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These days, technology is making everything easier. Unfortunately, easier doesn’t always mean better, and in the case of communication, the same ease that allows you to bridge long distances in a matter of seconds may also be crippling your ability to communicate well when it matters the most. In the business world, communication is especially important, and ineffective communication can make or break your success. Here are seven things you can do to improve your personal communication skills.

1. Keep your goal in mind. Before you reach out, formulate in your mind an idea of exactly what you hope to accomplish with your communication. This will determine what you say, as well as how you choose to say it.

2. Think of your audience. Who are you communicating with? You must keep in mind that different people require different approaches to communication. In order to communicate effectively, you must tailor your communication to your audience. This means being conscientious of things like age, culture, education, etc.

3. Avoid text-speak. All of those abbreviations and acronyms undermine your seriousness when you must communicate something on a professional level. Also, they can make you appear to be lazy. Spell your words out, completely, and spell them correctly.

4. Be mindful of nonverbal cues. Studies show that up to 55 percent of what we say (and what we process when others are communicating with us) is based on nonverbal cues. To improve your personal communication skills; pay close attention to what you are seeing, as well as hearing, when listening to others, and don’t forget to open your stance and make eye contact when you are delivering your own communication. In Chapter 10 of Susan RoAne’s book How To Work A Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online, she stresses that you “maintain eye contact and smile” to become a conversation magnet.

5. Listen. This may seem simple enough, but a considerable majority of people often struggle with active listening. Instead of formulating a response and awaiting your turn to talk in a conversation, give the speaker your undivided, non-judgmental attention.

6. Be conscious of what you are communicating. Don’t make the mistake of talking just to say something. There should be meaning and intent behind the things you say, or else you cannot expect to be taken seriously.

7. Keep your emotions in check. The idea is not to cut out emotion altogether. As a matter of fact, emotive inflection is an integral part of effective speaking. However, you should keep in mind that different situations call for different levels of emotional expression, and it is important that you gauge the appropriateness of your emotions and keep a handle on how they are effecting your communication. For example, Jamie Walters, Founder of Ivy Sea, says to keep your emotions and frustrations in check and to avoid saying things like ” Hey, I’m just doing my job or It’s not my job,” and instead say something like, “Tell me more about your concern or I understand your frustration.”

There is much more to communication than just speaking or writing. Effective communication is an art form, and one that can be improved upon over time. Make the most of your personal communication by keeping these tips in mind.

About the Author: Tiffany Coval loves to study the way communication changes with technological trends. For example, you can click here to read an article about apps that literature fans can use, which is something that no one would have thought of using for this type of niche before. No matter what, you need to make sure your message is always clear and concise.