“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca
The best possible ideas will never become reality without the ability to communicate those ideas to others in a concise, precise, and exciting way. Good communication skills benefits all areas of life. How clearly we express our thoughts, intentions, and objectives has an enormous impact on our success in life – not only academically but professionally and socially as well. Good communication is essential for our social and professional image.
Good effective communication is a skill that is developed through the confidence/competence loop as demonstrated by the success of the Toastmasters program and other public speaking courses.
We begin the process by developing brainstorming techniques to help students create interesting, compelling speeches that tell a story and engage an audience. Students then learn various techniques of voice (tone, pace, volume, etc.) and body language and confident posture to effectively tell their story. Students begin to feel more competent delivering their speeches. Finally, using short 1-2 minute speeches, students see this competence in action which further develops their confidence. With that added confidence, they are ready to try more difficult communications in various settings. Success leads to more competence and thus the confidence/competence loop continues to grow.
Finally, we also work on the greatest key to effective communication, listening skills. Listening to the ideas of others and clearly expressing your own ideas, is the key to great leadership. As Rania Al-Abdullah said,
“We are stronger when we listen, and smarter when we share.”
Whether it is in a job interview, a presentation at school or work, a speech at a wedding, or negotiating a car loan at the bank, these critical skills of communication will propel students to success in life.