Going into my second year of college at the University of California, Riverside I’ve done quite a lot of communicating. This communication has shown itself through forms of email, texts, group presentations, interviews, and so on. However, the main form of communicating I continuously need to improve on is through verbal presentations.
As a way to conquer some of my most common struggles, which include: stuttering and speaking too fast, I signed up for a seminar with our Academic Resource Center. This seminar is about numerous amounts of interpersonal relationship skills. For myself, I was very much drawn into the topics on being more assertive because I have taken on a large leadership role in my organization and have always had a weakness with taking charge.
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However, the first day of the seminar was very interesting. When giving introductions, our supervisor immediately told me to stop. Then I was asked the question: Who are you talking to?
I was asked this question because I was only talking to our instructor. This taught me I tend to limit my body language to a certain section of the room which makes the rest of the group feel isolated. This is a key factor in large settings because if you are inclusive to the whole group, then you are more likely to have the audience’s attention for a longer time span and also leave them more engaged.
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Through watching others in this seminar, I noticed how much our hands truly doing the talking for our body. Hands that are fidgeting can often show uneasiness while hands that are hidden show secrecy. In any type of professional or casual setting, this is a major turn off.
One of the other important ways we communicate is also through our eyes. Although some may not be entirely comfortable with eye contact, it is vital to at least engage in some so the other person understands you are paying attention to them. A trick to ease the awkwardness of direct eye contact is to look at the person’s nose.
Lastly, our posture is important. If we slouch with our legs cross then we can give off the idea of laziness or apathy. There is also open body language which would be sitting up straight along with hands in sight to let the person know you are approachable.
Overall, this seminar is working great so far and I’m learning something new each session!