Good communication skill means the ability to be understood, but it also means more than that. Have you ever noticed how good conversationalists have the ability to light up a conversation and inspire others to join in? You can learn to be like that too. Remember - any good conversation is a two-way process. It's only as good as the responses you get - but you can really improve the number and types of responses you get by honing your communication skill.
Here are a few aspects of what it means to have this skill to initiate and sustain an interesting, enjoyable conversation that everyone feels better for having participated in.
1. Use language and images with are familiar to your listener
You shouldn't really be surprised if you don't get much of a response if the people you're talking to don't understand you or can't relate to what you're talking about, can you?
A conversation is not the time to show off what big words you know or how much more knowledgeable you are than the person you're talking to.
2. Watch your tone
As well as the words you use, you will no doubt be aware you can change the tone of your voice to portray a different meaning. You wouldn't speak to your boss in the same way you would reprimand your child for stepping into the road, would you?
In any conversation, you need to make sure that your tone is right if you are not to offend the people you are talking to or make them worry about answering you.
3. Be respectful
It's a fact that we 'get on' better with people who are like us. All that means is that we find them easier to talk to. We know they will share a lot of views that we have - or at least if they don't, they will respect out views and not shout us down without allowing us to speak.
Good communication skill is about letting other people speak their mind too.
4. Stick to the point
Don't try to 'steal' a conversation by changing the point just because you don't like it or can't think of anything to add on the topic - that's pretty bad manners!
5. You don't need to be the center of attention
Good conversationalists are happy to share the limelight and they don't feel the urge to steer the conversation round to focus on them or if they do, they withstand the urge!
If you find yourself trying to steal the show often, slow down. Try to focus a little more closely on what is being said. That should give you some ideas of a question you may want to ask which develops the topic of the conversation or asks for clarification.
6. Know when it's appropriate to change the subject
Whether you were the one who started the conversation or not, change the subject when there appears to be nothing new to say or when others begin to fidget or act bored. That glazed eye look is always a dead give-away!
7. Don't ask too much
There's a difference between a conversation and an interrogation- or there should be! Firing too many questions at people without giving any of your own information back makes people feel pressurized and uneasy, so don't do it.
8. Sound and look interested in other people
There's a world of difference between giving someone the third degree and expressing a friendly interest in what they're saying. Face the person you're talking too and use an open posture with unfolded arms, leaning forward slightly but not too close to them that it becomes unnerving.
Eye contact is also great for making people feel valued when you talk to them. Let them know you're listening by acknowledging statements with a nod, comment or a question when appropriate.
9. Open-ended questions are best
People with good communication skill get other people talking. A good way to do this is by asking open-ended questions which can't just be answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no'.
10. Have something of interest to say
Keep up with current affairs and trends and take an interest in what is going on in the world around you. That way you should always have something interesting to say - and that's a pretty useful start for a conversation!
So you can see that you don't have to be born with good communication skill - there are just a few areas you need to think about and then it's just a matter of practicing.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. This report reveals the secret strategies all high achievers use to communicate with charm and impact. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/blog