Imagine if your manager asked you to pitch a new product to your client. You are put in charge of the entire project—from making the presentation to delivering it and addressing follow-up questions. This may sound like a daunting task if speaking in front of strangers makes you nervous. You are also stressed because if you mess it up, it might result in significant losses for your organization.

If you want to make an impact and build your presence in a professional setting, developing four basic communication skills is key. These basic communication skills are speaking, writing, listening and reading.

The way you communicate with others and present your ideas makes a lasting impression on people. Are you able to get your point across succinctly? Or do you end up writing long passages to convey your message?

It’s not easy to write with brevity and clarity, listen without getting distracted or speak engagingly. But with practice and dedication, you can be an expert at all of them.

Let’s explore the basics of communication and look at each of these four basic communication skills.

Basics Of Communication

Your words hold the power to captivate, inspire and motivate others. If you can communicate your ideas clearly and concisely, the other person will retain the meaning well and understand your message.

Many times, we have a clear idea of what we want to convey, but when it’s time to put it into words, the idea gets lost in the language. This is true even when we’re listening to someone as they’re speaking. We get lost in our own thoughts and end up not paying attention.

Our attention span is only 8 seconds long—shorter than that of a goldfish. This is proof that we need to work even harder to understand the most basic things. Building basic communication skills will help you overcome communication barriers like complex language, different perspectives and distractions.

The 4 Basic Communication Skills

Basic interpersonal communication skills aren’t only about speaking effectively. The way you write, your reading ability and listening skills are equally important. There’s more than one way to convey your intentions.

Here are the four basic communication skills you need to excel in at the workplace:

  1. Speaking

Everything from your words, body language, tone and pitch can impact your speech. For example, when you’re speaking to your coworkers, you must adopt a polite and friendly tone. Speaking is not just throwing out sentences. You have to be careful when you’re adding intonation and stressors. For example, you will use different tones to ask questions and to emphasize something. Learning how to speak effectively will help you convey your meaning and intention without leaving any room for doubt.

  1. Writing

At work, you may have to write on a daily basis. This could include reports, minutes of a meeting or memos for your coworkers. At the workplace, it’s hard to go through pages and pages of writing. It’s better to incorporate key ideas right at the beginning of any communication. Developing your writing skills will help you write concisely, without having to provide too many explanations. Not only will this save time, but will also explain your purpose right away.

  1. Listening

Listening may seem like an easy skill to acquire, but it’s one of the most difficult. Communication is a two-way street; it’s a dialogue between two or more parties. To be a good communicator, you need to give others the time and space to communicate their thoughts. If they have something to talk about, listen to them carefully and process what they have said. Don’t just listen to hear, but listen with intent. If you have questions, feel free to ask. It will show that you were really listening.

  1. Reading

You don’t have to be an avid reader and finish thick volumes in one night. But you should be able to read complex business reports and important work-related documents. It’s not just about skimming words but also reading between the lines and pinpointing the author’s intent. If you have too much to read at work, developing a healthy reading habit will help you stay on top of things.

We live in a competitive world where every person is working hard to be the best at what they do. So, you must build your personal brand to stand out in a crowd.

Harappa Education’s Building Presence course will teach you how to find your signature voice, communicate persuasively and articulate your goals clearly. Core concepts like Building a Brand and the TEA (Trust-Emotional Intelligence-Authenticity) Skills will also help you distinguish yourself from others. Make your voice heard and don’t let external noise drown you out!

Explore topics such as Effective Communication, Types of Communication, Non Verbal Communication & Verbal Communication from our Harappa Diaries section and excel at your workplace.