Importance of Body Language in Group Discussion

Body Language is one of the most powerful means of communication and also a judging criteria in a group discussion. It many a times speaks more than words and depicts our thoughts. An experienced and keen personality can easily make out the difference between words and how the person actually is, if the adopted body language is improper.

Below mentioned are few tips on that Body Language that one needs to adopt to create a good impression:

1. Voracious Reader- One needs to make it a habit to read voraciously on any topic. This will enable one to be prepared for any topic in group discussion.

2. Initiate- Always be the first personality in the group to initiate the discussion. Most of the People have this notion that initiating the discussion would give an advantage. No doubt it does give one an advantage provided one is well aware of the subject and has something relevant to start the division, otherwise it is a disadvantage.

 

3. Be Polite and Pleasant- One should always ensure that no conversation or exchange of thoughts should happen at the top of one’s voice. One should always be audible and clear. A discussion is always different from speech. Even if you disagree with other’s point of view, disagree politely.

4. Precise- During a group discussion, one should abstain from using irrelevant information. Speak precisely so that others get a chance to put across the point of view.

5. Speak Confidently- One should maintain confidence as one speaks. Establish eye contact with other members of the group and do not allow the voice to tremble.

6. Positive Body Language- One’s body language should not demonstrate dominance or low self confidence. Show that you are keen through your gestures like bending down a bit, nodding your head.

Thus, it is a group activity where one needs to be comfortable with the group members and vice versa. Hence, one should always make an attempt to match up body language with words to create a good impression.

Types of Conversations

Conversation plays a crucial role on our day to day affairs. When most people interact, they do not usually think consciously about what is being said or how it is perceived by the other personality or by the listener. The fact remains that there are many types of conversations that we adopt subconsciously. When we are consciously clear about what we want as a conversational outcome and the kind of conversation we aspire, we work intentionally to create what we want to have a better communication.

Below mentioned are a few types of Conversations:

1. Argument- It is a scenario where two people or two groups take opposite sides for the purpose of winning and cause the other person or an audience to support their position.

2. Dialogue- In this, two people talk to understand each other and to share meaning, often to reach to solutions of the problems that are acceptable to both the parties.

3. Debate- It is a situation, where two people or groups intentionally take opposite sides for the purpose of stimulating discussions or thoughts.

4. Sharing- When we share, we communicate what we are thinking and how one is currently feeling. When individuals connect in an authentic, deep way it is a rare experience and allows one to be fully present in the moment.

5. Debriefing- In this, the individual will provide a concise and clear report on a particular event that had occurred which includes all the details. This process of debriefing immensely benefits.

6. Clearing- It is an emotional release by the venting of feelings. Sharing tends to be brief while clearing focuses on one event.

7. Teaching- Teaching occurs both formally and informally. Sharing, debating and clearing typically occurs within the construct of teaching. A successful coach is one who listens fully giving occasional feedback and allows the participants to have a neutral space which enables one to explore, examine and create.

Thus, by maintaining clarity about your own intent, one can avoid moving in the mode of communication that is ineffective.

Grooming

Grooming means dressing well, to be presentable to others. You may want to give a little more attention to how you dress at work because what you wear may be substantially influencing your career path. Although nothing takes the place of talent, hard work, innate ability and ambition, looking your best at the workplace can give you a competitive advantage. It simply means dressing in a way that projects an image of the sophisticated successful working individual you are or would like to become.

Grooming refers to the things that people do to keep themselves clean and make their face, hair and skin look nice. As per the survey, it is sais that 55% of a first impression is based on appearance (dress grooming, body language etc), 38% on our voice and accent and just 7% on what we have to say. In a performance driven, sophisticated society, success in business or profession depends on the mastery in soft skills. How you present yourself and the substance of your communication speaks volumes about your credibility.

Corporate Grooming offers corporate programs customized to the specific requirement of each business.

Visual Grooming

Managers and Executives need to project a thoroughly professional image as representatives of their company locally and overseas. Physical appearances and Body Language are the most powerful means of non- verbal communication. It allows the person sitting across to make judgements about us on the basis of our body language, eye contact, attire and tone of voice.

