We've all been there, trying to give a presentation not well received, and nothing you do seems to turn the tide in your favor. Maybe you're too shy, or nervous, or closed off when you are trying to communicate, but whatever the cause, you need to rectify it fast or risk losing respect, your job, or your employer's confidence. Here are a few ways to effectively improve your interpersonal communications skills.

BODY LANGUAGE
Strive to be open and animated when trying to communicate with others, especially if what you are attempting to convey is a dry or difficult to understand subject. Nothing shuts other people’s minds off faster than a monotonous and lifeless recitation of facts. Try to stimulate the group's senses of sight as well as sound by walking around, moving your hands and arms, and being as open as possible. Also, try to maintain eye contact with your audience as much as possible to keep them engaged.

CONFIDENCE
Know your material, and make sure that your audience is certain that you know it through your body language and demeanor during your conversation or presentation. Practicing helps get you focused, organize what you need to impart, and if there are any holes in your presentation material. Being as certain and prepared beforehand will help you maximize your confidence level.

CAREFUL OBSERVATION
Be observant and aware of how your audience is picking up on what you are presenting. If they seem listless or bored, try to be more animated. If they look confused or overwhelmed, try to slow it down and focus on maximizing your audience’s ability to assimilate the material you are trying to communicate.

WHAT YOU SAY, AND HOW YOU SAY IT
Along with preparation, which is knowing what you are talking about, give some thought beforehand to how you plan to talk, the most appropriate inflection to use in your voice, whether you need to project your voice or whether a subtler tone would be better.

BRING IN BACKUP WHEN NECESSARY
Don't be afraid to utilize outside expertise if it will help you impart the information you wish to communicate. Remember, the goal is not only to make yourself look good, but to properly communicate with your audience. Using someone who knows a particular subset of a given issue will make you look prepared, thoughtful, and thorough.

Build your interpersonal communication skills today and relish from rich relationships tomorrow.

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