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By:John Khu If you often have difficulty in starting conversations and maintaining the interest of people you are speaking with, you are just a member of what is probably the largest group of humans on this planet – “nice people with less than perfect communication skills”. Your upbringing and life experiences may have made you defensive or even negative about most people that you meet. It might be that you just need to improve your socializing techniques a little. It is very unlikely that you can’t improve at all with the help of my tips in this section. Of course, not all of my suggestions will work equally well for every reader. You will not need to improve at all in some areas anyway. 1. Accept compliments While we all crave recognition, many people find it very hard to accept praise. Sometimes, their reaction sours the moment for the person who offered the compliment too. If someone praises you in a genuine manner, thank them. You can acknowledge anyone else that deserves a share of the credit but take what is due to you without fuss or false modesty. 2. Drop Your Fences (just a little!) If we are tense about meeting people we don’t know but we want to make a good impression with, that may cause our whole body to start to prepare for flight (the most natural reaction to the fear we are filling our mind with). That will cause the other person to react at a very basic level to the unspoken signals we are sending them. We should remind ourselves that there’s little chance that they will attack us (muscles – relax!) and counter the negativity with positive thoughts that we can improve the other person’s day in the next few minutes.Then, those positive vibes will cause a more positive reaction in the other person.
3. Prepare your opening lines
Most experienced speakers rehearse their casual, off-the-cuff remarks as well as their formal presentations. Otherwise, the ad-libs might not work and tend to reduce their professional image in the minds of the people they are talking with. So, rehearse a few openings and don’t hesitate to take every chance you get to use them. A simple, proven way to reduce any butterflies is to ask yourself, "What’s the worst that might happen?” 4. Ask Open Questions Closed questions can be answered with single-word answers such as “Yes” or “No!” You can see that they just don’t give much scope for your listener to open out the discussion. When you start a conversation, you want an answer from the other person, which you can use to continue the conversation and broaden the range of it. “Did you enjoy the concert?” is a closed question. “What did you like best about the Concert?” is an open question that invites more conversation, even if they thought the concert was the worst that they’ve ever seen. 5. Show Respect for Their Answer Sometimes, you may not agree with their response, but please don’t immediately push your opposite view at them. When you begin the conversation, ask a question that will spark a conversation, not a battle. Start the conversation as you want it to continue. 6. Always Be Positive If you drop your troubles in your new acquaintance’s lap, their reaction is not likely to be sympathy (except for themselves for meeting you!) Whatever hassles you’re going through in your life, leave them at the door. Try to be upbeat and interested in everyone in the group and what they have to say. Give positive re-enforcement to the people you talk with and keep away from criticism of people that are not present. Keep away, as far as possible from people that hack ‘absent friends’; just think what those turkeys might be cackling about you when you’re absent yourself.
7. Gag the gossip Gossip and rumor is always negative about someone. Don’t spread it or encourage those who do by letting them foul your ears with it. 8. Keep quiet Don’t pass on anything which other people tell you unless you are sure they want you to. That they ‘probably won’t mind’ is never a good enough reason. This will reinforce the good impression you make. You’ve got two ears and one mouth – use them in that proportion. If you think that you might be boring your listener, stop drilling. Often, asking them something about one of their special interests is the best way to get the conversation going again.
Source: Article keywords: Communication skills Article Source: http://www.articles2k.com John Khu is an experienced entrepreneur and an internet marketer. He specialises in personal development and social skills. www.communicationessence.com
© 2006 articles2k.com
You can express yourself better if you learn the proper words to use for each situation.
You can pick up these words by reading good books and articles. Just be careful you don't pronounce something incorrectly in your head, and then speak that way in public. People will think you're ignorant.
I remember listening to a radio talk show one time when a man called in and mispronounced a word. The guest, who disagreed with him, attacked his mispronunciation, and the host was clearly embarrassed for him. All in all, it was just an awkward moment. And you definitely don't want to be initiating awkward moments while trying to drum up business.
Pronunciations do vary depending on your locale, so you could just say that's how it's pronounced where you're from. But there are usually only a few alternatives, and most educated people know of them.
You can learn proper pronunciation by listening to intelligent people. If intelligent people are rare where you live, buy some tapes or visit some podcast directories.
Some well-read people mispronounce words they read all the time but never hear. If you found a great word in a book that you're not sure about, check it out at Dictionary.com. They have a pronunciation guide, and, if you want toSpeak Precisely, you can sign up for their premium service. They have a feature where you can click on a word and hear the proper pronunciation.
At any rate, just make sure you know how the word is pronounced and what it means, before you use it. Nothing sounds worse than someone using big
words out of context. There's nothing wrong with using big words, though, as long as you're using them correctly.
Of course, you should probably stick with the shorter, more common alternative if one exists. Don't use a big word just because you know it. Only use a bigger word if it's the only word available to express exactly what you mean. Most people have very small vocabularies, and will tune you out if you start talking over their heads.
If you're talking with experts, you'll probably want to use shortcuts (jargon). This can save time. Just don't use jargon outside specific groups, because it'll sound like gibberish to most people. You can learn this jargon by reading industry-specific journals and visiting message boards.
Speaking precisely isn't that hard. Just use the right word at the right time. That knowledge will only come with experience.
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Fluent Speech And How To Achieve It
This article is all about how to achieve fluency and looks at the specific speech impediment known as stammering/stuttering. My name is Steve Hill, I suffered with a stutter from the age of four and despite regular conventional speech therapy, continued stuttering until the age of twentytwo.
I found life with a stutter extremely frustrating as at times I could speak very well. For example when I spoke to what is now my ex-girlfriend I very rarely had a problem, however when attempting to speak to her parents I struggled quite badly.
When I was drunk my fluency level also would improve to a level where I would be shocked if I stuttered at all.
I could not understand why I could talk to one person but not to another and why I could speak when I was drunk but not when I was sober.
I read many books about speech imediments, achieving fluency and stuttering and spoke to many speech therapists. From what I read and from what I was told, I was made to believe that I was unable to live a stutteringfree life as it suggested you are unable to eradicate a stutter.
This is a very negative attitude, however I could not really believe what I was hearing and reading as I knew I could talk very well at times.
I then was fortunate enough to watch Bruce Willis being interviewed on the television. He stated that he had had a stutter which had started when he was a young boy, however he had managed to achieve fluency when he was a late teenager. This was a huge inspiration to me and I then decided that I
would attempt to overcome my own speech impediment.
After nearly a year of working very hard by reading books about positive thinking and mind over matter and by basically studying people who I thought were great speakers, I also managed to beat the stutter. As a career I now help other people to achieve fluency. Digg del.icio.us Blink Stumble Spurl Reddit Netscape Furl Article keywords:
stammering toddler stammer, stutter, speech impediment, speech problem, stuttering, stammering,
Article Source: http://www.articles2k.com Stephen Hill has a number of websites including: stuttering stuttering advice stutter cure
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