All too often, I see clients make excellent progress during our sessions, only to find that their new-found speech and communication skills don’t carry over into their day-to-day life. This is because, like any other skill set, speech and communication must be practiced regularly to be fully learned. Without practice, your brain and body don’t become fully accustomed to the new skill. However, when you repeatedly perform an activity on a regular basis, your neural pathways and muscle groups begin to perform the activity more automatically, requiring less active thought from you.
The easiest way to practice your newly learned communication skills is to incorporate them into your daily life. Use the following tips to help you practice your speech as you go about your day:
-Leave notes for yourself in places that you will see often throughout your day. For example, put a post it note on your phone that says “Slow down!” or “Clear and precise!” Then, each time you pick up your phone to speak with someone, you will encounter that visual reminder and focus on that specific skill.
-Choose a point during your day when you will take 5 minutes and think about how your communication has gone so far. Take note of any problems you feel you may have had and quickly jot them down on a piece of paper. Then, make a brief mental plan as to how you can avoid making these same mistakes for the rest of the day. Make this “communication check date” with yourself a part of your daily routine.
-When you know you will be in a situation in which good personal communication is particularly important (e.g. a business meeting or important phone call), put aside time the evening before to sit down and work on your communication skills. Use a mirror and a tape recorder and practice what you are going to say, paying particular attention to your rate of speech and clear pronunciation.
The more often you practice, the more automatic good speech will become. Over time you will find that proper speech and good communication habits no longer require conscious effort on your part and will become second nature. Remember: practice makes perfect!
For more great practice techniques to help you reach your fullest potential in personal and professional communication, contact us at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com