[This post is part of a series on Communication Skills Exercises for Business and Life. If you don't see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you'll get more value than reading just this post.]
I wasn’t born with great communication skills. I don’t think I had great problems with communication, but I was behind the curve in many areas. As I learned to appreciate and value emotions and relationships, I worked on improving my social skills. People now sometimes compliment me on what I have today, so I believe anyone can develop great social skills.
One seminar I give, sometimes in a series, is on communication and social skills for business, social, and any other interactions. It’s one of my favorites because most of it is the audience doing the exercises. My presentation part is brief. I can do the whole thing in an hour if the audience only wants to see the exercises so they can do them later, or a series of five hour-plus sessions if the audience wants to do the exercises and get feedback, tips, and so forth.
Most importantly, people love the exercises. The energy in the room always becomes friendly, communicative, fun, and interactive, no matter how it was beforehand. Moreover, sometimes people get into deep meaningful discussions or develop enduring relationships, even if they were strangers.
In other words, the exercises are powerful, effective, easy, and fun.
My next several posts will be the exercises with some explanation. They work great in a room with at least a few people, up to any number since we form groups of two to five. Anyone can do them with or without me. If you are by yourself you can do them in regular interactions with other people.
I can’t post demonstrations of the exercises in action, though I’ll do my best to describe how to do each. You can always contact me to bring me in to your workplace or wherever if you want the full presentation.
Anyway, I call the seminar “Five Skills For Any And All Social And Business Interactions.”
Why these five skills? Because
- They are useful for all levels – from rank beginners to experts.
- You can practice each any time you want however much you want.
- They are general enough to apply to all social interactions – business, personal, family, etc.
- No memorization required.
- They allow you to come through, no matter who you are.
- You can build on them to create relationships.
The exercises are (EDIT: I’ve since added more to the original five. Click here to view all the exercises in the series.)
- Overview (this page)
- How to use body language to change the mood of the conversation
- How to prevent lulls in conversation or to get out of them
- How to make your stories more interesting
- How to create a meaningful connection with someone the first time you meet
- How to make someone feel like an expert and get advice to improve your life
- How to combine the above exercises to create larger conversations
- How to breaking the ice and introduce yourself without sounding like everyone else
- How to avoid boring people with boring questions
- How to say something interesting any time you want (with examples from experts)
- Quick and dirty escapes from conversation lulls
- Avoiding habitually contradicting people