11 Ways To Communicate As Effectively As Possible

We’ve all found ourselves in the precarious situation of miscommunication. A message you’ve attempted to convey comes across murky and disorganized; an email you’ve conducted is wordy and difficult to decipher.

We assume that the message we deliver is the exact message that’s received, but that simply isn’t the case. Over the years as technology has modernized, we’ve come to a state of obtaining a mere paucity of understanding on how to properly communicate with one another.

How has technology affected the way we communicate?

The newest devices and technological advances are right at our fingertips today, and it is through these methods that we’re able to send messages much more rapidly.

However, in a world where we’re able to communicate in a matter of seconds through technology mediums and social media, we’ve lost touch with our ability to communicate with others in ways that are clear and efficient.

We rely on the ease and simplicity of social apps and messaging outlets that allow us to send quick messages that may be succinct but are lacking in substance.

Technology makes the rate of communication much swifter, but proffers room for lack of clarity and information, leading to miscommunication.

What happens when miscommunication takes place?

When a message loses its effectiveness through the delivery process, the receiver can process the message in ways that were unintended by the sender.

A message that is skewed can cause the receiver to become angry, sad, upset, agitated, anxious, or any negative emotion that can result from encountering an unclear message.

How do we communicate effectively? 

In order to be effective, communication must be practiced, clear, concise, and confident.

Here are 11 ways to ensure your communication is effective as possible. 

1. Know what message you’re trying to get across

When sending a message, it’s imperative that you know exactly what it is you’re trying to say. Whether you’re simply asking a friend to grab a coffee or you’re asking your boss for a raise, you need to be fully aware of your intention so it will be clearly conveyed.

If you’re planning a coffee date with your friend in order to tell them something paramount, that should be the tone of the message you’re delivering. They should be made aware that there is a reason for the get-together, so they’re not blindsided by a deep conversation if they’re expecting lighthearted chatter.  

When asking your boss for a raise, he or she should be informed of this. They should know the raise is the reason for your conversation, or at the very least, they should be aware that you want to discuss something important; it should be mentioned when you initially discuss having the conversation.

2. Make eye contact

Eye contact is the foundation of strong communication. It establishes credibility, confidence, and honesty.

If you’re constantly looking away from the person you’re speaking with, allowing your eyes to dart away or wander, the person will pick up nervous and uncomfortable vibes from you. They will be under the impression that you don’t mean what you’re saying, or that you lack confidence in your words.

Look someone directly in the eyes when you’re speaking with them but do so naturally. You don’t want to stare at them and make them uncomfortable with laser focus, but you want them to feel like you believe in what you’re saying.

3. Speak slowly and enunciate

When speaking with someone about a point you’re trying to get across, it’s easy to get excited or anxious, which speeds up your delivery and causes you to stumble over your words.

It takes focus and attention to speak in a way that is easy to understand. You may be a naturally fast talker, usually paying little attention to your delivery. However, when you’re trying to convey a message, you must diligently reign in your speed and enunciate your words clearly.

Speaking at a steady pace comes across more confidently than speaking quickly. This supports better understanding by the listener; they are more likely to interpret your message in the way you intend it to be received.

4. Use active listening skills

In a conversation, you’re not only delivering your own message, but you are receiving another message from the other person involved. Just like you’re attempting to get your thoughts across, so is the other person; they take the time to listen to you and this must be reciprocated.

You should use active and reflective listening skills in order to properly communicate. Allow the person to deliver their message and show them that you’re absorbing what they’re saying.

Make eye contact, nod your head, show a concerned expression when need be. These are simple tips to take advantage of when you’re attempting to convey to someone that you’re truly paying attention to their message.

Not only is active listening effective, but it’s also respectful. This will develop trust and credibility with the person you’re interacting with and will increase their belief in your message when it’s your turn to speak.