Soft Skill Training

Knowing your job well is only half way of being professional. You gain respect from others with both your technical proficiency and interpersonal skills. Effective soft skill avenues for enhanced perceptions support and credibility for you as an individual.

Look good, Feel Good

Does the way you look say all the right things about you? Or could it be letting you down? One needs to come face to face with one’s own self and reap the rewards that an effective personal appearance can bring to your career and other areas of your life.

Improve your Confidence

The difference in succeeding or losing out is sometimes a simple question of having enough confidence in your own self. Building your confidence starts from the outside. When you know you look good, you feel better about yourself and the positive reaction you get from other people is very motivating. One needs to discover his/ her own style that makes you want out of life. One should enjoy the confidence from knowing you look your best and enjoy the compliments from your colleagues and friends.

Discover a new you

One must indulge in the process of rediscovering ones own self by dressing for ones own body shape, lifestyle and personality. Discover how the right colours make an amazing difference to the way you look for different occasions. One must learn to develop ones own style and avoid pitfalls of fashion.

Conclusion

In today’s scenario, the manner in which you communicate with people, speaks volumes about the personality. It gives a cut above the edge feeling among the crowd.

Fluency Development

Introduction

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Their reading sounds natural, as if they are speaking. Readers who have not yet developed fluency read slowly, word by word.

Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding the words, they can focus their attention on what the text means. They can make connections among the ideas in the text and their background knowledge. In other words, fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same time. Less fluent readers, however, must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the text.

Fluency Development

It is observed that repeated reading as the key strategy for improving students’ fluency skills (NICHD, 2000). Repeated reading has two essential elements:

1)    Giving participants the opportunity to read and then re-read the same text and 2) having participants practice their reading orally with an opportunity to receive corrections.

Research has also determined that having students read aloud along with a model of well-paced, expressive reading and receiving specific feedback through systematic progress monitoring also helps improve participant’s fluency skills.

Knowing the meaning of a word is useful, but knowing how to use it in context is vital. Words aren’t used in isolation and will often form part of an expression or fixed set of words.Speaking English fluently is not just about making corporate presentations and giving long speeches. It is about expressing your views on the most mundane of things. The ability to make small talk is very important in business and social conversations. Topics for casual conversation could include the weather, sports, current affairs, arts, hobbies, travel, etc. Read up on your area of interest and try framing sentences expressing your opinions. Talk about it with someone close to you so you can check for grammatical accuracy.

  • Fluency is the ability to read most words in context quickly and accurately.
  • Fluent readers recognize words automatically when reading silently.
  • Fluent readers read with expression when reading aloud.

Conclusion

Thus, fluency plays a crucial role in all the sectors at the personal as well as professional.Other essentials for encouraging voluntary reading include a plentiful library of books. For gaining fluency, quantity is more important than quality.

Ice-Breakers

Using ice breakers in a session is very effective for creating a comfortable atmosphere

Among the audience, Ice breakers help in a great way for interaction, reducing the fear of speaking amongst the audience. It is a human tendency possessed especially by people having low confidence to feel shy in speaking to strangers and opening up in front of them and ice breakers are a great way to create a favorable and comfortable atmosphere for such participants.

Ice breakers are used for making the atmosphere light and not to make someone uncomfortable they must always be used in conjunction to the topic and must not include any kind of vulgar or personal representation to anyone. Ice breakers help to energize the audience in the training session it helps to deliver a good impact of the training session on the participants. It provides an extra edge in comparison to the normal training session and contributes in the success of the training session.

Vital steps to consider for using ice-breakers

Before adding ice breakers to the training module having information about the participants and choosing the right technique according to their back ground is very important. Using creative techniques is fun and works a lot but with the right age group. While using icebreakers in a session with group of managers it is absurd to use icebreakers that involve using crayon colours and riddles. Use of  humor with right timing is the best technique to use in corporate sessions.

Use of different games, dividing participants into various small groups and involving them to compete in a game for a task works the best with all backgrounds of participants. Dividing in groups make them more comfortable within each other making the games look like a competition to them that creates an environment favorable for learning.

Conclusions:  Ice breakers can be more effective when used of external equipments and facilities like visual and sound aids because music and colors make the appearance more effective.

