1. Listen Before You Speak
You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but if everything you say only deals with you, many people will tune you out. “People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care,”
Be the first person to ask others how they are and what they’re doing. Then listen to their answers. Focus on people when they’re being introduced so you remember their name. Say their name during conversation. If you are sincerely interested in others comments, chances are they will want to listen to yours. Show how your message equals good things for the person or people you’re talking to.
2. Make Your Body Talk
Appear confident, even if you’re not. If you look timid and self-conscious it will be harder for most people to believe they should listen to you. Stand up straight. Never slump. Keep your chin up. Look people in the eye. Smile. And lean forward a little to show interest. Always avoid crossing your arms over your chest. It signals you’re trying to protect yourself instead of being open to conversation. Stay away from distracting movements. Don’t be scratching your nose or scratching your head. It takes away from your speech. Talk to people and listen to people who are confident. If you want to be good in sports, you want to be around people who are good athletes. It’s the same thing if you want to be good speaker or a good listener. You want to hang around people who exemplify those skills. People usually believe your body language more than your words. So it’s worth your time to perfect it.
3. Expand Your Vocabulary
Neat. Cool. Wow. Awesome. These are nice words when you use them every once in a while. But if they’re all you know, get set for glazed eyes when you speak. “Remember, the average business person has a working vocabulary of fewer than 4,000 words. Add five new words every day. Study your dictionary.Use original, lively and interesting vocabulary And Avoid slang. Stay away from those sounds that really aren’t words: “anda,” “ah,” “eh,” “um.” Tape a conversation or a speech and listen for these sounds that get in the way of your message.
4. Train Your Voice And Mind
While you’re at it, listen to the pitch, volume and speed of your voice. Are all of your words understandable? Does your voice shake walls or barely register? Do you sound enthusiastic, sincere and friendly? Are you using different tones and speaking at different speeds, depending on your topic? Speaking in a monotone is the fastest way to lull people to sleep. Pause between sentences (and sometimes before you speak to build suspense and to keep things interesting .
5. Tune Into Your Environment
It’s tough for people to focus on you when there’s a lot of action going on around them. Try to find a quiet, out-of the way spot to air your thoughts. Does the mood or location of the person or people you’re talking to fit your message? If not, wait until it does. And remember, “You can always joke around but never get too personal with it.
6.Keep It Short And Simple
Know what you want to say, before you open your mouth. Then, like a verbal commando, introduce your point, state your case and get out of there. Never use big words when simple words will do. And stick to the facts. People will sense if you’re exaggerating.