Communication is the center of all activity. It is the most important part of interacting with others whether you are on the field or in the board room. Communication is how we share information with each other. Without it, where would we be? And if we can’t use it successfully, how are we going to get as far as we need to go? Communication is not just talking back and forth. It involves both verbal and nonverbal signals including body language, tone, and feedback.

Listening to someone speak and listening and understanding someone are two different things. Being able to process information enough to understand it and then give the person meaningful feedback is essential to success in business. Also, understanding body language like eye movement, hand gestures, proximity, and facial expressions is an invaluable characteristic in someone. Seeing that a person is glazing over because they are tired or they really care about something because of their impassioned tone, eye contact, and hand gestures can be a great way to connect with everyone you come in contact with.

Learning how to communicate your feelings can also be difficult. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. You cannot always expect that your hard work will be noticed and it will all pay off in the end. Sometimes we all work hard and it is not appreciated. Being able to communicate how you feel and to be taken seriously in business is something that is learned. The best sales professionals have mastered communication. Here are some good tips that you can practice with. See if you are already using these or if you need to work on them.

Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact

How do you expect to make a connection with someone when you never look them in the eye when you are talking? Sometimes looking into the eye of a competitor or a future client can be daunting, but it all comes down to making a connection and building that relationship. The basic human connection can be found in looking directly at someone else. You will feel it and they will too.

Put on a happy face

No matter how passionate you feel about something whether it is getting a raise you know you deserve or changing the way something is run in your company, stay positive. People notice when your brows begin to furrow, your hands become bigger, and you begin to frown either out of frustration or anger. Stay your ground, but keep your face neutral. Say what you mean with your words, not your face. When introducing yourself to someone, smile. A smile is relieving to most people. It breaks tension.

Speak clearly

We rely a lot on nonverbal gestures like eye contact and facial expressions, but the most important part about verbal communication is what actually comes out of your mouth. If you are not able to speak your mind clearly and concisely, your counterpart may process the information incorrectly and give you feedback that you also do not understand. If you are working on a big speech or presentation, make sure to practice what to say beforehand. Think about what you want to convey and make sure that you are going to say it the clearest way possible.

Using these techniques will help you communicate more efficiently. Never forget to put yourself out there. If you go into it confidently and clearly, ask for what you want. The way you communicate is the half of it. If you are clear and concise, do not be surprised when you get a “YES!”

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