5. Hand-write your message

Sometimes hand-written messages are more effective than physical conversations. A hand-written note allows you to spend more time thinking about what it is you want to get across to the person receiving the note.

When writing a letter, you’re able to reflect on your words before sending them. You can edit your verbiage in order to craft it in a more effective manner. You can erase and undo, revise and correct, and bestow proper care and attention to the phrasing of your message.

Even though written messages don’t allow for use of tone and inflection, they afford you more time and opportunity to curate your message in the clearest and most effective way possible.

6. Schedule a face-to-face meeting

Some messages call for a face-to-face conversation. Use your best judgment when it comes to selecting your medium of choice, and when appropriate, save your message for an in-person interaction instead of flippantly sending a text message.

Speaking with someone face-to-face lets them know that the message you’re sending is a high priority. When we have so many delivery methods at our disposal today, opting for a physical interaction over a technological one shows the other person exactly how imperative the message is.

Take the time to schedule a meeting with the person you intend to speak with, and this will allow you to deliver your message confidently with the ability to inject desired inflection and tone.

7. Send a video message

There are many messages that can be sent via text, direct message, or through any social media app. However, some messages deserve a voice and warrant a video message.

If you are unable to have the desired conversation in person, record a video of yourself talking to the person you want to deliver your message to.

There are a few benefits to this method of delivery. If you make a mistake, you’re able to delete the video and start over. You have time to prepare yourself, and if needed, you can have notecards in front of you out of view of the camera. You also don’t have to worry about being interrupted.

Sending a video message is an efficient alternative to a face-to-face conversation, allowing you to verbalize your message without having to worry about the common miscommunication that results from a transcribed message.

8. Brush up on grammar and punctuation

When a message is sprinkled with grammatical errors, misspellings, and typos, it’s that much more difficult to decipher the true meaning.

Errors often lead to ambiguity. When a message is unclear due to poor grammar and punctuation, the receiver must attempt to interpret the message on their own, with their own knowledge and understanding. This allows for misinterpretation and misconception.

Written messages need to read clearly. You must take the time necessary to proofread and make appropriate revisions to your message before sending it to the receiver.

Remove the room for error in communication by editing your thoughts and words before sending them.

9. Use confident body language

If you’re slouching or sitting in a slumped-over manner, this conveys a lack of seriousness. It appears to the listener that your words don’t hold much importance to you, and the message can be interpreted as lackadaisical.

You want to stand or sit in a way that exudes competence and displays trust and honesty. If you’re using confident body language, the person receiving your message is more inclined to believe it.

Confident body language yields higher faith in one’s character and integrity. These are characteristics that are imperative for effective communication and if they’re present, they will build the strength and substance of your message.

10. Cut extraneous language

Communication can become messy when it’s too wordy. Whether you’re delivering your message in person or through a written medium, you should do your best to avoid extraneous language.

Keep your phrases simple and use words that are widely known and understood. You want to steer clear of confusion and circumvent uncertainty.

Maintaining minimal wordiness shows the receiver that you’re trying to get a certain point across. You’re not adding auxiliary verbiage that simply adds to the length of your message, but you’re keeping your phrasing clear and concise. This removes any lack of understanding in the interpretation of your message.

11. Get right to the point

If you have a point you’re trying to make, don’t beat around the bush. Maybe initiate with a little small talk, but other than that, get to the point.

If you add anecdotes to your message, unnecessary stories, or a bunch of fluff, the listener will most likely assume that you’re not as serious as you actually maybe. If you’re dancing around the main idea of your message, you’re not being clear. You’re adding unnecessary murkiness.

Be concise in your message. Keep it on point, don’t allow yourself to stray from the topic at hand, and keep supplementary conversation to a minimum. This distracts from the point of your message, and you should do your best to keep your message brief and succinct.

With these 11 tips in mind, you can venture confidently into your next opportunity to communicate. Use these devices to your advantage, and your messages will be delivered as efficiently as possible.

woman talking in a megaphone
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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