 

Barriers to Speaking

Speaking forms a very important part in our day to day life. People love to talk. Either they talk about themselves or about others or about any event. As soon as, you allow your communication partner or partners to express their thoughts, they start participating and this enriches the experience.

Much of the good communication is not about speaking, it is more about listening, observing, paying attention to what the partner thinks or feels.

1. Usage of words that can cause ambiguity. Words can mean different things to different people. So, we need to be aware that our expected meaning may be different from that of the other person. This can have unfortunate repercussions at times.

2. Alert Listener- One needs to be an alert listener. Poor listening can lead to misunderstanding of what is being said or can also lead to a poor response. Listening is not just hearing the words said, but s lot more.

Listening well is one of the best things. It helps immensely to provide the speaker with the desired response that in turn leads to a healthy conversation.

3. Emotional Barriers- Some people find it difficult to express themselves. They are complete introverts and take their own time to come out of the shell. This acts as the biggest hurdle as breaking the ice at the preliminary stage is of immense importance.

4. Language Barriers- Communication occurs across the globe. Different countries have different accents and different languages. This language difference can lead to difficulty in understanding unfamiliar accents that acts as a barrier.

5. Lack of interest- If the listener shows lack of interest the it becomes a barrier in communication. Not only lack of interest, but lack of attention, distractions or irrelevance to the receiver are the factors that become barriers while speaking.

6. Cultural differences- Different cultures greatly vary in the norms of social interaction, as the way in which emotions are expressed differ greatly.

7. Psychological barriers- It is a state in which the receiver will be influenced by the message that is received. In other  words, it is the manner in which the message  can be taken by the receiver.

8. Physical barriers- Communication is generally easier over short distances as more channels are available and the technology that is used is to the minimum. Although modern technology serves to reduce the impact of physical barrier, the pros and cons should be understood to use the appropriate medium to overcome physical barriers.

Thus, one can overcome barriers to effective communication by giving your audience the chance to contribute to the conversation and make a healthy competition. This will help in improving the relationship with the speaker drastically and you will be respected and valued in any situation where people gather.

 

Enhanced Confidence

Introduction

Confidence is the most vital aspect required while delivering a speech or giving a presentation. A confident speaker gets his or her half job done by the mere presence. A confident speaker builds such an atmosphere that helps in taking the audience to the next level.

Improve Confidence

1.     Believe in yourself

One should have a firm belief in his/her own self that he/ she can do any activity assigned. A firm belief along with good product knowledge makes a complete package of excellent orator.

 2.     Personal Hygiene

One should maintain cleanliness rights from the top to the bottom. The thing that works immensely for a confident person is Personal Hygiene.

 3.     Accurate Attire

Dressing well and accurately works wonders for a confident personality. It does not mean that one has to spend all the hard earned income on the branded stuff. It just means that having attire that one is comfortable in.

It’s all about carrying oneself gracefully and confidence follows by default.

4.     Posture

Posture has a lasting impression on the minds of the viewers. By taking a deep breath, one automatically develops a correct and accurate posture.

One has to do mirror practice, to check if their posture is accurate and not too stiff.

5.     Smile

A smiling face works like a miracle. It just completes the look. In all the conversations, if one keeps a constant smile then the half of the task is done at that very moment.

6.      Walk with Grace

One needs to walk in a smart manner and with lot of grace. One is expected to be quick and energetic. The speaker has to be full of energy and enthusiasm which just connects him/ her to the speaker.

Conclusion

Confidence is a basic element essential to excel in the art of becoming an orator. The single element of confidence decides a good future for our self.

Listening v/s Hearing

Listening and Hearing, though synonyms, are completely different. Hearing is a step-by-step process. Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. Even if youare not hearing, still it happens.

Listening is something that one consciously chooses to do. It requires concentration, so that one is able to process meanings from words and sentences. Listening leads to learning.

You can listen to someone without actually hearing them. Hearing occurs even in sleep, where the ear processes the sounds and passes them to the brain.

Listening is also known as ‘ Active Listening’. It is a technique that is used in commuication, which requires a person to pay attention to the speaker and provides feedback. Listening is a step ahead of Hearing. Listening requires one to derieve meaning from the sound that is heard and then react to it. Listening is the process of communication, where if the person is not listening, it can cause a break in communication.

