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Effective communication is a cornerstone of success in both personal and professional spheres. Is communication skills a competency? That can impact how you connect with others and convey your ideas. In a recent video, career strategist LindaRaynier offered invaluable insights, highlighting four essential steps to enhance your communication prowess, thrive in various settings.

Listen intently

Listening intently is a powerful communication skill that goes beyond simply hearing words. It involves understanding the emotions, intentions, and unspoken messages behind what someone is saying. When you actively listen to someone, you not only hear their words but also empathize with their feelings and perspectives. This deeper level of understanding enables you to respond in a way that shows you are attentive and respectful, enhancing the quality of the conversation.

By practicing active listening, you can improve your relationships both personally and professionally. People appreciate being heard and understood, and by demonstrating these qualities, you can build trust and rapport with others. Additionally, active listening helps you avoid misunderstandings and conflicts by ensuring that you are interpreting messages accurately. Overall, by honing your listening skills, you can become a more effective communicator and enjoy more meaningful interactions in all areas of your life.

A group of people discussing fundamentals of communication skills competency.
A group of people discussing fundamentals of communication skills competency.

Respond with relatable phrases

Responding with relatable phrases is an effective way to show interest and engagement in a conversation. When you use phrases like "that's interesting" or "I can relate," you demonstrate that you are actively listening and are interested in what the other person has to say. These phrases also help to validate the other person's experiences and feelings, which can foster a deeper connection and understanding between you.

Using relatable phrases is especially useful in group settings or when meeting new people, as it helps to keep the conversation flowing and shows that you are attentive to the needs and interests of others. By using these phrases, you can create a positive and welcoming atmosphere that encourages open communication and meaningful interactions. Overall, responding with relatable phrases is a simple yet powerful way to enhance your communication skills for example 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication and build stronger relationships with others.

Tell stories

Telling stories is a powerful way to connect with others and make your message more memorable. When you share a story that relates to the topic of conversation, you provide context and illustrate your point in a way that resonates with the listener. Using the SAR structure (Situation, Action, Result) helps you craft a compelling story that keeps the listener engaged from beginning to end.

The Situation sets the stage by describing the background or context of the story. This helps the listener understand the circumstances and why the story is relevant. The Action is the main part of the story where you describe what happened, including any challenges or obstacles you faced. This is where you can highlight your skills or qualities that helped you overcome the situation. Finally, the Result is the outcome of the story, where you share the lessons learned or the impact of your actions.

By telling stories using the SAR structure, you can effectively communicate your ideas and experiences, making them more relatable and engaging for your audience. This not only helps you connect with others on a deeper level but also makes your communication more persuasive and impactful.

Women discussing communication skills competency.
Women discussing communication skills competency.


Practicing your communication skills by reading The Captivating Public Speaker is essential for becoming a more effective and confident communicator. By preparing and rehearsing ahead of time, you can refine your message and delivery, ensuring that you come across as natural and confident in any situation.

Start by identifying areas where you want to improve, whether it's public speaking, active listening, or storytelling. Then, set aside time to practice these skills on your own. You can rehearse your presentations, have mock conversations with yourself or friends, or even record yourself speaking and analyze your performance.

As you practice, focus on aspects like your tone of voice, body language, and pacing. Pay attention to areas where you can improve, such as speaking too quickly or using filler words like "um" and "uh." By practicing regularly, you can become more aware of these habits and work to eliminate them.

Additionally, seek out opportunities to practice your communication skills in real-life situations. Whether it's giving a presentation at work, participating in group discussions, or networking at social events, every interaction is an opportunity to hone your skills.

Remember that communication is a skill that improves with practice and persistence. The more you practice, the more confident you'll become, and the more naturally your communication skills will flow in any situation.

Recommended Article

The Best Books on Communication Skills You Should Read
Whether you want to be better at public speaking or develop interpersonal skills, these best books on communication skills can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

How can books help improve communication skills?

Reading books on communication skills provides insights, strategies, and practical tips to enhance your verbal and nonverbal communication abilities.

What types of books are available for improving communication skills?

There are various books on public speaking, active listening, effective writing, and interpersonal communication that cater to different aspects of communication skills.

Can reading books really make a difference in my communication abilities?

Yes, reading books on communication skills can expand your knowledge, offer real-world examples, and guide you in practicing techniques for better communication.


By following these steps, you can enhance your communication skills and make meaningful connections with others. Listening intently, responding with relatable phrases, telling stories, and practicing your skills can all help you become a more effective communicator. Whether you're in a group or individual setting, these techniques can improve your ability to connect with others and build relationships.