I still remember the state of my mind very vividly, when I had stepped onto the podium of my school auditorium to present my science paper for the first time. I was very nervous when I saw a swarm of people in front of me. Hundreds of eyes were focused on me and I could not decide which way to look to avoid them.
I wanted to run away and hide myself. But nothing could be done then. My name had already been announced and the stage has been cleared for me. Then my mother’s voice rang in my ears. I thank her for knowing me so well, for she had already given me the ‘brahmastra’ to win that battle.
Before going to school that day, my mother had prepared a good breakfast for me as she advised me not to go for any important meeting, interview or exam, empty stomach. She said it just increased anxiety.
On the other hand if your stomach is full, you feel more calm and relaxed. Then she made me take blessings from almighty because he was the only one who would be there with me on the stage. Then she sat me down and told me the following rules to develop good communication skills.
- Be confident: If you are sure of yourself, then half the battle is already won. Be confident that you have adequate knowledge on the topic you are going to address and nothing would go wrong because if your information on the topic is correct then no one can counter it or negate it. Your gait, your body posture, your expressions, your style of talking; everything reflects your confidence level. It can easily let the other person sneak into your thoughts and gauge your knowledge.
- Relax: Remember that the person you are talking to is a person like you. He may be as nervous as you are. You have to relax yourself first to let the other person relax in your presence. If you keep feeling anxious, you will never be able to break the ice and carry the conversation forward. The other person will certainly appreciate your initiation of relaxing. You may bring out the best in the other person when you calm down.
- Don’t beat around the bush: When you start a conversation with an unknown person, focus on the main topic first. The person you are talking to does not have any idea of who you are or what your likes and dislikes are. He only knows you because of the work you are about to discuss with him. So save the personal information like hobbies, background etc for later, when you both are more comfortable with each other. This will help you make things more predictable and less nerve wrecking. When you make your conversation predictable, you can start making constructs and strategies on how to handle the conversation. When you have an idea on how to handle something, your nerves are managed better.
- Do not lie: The worse communicator is the one who lies or makes up stories to prove his point. If you are nervous and you lie, things get compounded. Not only do you look silly in front of the other person, you also lose his faith and your integrity. The other person would lose all interest in talking to you if he gets the slightest hint that you are lying and it would sabotage your relationship with him forever.
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