Higher education is useless in the 21st century. You probably are familiar with this popular idea. Some people think that there is no need in getting a diploma in the world where you have multiple online courses available. You can choose what to learn without wasting your time on the classes you think you don’t need to attend.
While the fact that you can get all the necessary knowledge from the online courses and training might be true, there is one major disadvantage of this approach to education. The communication between students is almost absent. This is the skill you can improve by being among other students and sharing your experience with them. No matter what others might tell you, you will definitely need good conversation skills in the future. If you want to have a meaningful conversation with your peers in college you don’t know without fainting, these top communication tips for students will come in hand.
Mind the words you are using
The main goals of having a conversation are to exchange thoughts with someone and understand each other. If you choose the words that do not let others understand what you mean, you won’t reach these goals. Do not use the words you don’t know. Also, avoid the words if you are not sure about their definitions.
Use active listening
Active listening is something that can save you if you don’t know what to say to keep the conversation going. It has several features. Firstly, it teaches you how to understand what your conversation partner is saying. There are tactics like rephrasing the statements of your partner and asking questions to specify the details. However, actively nodding and saying something like “Um” and “I see” help a lot. Remember that all people sometimes need is someone who can just listen to them.
Asking questions will help you make sure you understand what others tell you. The questions that can be answered with only one word like “yes” or “no” are not the best ones to use when building up a conversation. Give your conversation partner the chance to tell more about the topic you discuss. You will then have more things to talk about to unfold your conversation.
Take part in group assignments
Even if you hate working in a team, do not miss this chance to upgrade your talents. During preparing a project together with your peers, you will have to learn how to find a compromise and prove your point of view. You will be able to scale up your experience of working in a small group after the graduation.
Ask someone to videotape your performance
If there is a project you need to present in class, ask your friend or a teacher to make a record of how you do it. You can then look at yourself and notice the points that need future improvement. You might speak too fast or too slow, use many “filler” words, etc. This will give you an understanding of how others see your performance.
Ask others for feedback
It is hard to be objective when it comes to evaluating your own skills. To make sure you notice all the advantages and disadvantages of your speech, ask your friends to share their ideas with you.
If the point of view of your conversation partner does not match yours, do not start yelling at them and proving why they are wrong. Hear them out and present the counterarguments. the golden rule of any dispute is to understand that it is not necessary to get to a compromise. If you fail to convince your partner and vice versa, it is a normal situation. You both can have conflicting points of view and still be friends.
Make your message clear and specific
The time you spend in college is the perfect period for polishing your communication skills because you get many ways of practicing. No matter if it is your friend you are talking to or a professor you want to impress, you still need your message to be clear and specific. One of the tips is to avoid using long sentences that may confuse your conversation partner. Do not complicate the message making it longer than it should be.
Mind your non-verbal communication
It might be very difficult to manage the stress of talking to someone you don’t know. The nervousness you feel will be visible through your facial expression and trembling hands. The more practice you have, the less nervous you will feel. Make sure your gestures and body language are consistent with the message you want to send verbally.
Do not rely on your memory all the time
This rule is especially useful when you meet many new people and have to remember their names and maybe some additional information about each of them. Take notes. There is nothing embarrassing about noting down the details you want to remember.
Take a pause and think
Some people get stressed during a conversation because they can’t stand the pauses. It may seem to them that the conversation with a lot of pauses means that they fail. However, pauses are an essential part of a natural verbal interaction. Take time and think before you say something. Do not say the first thing that comes to mind as it is not always the best thing to say.
Learn from the standup comedians
Comedians are famous for noticing the little things about our everyday life and talking about them in a very funny way. It seems like they can make anything sound funny. In reality, it is not true. They just know HOW to tell a story to make it sound funny. They know what words to emphasize and how to structure them. Real professionals test several versions on the audience to choose the one that is successful. Listening to their performances is a nice and entertaining way of learning their techniques. And what can be a better way of finding a common ground than a funny story, right?
Prepare in advance
If you are not that good at improvising, prepare a short story as your plan B if the conversation does not go the way you want it to. This story should be universal to fit any context of any conversation. It can be an “ice-breaker” to bond you with others. People love good stories, so make it your secret weapon.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The best tip you can get is to practice as much as you can. If you consider yourself to be an introverted person, make small steps towards the set goals. The point is not to torture yourself with multiple conversations, but not to miss the chance of learning while you are in college.
Take part in group assignments:
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Make your message clear and specific:
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