How to Avoid Common Communication Barriers
October 11, 2018 by Randy Furches

Do you want to be a truly effective communicator? Something that may be holding you back is exhibiting common communication “barriers.” Whether it is an individual or a large audience, these issues can actually cause static with whomever you are trying to communicate with. This can not only make your communication methods ineffective, but also undermines what you are saying with how you say it.

Here are a few examples of all-too-common communication barriers that you should be aware of:

  • Lack of Enthusiasm – Do you look as confident as you say you are when speaking about your product or service? No one will believe in you or whatever you are trying to sell, nor will you be able convince the audience of anything if you don’t communicate your enthusiasm through your body language. This barrier can be avoided by being aware of your body language and facial expressions. You may not be consciously aware of rolling your eyes, scowling, or frowning, but your audience certainly will be. If presenting, practice your facial expressions and body movements along with your presentation so that there are no discrepancies.
  • Focus Issues – The more unnecessary information included in your speech or conversation, the more likely it will be that your audience will misunderstand or miss your point all together. Be sure to keep your objectives in mind while speaking and pay attention to your listener to see if they are confused.
  • Fidgeting – Many people end up fidgeting with pens, their fingers, rings, or anything else when they feel nervous or uncomfortable. Some unconsciously and distractingly talk with their hands for no real purpose. An overuse of gestures can cause uncomfortable static while communicating. Instead, try to use your gestures purposefully to create emphasis on certain points to help create a visual for your listeners to remember.
  • Verbal Stalling – When speakers use non-words or filler words such as “um,” “like,” and “uh,” to fill pauses, it makes them sound much less credible and confident to their audience as they are used to create time to think. Instead of using filler words for brief moments of thinking, simply use a pause instead.
  • Lack of Eye Contact – Relationships are built through trust. When you look at the floor, ceiling, presentation slide, or simply avoid eye contact with your listeners, you are disconnecting and not creating trust. When speaking to individuals, it is easier to maintain eye contact throughout a conversation. When giving a presentation, transition your eyes from one audience member to another to make a personal connection with as many people as possible.

Don’t let these common communication barriers hold your public speaking and communication skills back. In our Executive Presentation Skills® seminars, participants are recorded on video so that they can see these barriers in real-time and make any necessary corrections for immediate skill improvement. Find our full EPS seminar schedule here!