English is a language that is indispensable in this modern day world, in every sphere of life. This widely used global language has vast applications in any field one wants to venture. As such in this shrinking world that is getting united with advancement in technology and communication, English oral communication skills play an important role. You are expected to be able to converse in this language if you wish to take part actively in all the happenings in this advanced and globalized world.
In this modern era one needs to have the basic skills to communicate in English. However, many people lack the ability to communicate in English and hence, often, suffer from inferiority complex. They fall back and lag behind others in this competitive world and often fail to reach the pinnacle of their career owing to the lack of oral communication skills. They often retreat from important conversations and events and fail to establish career growth.
How to Start improving Oral Communication Skills?
Oral communication skills start with understanding, reading, writing and then presenting. If you keep a safe distance from English conversation or stay away from articulate English speaking person, then you should improve your oral and communication skills now. Do not let the inability to converse in English become your major barrier in your career improvement. You can overcome your fear, ignorance and abhorrence for this beautiful and rich language by improving the skills in the following ways.
General Ways to Improve Your English Oral Skill:
Though there a number of ways to improve the oral skills in English, there are very few that really works and are highly effective. Some of the effective techniques to improve your spoken english communication skills are listed down below:
1. Understanding the fundamentals of oral communication:
Before you step into the reality and advance your oral communication skills, it is quite essential to understand the basics of communication skills. Do not refrain from practicing oral basic communication in English in the fear of making mistakes and getting embarrassed. Mistakes are the basic part of any learning process. Initially, you might face difficulty, yet with practice and proper guidance, you will definitely improve.
2. Frame in words what you think:
The major failure that a person faces during oral communication is incapability to put the words in frame and express what he/she thinks. So, have the courage and confidence to speak your heart out and express what you think. Never mind if you can’t arrange the words properly and frame a sentence. Practice harder!
3. Kick off your hesitance:
Hesitation and thinking about how people perceive you if you commit mistakes while speaking is the greatest fear that almost everyone, especially non-native English speakers experience. However, this fear will haunt you till the last day of your life, until and unless you start giving a damn to it. On the journey of developing exceptional oral communication skills, these kinds of thinking should not create hindrances.
4. Practice will make you perfect:
Practice is the basic learning process! You cannot improve on your oral communication skills unless you interact more with people. In order to bring out your skills and fluency in speaking, you should practice speaking with your families, colleagues and friends in English!
Effective Techniques to Improve Oral Communication Skills:
Certainly, you cannot become skillful in communicating in English in a single day. The learning process should be started from the scratch and must be completed successfully. Enjoy speaking in English and you would improve rapidly. Overcome all your fears and worries by practicing English speaking and participating in conversations spontaneously.
1. Read as much as you can:
Reading regularly is considered to be the best practice that can enhance basic oral communication skills. Reading English literature, news papers, magazines, novels, fiction, etc. improves vocabulary skills. Also, this will aid you in developing your thinking process and enhance your sharpness in gathering ideas and expressing them in English.
2. Check out the dictionaries:
Dictionary is a wizard of new words with its synonyms, meanings, adjective and noun forms. Also, dictionary explains the word with in-depth explanation and example, helping the readers to learn best communication words for an communication and the word’s usage. In your spare time, you can always look for some uncommon words and their meaning with pronunciation in the dictionaries.
3. Listen to learn:
Listening is another practice that will help you to train yourself for oral communication. Initially, you will be diverted from the listening as most of the words will appear to be unfamiliar and you might not be able to comprehend everything in one go. Also, the accent of a native English speaker might also be non-understandable as you might find difficulty in understanding the tone and accent of the spoken words and sentences. However, gradually you will learn, but for that you need to have lot of patience and perseverance. Listening to slow English songs, speech, presentations, news, debate or watching movies will help you a lot. Dedication will take you far in improving oral communication skills!
4. Writing the necessary points:
While you read, you generally come across some specific words that are tough to spell out. Writing makes it easier to recognize and spell such words properly. Also, writing helps you to become familiar with sentence construction, which will later help you in conversation.
5. Read Out Loud:
Reading is indeed a good habit and you need to keep it up. However, murmuring will certainly not help you in getting over your oral communication lags. Read loud so that you can clearly hear your own voice and make out the mistakes while reading. The golden tips for making your communication skills better are to pronounce each and every word clearly and loudly. This is the best way to improve English speaking skills. Read whatever you get in your hand, whether a torn out page from old book or a column from news paper .
6. Ask your guide or teacher:
The communication issues or errors can be corrected at the bud if you approach your teacher or guide who holds expertise in English. Clearing the doubts related to both grammatical and sentence construction issues will significantly help you become skilled at oral communication.
