thinking.

      Socially, unfortunately, it caused a few problems in short sighted people.
      Stuttering seems to often be a feedback problem. It is like the person doesn't think they have said the right thing, and correct themselves. THAT is why all the feedback tricks, conditioning, and all work, and how one can sing but not speak. So it definitely isn't an intelligence problem.

      Dyslexia apparently i just that things get crossed, or distinctions fade, and IT isn't a problem with intelligence EITHER. It DOES complicate learning though.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Jager
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        Stuttering seems to often be a feedback problem. It is like the person doesn't think they have said the right thing, and correct themselves. THAT is why all the feedback tricks, conditioning, and all work, and how one can sing but not speak. So it definitely isn't an intelligence problem.

        Dyslexia apparently i just that things get crossed, or distinctions fade, and IT isn't a problem with intelligence EITHER. It DOES complicate learning though.

        Steve
        If Dyslexia had a serious correlation to intelligence, I'd have to seriously start wondering how Richard Branson got so rich.
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        • Originally Posted by Jager View Post

          If Dyslexia had a serious correlation to intelligence, I'd have to seriously start wondering how Richard Branson got so rich.
          Simple: Dyslexics are always thinking outside the box!

          They're programmed that way.

          Branson is a good example...

          Some of the most creative people I've met are dyslexic to some degree...
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  • It certainly is not a question of intelligence...I was just referring to the curiosity that speech pathologists have seen that, when talking to a dog, for instance, a stutterer does not stutter - hence, the problem is not a physical one. It is psychosomatic, and many people have conquered the problem with training. Some people even grow out of it...maybe it has to do with synapsis and how speech is formed and adapted in a young mind.

    When I speak with someone who has a difficulty like this, I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine how frustrating it must be, and treat them with patience and respect...and that is always appreciated -

    But, on the other hand...admit it - that stuttering lawyer scene in "My Cousin Vinny" was pretty funny...
    (the situation of being on trial for murder, and then the Court-appointed attorney is...:rolleyes
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  • Profile picture of the author Jager
    Originally Posted by angeann View Post

    Hello,
    I work at a marketing firm where presentation skills are required.
    Meetings occur frequently and I need to speak freely and confident infront of people. There is no place for anxiety and nervousness which I totally get, but of course cannot fake. This is something I want to work on, and wondering if you guys can recommend any online resources or real life training you have done and like? Thanks!

    Otherwise it's all good! Thanks for the help.

    Anton
    Amazon.com: The Mystery Method: How to Get...Amazon.com: The Mystery Method: How to Get...
    Be careful though, it could do more harm than good and may make you worse before it makes you better. In fact, some people leave in "the dip", which is the absolute worst thing you can do.

    But generally it's re-defined sales tactics. The difference is there is a lot of coaching and forums support, whereas with generic sales there is not.
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    I have to return some videotapes.

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  • Profile picture of the author andernorm
    Communication play a very important role in the life of a person. It is necessary for a person to have a better, clear and the correct communication, but for that it is necessary for a person to follow some of the better communication skill. Some of the skills are Stay Focused, Listen Carefully, Respond to Criticism with Empathy,Own What's Yours, Look for Compromise, Take a Time-Out, Don't Give Up and many more.
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  • Profile picture of the author alstonkenn
    You can build your communication skills by more connection with people who are surrounded with you. First of all improve your vocabulary words with reading newspapers and magazines more. Learn how to speak decently with others.
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  • Profile picture of the author roseca
    reading newspaper and magazine will help you lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author warnchrist
    You can improving your communication skills by increasing your knowledge of vocabulary and grammer. Be more interactive with others, read newspapers and magazines.
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  • Profile picture of the author markebatt
    You can improve your communication skills by reading newspapers and magazines. It is beneficial for your speech and grammer.
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  • Profile picture of the author LeeLee
    You could take drugs for social anxiety. Some performers take small doses of beta blockers to overcome the jitters.

    I'm surprised no one mentioned the old trick of picturing your audience in their underwear.
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