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There’s no area of life that good communication won’t improve. Marriage, career, friendships and any other relationship you want to maintain over time rely on your ability to communicate.

So, where do you learn how to improve communication skills? The answer is anywhere.

This important lesson gets skipped in school making it your responsibility to take the necessary steps to become a great communicator. Here 5 easy steps to improve your communication skills in real life.

1. Brevity

The easiest way to lose an audience is to take too long to get to the point. Writers are often told to avoid using a paragraph when one sentence will do.

This concept also applies to presentations and verbal communication. When you can explain your point in a few sentences, it doesn’t make you look better to extend your point by three more paragraphs.

Being long-winded is easy. When you’re nervous, your words lend comfort. Follow the advice of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.”

2. Empathy

When learning how to improve communication skills, you can’t ignore the power of empathy. Empathy is what helps you understand who you’re talking to.

Before you communicate with anyone, think of your audience. What are their deepest concerns? What’s their most common style of communication with others?

If you’re communicating with a new audience, learn from other speakers by watching popular online videos that address this same audience. These videos are popular because the style of communication likely appeals to your audience.

Gain gradual skills in communication skills coaching. You can test out your empathy on a pretend audience before unleashing your talents onto a wider audience.

3. Active Listening

Active listening is very important in one on one communication. Know how to improve communication skills in small interactions and you’ll find your public speaking skills growing.

You’ll be able to better address the needs of your audience when you practice active listening. Active listening is the process of validating your listener’s needs.

Try repeating the listener’s concerns and waiting for confirmation before moving on to your points. The simple act of getting confirmation turns you into someone who cares which makes others more likely to listen to you.

4. Pivot

Be flexible in your ideas when communicating with a group. Someone might have an opinion that’s contrary to what you believe going into the conversation.

Be ready to pivot and accept new ideas to become a better communicator.

5. Be Secure

Keep your emotions in check when sharing new ideas with others. The easiest way to sabotage your communication is to get defensive.

Be secure in your ideas. Others might reject what you have to say, but that is their right as your audience. Be prepared to take the good with the bad by considering that rejection is a possibility before you even start the conversation.

How to Improve Communication Skills Quickly

If you’re learning how to improve communication skills, you need tools you can implement quickly and in real life scenarios. One of the fastest ways to make improvements is to slow down.

Be brief. Get to the point and always ask for confirmation you understand your audience. These skills alone helps you make better connections as you grow on your professional journey.

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