7. Take help from Google Translator:
Google, being the best option for the e-learners, can help you in clearing your doubts. If a particular pronunciation is bothering you, enter the word in Google Translator and click the audio version to listen to the actual accent.
8. Look out for Online Dictionary:
Other than Google Translator, you can take the assistance of Oxford online dictionary or other renowned dictionaries. These dictionaries, not only have wide range of words and their meanings, but there is an audio version available. You can listen to the audio version for every word and can practice on your own. Moreover, you would find the phonetic transcription of each and every word which will give you a clear idea of the accent and intonation of the given word.
9. Enhance your vocabulary skills:
A good orator has new words in his or her vocabulary and uses them intelligently while speaking. So, when you are on the way to becoming a good oral communicator, you should augment your vocabulary skills as well. Learn at least one word everyday and try to implement or use it the next day.
10. Watch movies for learning more:
If watching English movies during leisure is your favorite pass time, then you are a lucky one. Your hobby will help you in advancing your communication skills. Good quality movies can help you in improving your accent and sentence construction. Also, this effective way enhances your self-confidence. The sub-title part helps one to make out the accent.
11. Attend English-activities going around you:
How about spending an evening in debate or discussion sessions in your locality? You may find many activities going on especially during the weekends in local community halls or auditoriums. Surely attend them, just not for the sake of attending, but to learn something.
12. Enroll yourself in conversation clubs:
You may find ample of conversation clubs all around the city, where special classes for improving oral communications skills are held. Local newspaper or internet will give you proper idea about such classes. Enroll yourself and enjoy the perks of conversing in English.
13. Engaging in debates and discussions:
If you have few willing friends who also want to boost up their English oral communication skills, then plan a debate or discussion session with them. Contribute your ideas, your thoughts and ask them about their perspectives. A healthy and interactive session once or twice a week will definitely help you in learning and sharing.
14. Find out helping materials from the market:
Better to avoid books quoting ‘learn to speak English in five days’ or similar to this! These are nothing, but some bluff that will not help you much. There are some really inspirational English learning books available in the market that will empower your oral communication skills. There are also few best books to improve English communication skills.
15. Inquisitiveness- the pillar to success:
How inquisitiveness helps in improving English speaking skills or oral communication skills is not new to anyone. Curiosity brings in the urge to learn new words, accept the challenges and develop smooth communication skills. Unless you are curious to learn new, you will never develop confidence and knowledge.
How to Apply the oral Communication Skills You Have Learnt?
Now, after you came to know about the techniques, you need to find out how to apply the skills that you learnt. Here are a few ideas for you:
1. Become friendly and approachable while speaking:
Communication made in friendly tone always gets an upper hand compared to communication done in a formal manner. Engage your listeners as much as possible through your words.
2. A clear speaking:
Talk to the point! Stick to the point on which you want the discussion to be done. Be brief and highlight on the points as often too lengthy and enlarged speech becomes monotonous and moves out of track.
3. Apply gestures while speaking:
While you speak, try making your point clear by including some gestures with the help of your hands and face. Gestures often create a positive impact on the audiences as well as on the speaker by enhancing his/her understanding.
4. Confident body language:
While you are engaged in oral communication, your body posture is a factor that will speak more than your words. A decent and approachable body language engages the audiences, while hunched shoulders and crossed arms reflect your unwillingness in speaking.
5. Optimistic attitude:
An oral communication is greatly influenced by confident attitude. A calm and composed attitude shows your patience, sincerity, respect, honesty and value for the work.
6. Control over your words:
If you want to get hold of good oral communication skills, you need to follow few things that will give you control over words and language like:
- Speak clearly and do not mumble
- Make the audience understand your voice at the very first go so that you don’t need to repeat
- Pronounce the words clearly (know the actual pronunciation of the words)
- Apply right words while speaking
- Use words that are familiar
- Slow down your speech where necessary and again move on to the previous pace
7. Stick to any one accent:
While speaking you should apply your skills intelligently and shouldn’t mix up the accents. Also, don’t mix up the message that you want to deliver to the audiences.
8. Speak with humbleness:
Besides patience, you should also work on improving your modesty while speaking. Humbleness is one of the best traits that the listeners appreciate. This enhances your oral communication skills in English.
By now, you have got the ways to improve the oral communication skills. As a newbie, you might come across various hurdles, but keep your calm, dedication and patience and carry on! By practicing hard, you can reach greater heights and might end up becoming an English orator one day!