I have been in the University of Waterloo almost four years. As a person whose first language is not English, I should master some communication skills for communicating with others more easily. I found there are two aspects you should focus on: one is that you should improve communication skills by yourself, another is that you should engage your audiences when you are communicating.
1. Develop communication skills on your own.
- Enunciate your words. First year when I came here, I was afraid to speak to others in English since I usually mumbled. I thought it is embarrassed when I could not speak clearly. Thus, the good way to solve this problem is that people should be confident to speak and try to speak clearly. Moreover, people can practice everyday. You can spend sometime to talk to yourself while you stand in front of a mirror.
- Use the right words. If you can not make sure what is the words’ meaning, you should try not to use it. Because sometimes you will get in trouble when you use the wrong word. Thus, I suggest that you can grab a dictionary and try to learn some new words per day. Then you can use them in your conversation sometime.
2. Engaging your audiences.
- Make eyes contact with your audiences. It is pretty rude for people to do not focus on your audience when you are in a conversation. On the contrary, whether you are speaking or listening, watching the eyes of your audience that you are conversing can let your communication more successful. You would never realize how important you encourage your audiences when you pay fully attention to them and seems like you are so interested in their topics.
- Watch your body language. When you talk with someone, it is a good way to let your listeners feel what you want them to feel by using your body language. Moreover, it will help that audience may think you are a nice person to meet or know. In an opposite position, it is kind of awkward that you stand still when you talk to somebody. That’s making others take you seriously and recognizing you are not very easy to approach.
- Be a nice listener. Not only one be able to speak clearly, one must listen to the other carefully in order to gain some information which can be used in next conversation. Your mind should avoid being distracted so that you can catch a conversation point, then you will have a good conversation. Nevertheless, it is kind of respectful for you to pay attention to your friends or teachers speaking. Definitely, you want to be treated like this, so first you should show your some respect and try not to be so rude. As the saying goes: ” Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.”
After all, I think communication is not the most horrible thing in my life in UW since I am a math student in the University of Waterloo! LOL!