4 of Our Most Effective Communication Tips

We offer a lot of effective communication tips on this site. Today, we thought we’d focus in on just a few of the very best.

Effective Communication Tip #1: Pay Attention to Your “Non-Verbals”

We harp on this point a lot on this website and there is a reason that it is the first of our effective communication tips that we wanted to reiterate. That is because it’s so important. By far the majority of communication is non-verbal. What you wear, how you stand, the gestures you make, whether and how you touch others – these things speak volumes. Just think of how differently the same phrase can come across when whispered vs. yelled or spoken by a man in a suit vs. a man in a ski mask.

Always be conscious of the messages you’re sending with your “non-verbals” or the words you say may be overridden by contradictory messages from the rest of your communications.

Effective Communication Tip #2: Adapt to Your Audience’s Values

Another point that we make a lot is to make sure that you consider what matters to your audience, not just yourself, when communicating. If you are speaking to a very conservative audience, don’t be surprised if they react unhappily to radical ideas. On the other hand, if your audience is freethinking, don’t be surprised if a very tame message bores them. If your audience is from another culture, make sure to find out what that culture considers offensive and what they consider respectful.

The idea here isn’t that you have to cater completely to your audience’s viewpoint. In fact, you are welcome to challenge them. But this should be done as a conscious choice, not by accident. Get to know the background and values of your audience as much as you can so that you can make an informed decision about how you want to approach them.

Effective Communication Tip #3: Focus on Sensation Words

The fact is that just about everything our minds process involves sensory experience. We see images. We hear sounds. We feel bodily sensations, smell aromas and savor tastes in our mental lives. Even when dealing with words, many of us experience the words or their meanings by transforming them into sensory experience.

A very interesting field known as Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) focuses on the interface between these neurological sensory experiences and language. You might find it interesting to study NLP. But even if you don’t choose to go into great depth, you can still incorporate one of its main lessons: speak in ways that provoke these sensory experiences in your listeners.

This is only the most basic explanation of one of NLP’s concepts. But consider phrases like:

  • “Can you see what I mean?”
  • “Believe me, I hear you.”
  • “Your letter really touched me.”
  • “Does it leave a bad taste in your mouth?
  • “Something smells funny about this.”

What takes place in your mind as you consider these phrases? Do you see how you can communicate in ways that stimulate sensory experience in your listener?

Effective Communication Tip #4: Incorporate Stories

In addition to the fact that it works on sensory experience, another fact we know about the mind is that it has evolved to process and extract emotion and meaning from stories. For most of human history, there was no writing. Information was remembered and shared through the generations orally. And one of the main ways that was done was through story.

It’s remarkable how telling a story with a certain lesson can get the point across and make a memorable impact even in cases where just directly stating that same message would not have. Almost any communication situation offers some opportunity to use story in a creative way. Use your imagination to discover how story can enhance any particular interaction.


Now, optimally, you can put these effective communication tips all together to really enhance your communication skills. Next time you interact with someone, try to match your “non-verbals” to your message, tailor your approach to account for their values, and incorporate sensory language and stories and see if you get better results than you have in the past.

If you do try this, let us know how it works for you in the comments below.

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