Do you ever feel this way?
I want to communicate in English, but words don’t come to my mind.
I understand and write English, but I can’t speak fluently.
I fumble when I communicate in English
I have no one to speak English with.
I lack confidence while communicating in English.
I know! You do. The reason you’re here is you had a hard time communicating in English. Almost every fluent English speaker around you has been there at one point or another. So, remember you’re not alone.
So how to develop your communication skills and improve your command over the language?
All it takes to communicate well is the courage to make mistakes, accept and learn from the mistakes. Few other qualities also come into play when you’re learning any new skill.
Those are practice, consistency, and confidence.
In this article, I’ll walk you through a few tips. Don’t worry if you’re bad at communication. These tips will help you start your learning journey and develop your communication skills in 30 days.
1. Listen, Speak, Read and Write
You can’t build a house without a strong foundation. Right?. So let’s get back to the basics.
Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing are the four foundational skills you need to work on equally when learning a language. Don’t worry! I’m not going to ask you to read a bundle of newspapers, write a long novel or talk to a native speaker. It can be as simple as watching American shows on Netflix or writing a journal.
Movies are the best way to learn English with fun.
Here are the few movies and series you can watch to get started:
ALSO READ: A Short Poem: ‘As The Long Day Ends’ (If you like poetry!)
2. Find Someone To Talk In English
I know your answer will be, “I don’t have anyone to talk to.”
But now, I’m not going to let you give the same reason again. There are plenty of free English learning applications in the market. These applications connect learners from different parts of the world. So you’ll not only get to practise English, but you can also make friends with people from around the world.
Here are a few of them:
3. Mimic or Copy
Yes, you read it right. I know this sounds a bit strange and weird. But believe me, this is how I improved my communication skills, and I do it even now. So let me tell you how I got started with learning.
Back when I was in class 7, I would read many English short stories and take part in elocution competitions. That instilled a love for learning English.
…and luckily in my class 8, I was introduced to our new English teacher. He also happened to be an excellent speaker. I wanted to speak like him.
I started noticing him. The way he used to talk, the way he used to make his facial expressions, body language, and everything.
Even before I realized it, there has been a lot of improvement in the way I was communicating in English. It happened because I noticed him to an extent where I started copying him.
So I strongly advise you to imitate someone you look up to. It can be your friend, colleague, or even your favorite actor. Notice the way they communicate, their sentence structure, their body language, and practice it. I am sure you’ll be amazed by the result.
4. Write on Quora
Today’s world is revolving around emails. An excellent cover letter can make or break your chance for a job interview. So, it’s crucial that you develop your writing skills. And when you write something, you get the time to think. It means you’re more likely to make fewer mistakes. While writing, you pay attention to word usage, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and grammar. So, the more you write, the more you think, and eventually will let you have clarity of thought.
Quora is an amazing platform to get started with writing and improve your skills.
On Quora, you’ll get to:
- Answer lots of questions.
- Understand the different views on a topic.
- Know more about yourself.
So, find something that you are passionate about. Start answering questions on that.
If you don’t find an interesting question, use the anonymous feature on Quora, post a question and answer it yourself.
5. Think In English
A lot of us have a habit of switching between languages. When we are asked to answer anything in English, we usually translate the answer from our mother tongue to English. Translating takes a lot of time. This is the reason we tend to fumble or use fillers to avoid the gap.
Stop translating and start thinking in English. It might be difficult in the beginning, but that’s how you’ll be fluent.
Here’s how you can start thinking in English
We talk to ourselves. Right? So every time you talk to yourself, talk in English. One of my cousins studied in a school where English was not the first language. Yet, she has managed to learn English by talking to herself.
In the beginning, it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to take a lot of your efforts. But as time goes by, it’ll become automatic.
6. Be Confident
I know you would be wondering how being confident will improve your communication skills. Believe me! Communication and confidence go hand in hand.
Maybe, you are very good at what you are talking about. What if you talk with fear or lack of conviction? The listener will assume that you are not sure of what you are talking about and will not pay attention to you.
Few things you can do to communicate with confidence:
- Never compare. believe that you are no less than the listener/listeners.
- Pay attention to what the other person is talking about.
- Learn basic grammar.
- Maintain eye contact with the other person.
MOST IMPORTANT: Practice, Practice, and Practice
What are you waiting for? You have everything right on your plate to get started and develop your communication skills. Experiment with different ways of learning. Choose the one that’s best for you. Be consistent, have a routine and stick to it for 30 days, and practice as much as you can. I am sure you will ace it.
Comment down and let me know the other challenges you’re facing while communicating. I can help you.