Have you ever had an experience where you were talking, but the person you were communicating with didn’t understand what you were saying? Communicating in a way that you are easily understood is important to both professional and social activities.
My first and most important advice: Don’t stop talking! It is vital that we hear from everyone to make the world a better place. Listen to my short podcast here and find a few more tips to keep the exchange of information going.
Try this sequence if you are relaying difficult information or if you are difficult to understand because of an accent or speaking pattern. First, relay the information slowly and in a loud enough voice. Pause. Give your audience time to consider the information and time to possibly formulate and ask a question. You may have to ask specific questions to be sure your message was understood. For example, “This process I relayed to you is important to our company and to you. Could you repeat what I said back to me, so I know we are on the same page?”
When you’re the one listening and having trouble understanding; don’t pretend to understand. Your body language is giving you away! Ask for clarification or for more information. Ask a specific question related to the message. Perhaps there was a specific word or phrase you did not understand. It is always fine to ask people to speak more slowly too. Concentrate on the message rather than asking where they are from or how many languages the person speaks.
Are you concerned you may be challenging to understand? Listen to this podcast for these and other tips to help you speak clearly and effectively.
Triad Speech Consultants offer free consultations. You may schedule your session here.