Learning the art of communication

Eye Contact, Body Language, and Volume are Key Elements of Effective Communication

Eye Contact, Body Language, and Volume are Key Elements of Effective Communication

I spend the majority of my life communicating to people.  Through presentations, committees, boards, staff, teaching and writings, I find myself communicating to groups of people almost everyday.  What you might not realize, is that you communicate daily as well.  Maybe not in front of a crowd, but you interact almost every day of your life with associates, friends, family, colleagues, potential customers etc… Communication is an incredible tool.  It brings you closer to people, gives you a larger influence in their lives, and can build up the confidence of those around you.  Bert Decker once said “The ability to communicate is the single most important skill determining your success in life.”

Because communication is prevalent in our lives, it would only make sense to perfect this art and to learn everything we can to communicate more effectively and more powerfully.  Below are some quick suggestions to help you improve this art in your life.  I challenge you to find at least one thing below that you are not doing…and start doing it today!!

Eye Communication – If your eyes are not focused on the listener it may communicate shiftiness, insecurity or a lack of trust.  Look people straight in the eye, it will speak volumes of confidence and trust.

Posture and movement – Stand tall and confident.  Move with precision.  It is difficult to have confidence in an over slouched, slow moving, timid person.

Gestures and Smiles – Keep your hand gestures in accordance with the size of the group.  Large groups…lots of movement, small groups tone them down, one on one keep them close to your body.  Whatever you do SMILE a lot!  The simple act of smiling warms you to the person and connects you to their heart.

Shaking Hands – When you shake a hand with someone do it firmly.  Weak handshakes project weak people.  When shaking their hands, place your other hand over their hand or on the side of their arm.  This extra touch leaves a great impression.

Volume – When speaking to someone find the appropriate volume.  Too loud is annoying and too soft is frustrating.  Find the volume that speaks confidence!

Humor – Victor Borge said “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”  If you are witty, use it to your advantage, but never use it at the expense of someone else.

Listening – I saved the best for last.  Listening to the person you are speaking with is the single greatest act in communication.  Listen with your eyes and with your heart, give the person your speaking with your full attention.  Don’t be thinking of your response before they finish their sentence.  They will catch on to this and perceive it as if what they have to say doesn’t matter to you.

Once again, Communication is an art and we do it everyday of our lives.  Work at it, learn to be effective, be a great speaker and be an even better listener. If you can grasp the art of communication, success will grasp you!

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


“Big people monopolize the listening.  Small people monopolize the talking.”
David Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on July 2, 2009, in Communication, Leadership, Personal Growth and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great thoughts on Communication – When I think of really good communicator’s I have known, these principles where always in play.

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