Once you learn to listen effectively then learn how to use your own words to have a meaningful conversation. Have a telephone conversation with someone that you know well and ask if you can tape a few minutes of the call so you can hear how you sound.
Call your cell phone and leave yourself a message. Then listen to it to hear if you would call yourself back. What was your general benefits statement or interest creating remark? Did it capture your attention or generate curiosity? We learn a great deal about ourselves when we listen to what others hear; not what we think they hear.
- Enunciate your words. Speak clearly so the person you are speaking with understands what you are saying.
- Pronounce your words correctly. How many times have you been in a conversation with someone and they used a word incorrectly in your conversation? People judge a person’s competency through their vocabulary.
- Use the correct words. If you are not sure of a definition of a word, look it up or don’t use it.
- Slow your speech down. If you talk fast people may perceive that you are nervous and unsure about what you are saying. However, don’t talk too slow or people will want to finish your sentences for you. Find a balance when you talk to keep the listener engaged in your conversation. You want them to listen as closely to you as you did with them.