What You Have Learned in Oral Communication

Over the years, I believe my communication skills have become progressively better. However, my family has very good communication skills, which I believe has placed me a step ahead of my peers in the realm of communication. From a young age, I have been taught to express my feelings and emotions. I have also learned through trial and error which persuasive communication tactics work. In the following paragraphs, I will analyze my verbal and nonverbal communication strengths and weakness, as well as discuss some goals I have for improving my oral communications.

Most of my verbal communication is strong. I normally form sentences that make sense to the person receiving my message. I have also learned tips that have assisted me in tailoring persuasive messages. In working for my father’s company as a part-time sales director, I have learned how not to speak to people I am trying to influence. One of the most valuable techniques I have attained is introducing an opposing argument to my statement, and then refuting that argument with solid evidence or logical reasoning.

Although my verbal communication skills are decent, they aren’t perfect. When I become nervous or uncomfortable in a communication transaction, I have a tendency to stutter, use sentence fragments, mumble, and lose my “train-of-thought.” I don’t become nervous when communicating very often, but like most people, when I do, my messages become very difficult to interpret.

I am not as aware of my nonverbal communication as I am of my verbal communication. I believe this is because nonverbal communication is more involuntary than verbal communication. I assume that my nonverbal communication is sometimes effective because of the feedback I receive. When I am with a date, I will smile at her in a way that lets her know I’m having a good time. I can tell if she feels the same way by the feedback I get from her. I believe that most people have these abilities, but some people don’t know the best context in which to use them.

While I am not always aware of my nonverbal communication, one weakness I have experienced is my inability to lie. Many people would probably argue that this is not a communication weakness. However, lying isn’t always a bad tactic. When my younger sister asked me the other day, “What did you think about the guy I brought over last night,” It would have been rude to tell her I didn’t like him. Apparently, that thought was obvious in my nonverbal communication as a whole, but it would have been to my benefit if I could have persuaded her to believe that I liked him. Nonverbally masking a surprise and avoiding the look of guilt are also weaknesses I have pertaining to my inability to communicate a false feeling or emotion.

The first goal I have for improving my oral communication is to become more comfortable when formally speaking to a large audience. I don’t have public speaking anxiety, but I do become more nervous then I would like to be. The next goal I have is to improve my interpersonal skills with women. While most men won’t admit it, the fear of rejection usually follows the idea to start a conversation with someone of potential interest. It would be nice (for me) to talk to a woman without worrying about saying the wrong thing. The last goal I have is to become more effective in persuasive oral communication. I am not disappointed with my persuasive skills, but because they are such a valuable asset in so many different contexts, I would like to improve them.

In conclusion, I don’t feel that I am deficient of effective communication skills, but I recognize that I have some weaknesses that others may not (and vice versa). In looking closely at my own communication characteristics, I have become aware of traits I didn’t realize I had, as well as traits might be able to acquire in the future.

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