There are 4 types of communicators:

1. Passive Listeners: Passive Listeners are those who hear the words but refrain to absorb the meaning and provide vague answers at the end of the communication.

2. Non- listeners: Non-listeners are those who are pre-occupied in their own thoughts and ideas, though they are listening, they may not give attention.

 

3. Listeners- Listeners are those who hear and listen but grasp only things that are of their interest. This is common for those who only listen and cease feeding anything in the conversation, as they are aware that their views are different.

4. Active Listeners- Active listeners are the best in the category. They not only listen and hear, but also listen with an open mind and have patience. They are completely focused on the speaker.

Thus, the major difference between hearing and listening is, while hearing one just refers to the ears picking up sounds but listening means to interpret those sounds, understand them and provide an adequate response.

Effective Group Discussions

Group discussions are a great way to reach the audiences. Group discussions help to maintain interaction with the audience and keep the sessions alive throughout. It has a key importance in engaging the audience effectively and making them more participative giving them the desired results. Group discussions are carried out in various forms and have to be decided according to the need and analysis of the result desired from training. The various aspects for effective group discussions are detailed as below.

 

Grouping-

Participants can be grouped according to their needs and analysis. some can be grouped with participants having the same strengths and weakness so that all might develop the same areas effectively when trained. Whereas at the time of practical training they can be grouped with different participants who are stronger in the areas they need to develop which creates an atmosphere favourable to work in groups and learn effectively.

Professional approach-

Professional approach is very essential for effective group discussions. A proper module of things to be discussed in group discussion is essential; creating a comfortable and disciplined atmosphere gives a better approach. Time management is also equally important, Group discussion module should be broken down into smaller modules to be discussed and completed within dedicated time. Lengthy activities are make the atmosphere dull and audiences start losing interest.

 

Being flexible-

Being flexible is very essential as the major part of learning starts when the audiences react and speak and not when the trainer instructs. Being flexible with the module and still maintaining the order is essential. Making the audience more interactive with their views and ideas is a great tool to make the session interactive. There should be more action from the participants than storytelling, Assigning group projects and various other tasks to various groups and creating a competitive atmosphere is the key to effective delivery.

Feedback-

Feedback is very essential to know the progress and development of the audience with respect to the group discussions. It helps to know their needs in detail and work effectively for development and continuous growth of the participants.

Conclusion-

Group discussions are more effective when the audiences participate more and the trainer speaks less. This brings great development and participative atmosphere amongst the audience.

English Speaking Tips

Introduction

English is one language with which you cannot fool yourself. It demands you to have proper command and have a flawless approach towards it. One cannot play with English words carelessly and spoil its aura.

Tips to speak English

1)      Simplicity

While speaking English, one needs to always frame short and simple statements. One needs to use simple language while communicating. We should always remember to express our thoughts and not to impress. Avoid using slang while communicating as most people may not be familiar with the terms.

2)      Brevity

One needs to keep ones speech very precise and to the point. Too much of complex statements and we fail to express ourselves as we expected. We should always put in practice of speaking in a concise manner.

3)      Silence

While speaking, one needs to take a breather. One has to respect the punctuation marks (commas, full stops, exclamations) to make their speech impactful. The throw of words should be very much to the point. If the speaker does not take a pause then the speech would be either boring or ambiguous. It is more likely to put question marks on the faces of the audience. So, adequate pause is required while speaking one on one or one to many.

4)      Listen and Hear

While speaking, if one expects the audience to listen to him/ her carefully. The same is expected when another person becomes a speaker. One needs to develop a habit of becoming a good listener. Alert listening is required when people talk and express their views. Everyone can hear what others are saying, but listening entails paying attention and understanding what the other person is saying rather than to just hear the sound of the voice.

5)      Respect

Communication means exchanging ideas and for two or more people to exchange ideas. Its imperative that you respect the boundaries of the other person. You may not agree with the person’s viewpoint and they may not agree with you. This is where effective communication kicks in.

Conclusion

The above mentioned tips makes an individual stand out of the crowd. Apart from this, Vocabulary, adequate usage of Grammar and right attitude comes hand in hand.

We at BM ensure that all these above mentioned parameters are met and aim at grooming everyone on all the essential aspects of Communication and Personality.

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