Steps to turn an Average Meeting into a Success

Meetings form a crucial part in any business success. It gives a new meaning to our current job profile and takes us a step ahead in our career. Great meetings always leave an impact on the employees, as they feel more energised and provide them a sense of achievement. Nobody aspires the meet to be boring or unproductive.

A meeting for the sake of it will achieve nothing. Rethink the need for the meeting. Meetings should be conducted from time to time to share information, develop ideas, deliver updated information or set performance and quality standards.

Below mentioned are few tips to have an effective meet:

1. Set the objectives:

An agenda is expected to be prepared and objectives are to be set for the meeting. This information needs to be shared with the attendees well in advance. If it is not possible to disclose the agenda, then at least review needs to be done at the start of the meet.

2. A minutes recapitulation:

If there are minutes from the previous meeting, then the attendees need in advance. If it is not possible to disclose the agenda then at least review needs to be done at the start of the meet.

3. Stay on Track:

The meeting is always expected to start at the set time. No repetitions should be made for late comers, unless it is absolutely necessary. Always follow a standard meeting protocol which includes general rules like ‘Do not interrupt, Stay on the topic, Be respectful and Polite. Always make an atmosphere where people will be heard and time will be productive and mutually beneficial.

4. Value Time:

Respect the time factor while conducting a meeting. If there are participants who engage in discussions that can be solved outside the confines of the meeting, suggest that they take it offline. Ensure that the meeting is wrapped up on the set time or better if it ends earlier.

5. Maintain Control:

In a meeting, there is a possibility of a heated argument to break out. If a heated argument breaks out, stand up and reap both the sides, allowing each to feel that they are heard and understood.

6. Interesting Presentations:

Make sure that the presentation made is interesting. If simply lecture is going to be given, then send a memo across to the attendees saying that do not read every slide of the power point presentation. Make an eye contact. Show how any changes will impact people and productivity.

7. Create groups:

Encourage people to choose the topics that are of particular interest to them. Work on them individually or in small group and report them. Assigning Such tasks to be done independently eliminates endless posturing, shortens the group meetings and increase ultimate results.

Hence, one should always organise a well planned meeting where the participants feel that the subject is worthwhile, their input is valued and their needs are met.

Tips to Develop American Accent

Develop American Accent

Developing any accent requires to develop the Basic English foundation very strongly. Developing the basic foundation efficiently requires focusing on the Grammar and Vocabulary. Every accent has its own kind of pronunciation, voice and sound that forms the accent. Developing American accent requires learning the proper pronunciation of words in the American accent along with the various phrases, sentences and the manner in which they are to be pronounced. There are various forms of techniques to get rid of the regular accent and develop a new one this includes positioning of tongue mouth and lips in order to produce the appropriate sound that is the voice of the accent.

Tips to Develop American Accent

Technical development:

Technical development such as good grip over grammar, intonations and pronunciation of the American accent getting a good grip over these aspects is the most essential aspect of developing American accent. Difference in the basic aspects of the acquired accent and American accent and then developing the technical aspect is essential. Word in the American accent is not pronounced one by one usually the pronunciation appears as if the words are together. For example a sentence that means “How to recognize speech” in American accent would be pronounced as “How to wrek a nice beech”.

Practice:

Practice is the most important aspect of developing American accent. Practicing to speak in American accent amongst friends and colleagues is the best way to develop it. Try to practice the difference in pronunciation with the current developed language and the American accent. Get corrected by fellow students learning with you and work on the outputs increasing your inputs. Remove all your fears and use the accent with everyone even when you know you might be wrong but this is the first step to improve.

Observe:

Seeing and hearing others are a great way to learn American accent, probably the best way to learn American accent. Observing other and trying to get in their tone is one way to develop effectively.

Print media such as newspapers and magazines are a great way to read and practice, they help in observance of the phrases used when they are published. Other methods like watching American Television programs or news and observing the way they speak is also very effective.

Conclusion:

Developing American accent requires practice with good grip over the basics as they form the most important foundation and help in developing the accent.

Draft a Formal Letter

Drafting a formal letter should be very simple and up to the point. Unnecessary conversations and friendly greetings should be avoided. A formal letter describes a formal communication between two individuals or organizations. They can be a proposal, informational or promotional letters. Drafting a formal letter includes various aspects that are detailed below.

Addresses

From address:

This address contains your address, the address of the individual/organization who is writing the letter. From address should be written on the right hand top corner of the letter.

To Address:

This address contains the address of the individual/organization to which the letter is addressed.

To address should be written on the left hand side of the letter

Date:

Date can be mentioned either on the right or left side of the page in line with the To address. Please note to mention the month in words for example it should be written as 15th August 2012 and not 15/08/2012.

Subject:

Subject is the most important part of a formal letter and is very important to highlight the subject and mention it below the To address. Subject of a formal letter is the highlight to the matter described in the body. Just as a topic of an essay it is the topic of the letter and the heading of the purpose for writing the formal letter.

Salutation / Greeting:

Salutation is a greeting to give respect to the one whom this letter is addressed. It can be in the form of Dear Sir/Madam or can be directly addressed with the name for example- Dear Mr. Krishna.

Body:

Body of a formal letter should be straight to the point and should not carry lengthy unwanted conversations. The first paragraph should contain self introduction or a formal introduction to you, the complaint, appraisal or inquiry.

The second paragraph should include a detailed explanation to the matter and should contain all the technical or descriptive information about it.

The last paragraph should conclude with the expectation of the output desired from the described matter.

Conclusion:

Ending the letter is always addressed with a respected complimentary close like yours sincerely/yours faithfully followed by the name of the person or organization writing the letter.

Effective Communication Skills

Communication skills are a key aspect for successful growth and development of an individual. The importance of communication skills can be understood by making out the difference between a person who can talk and one who is dumb since birth. There is no difference in their appearance but communication plays a major factor. An individual that is not well versed with effective communication in corporate world is regarded similar to a person that who cannot speak.

Communication is very important to convey a message to an individual, public or a group. Effective communication on the other hand can be defined when the same message is conveyed with the confidence and conviction.  Communication skills are very important for creating lasting impressions and making effective as well as strong relationships.

Key steps to improve communication skills

Grammar:

Grammar is an essential aspect of communication. Having a strong foundation of grammar is very essential to have a good hold over the language of communication. Failing to structure appropriate sentences and incorrect use of vocabulary are the two aspects that can prove fatal to communication and hence the basic part of communication forms the most essential part for effective communication.

Body language:

Body language forms part of the non-verbal communication and is an essential trait of an individual that speaks a lot about his/her personality. A pleasing body language with an effective verbal communication works wonders when used appropriately. Having an erect posture and a pleasing body language displays an effective personality and ensures success.

Tone:

Verbal tone while communicating is essential to make an impact on the more important aspects of the content. The pitch should always move according to the flexibility of the content that makes it perfect for the audience to hear and connect to the speaker and relate efficiently. The tone can be high on a more impactful description while normal to low on other areas of content.

Confidence:

Confidence is a key characteristic that displays effective communication. Confidence is essential for creating impact in every situation and hence adds an added edge to the communication skills. Improving confidence requires being well prepared and free from fear to display confident communication. 

Tips to Draft a Formal Letter

Drafting a formal letter should be very simple and up to the point. Unnecessary conversations and friendly greetings should be avoided. A formal letter describes a formal communication between two individuals or organizations. They can be a proposal, informational or promotional letters. Drafting a formal letter includes various aspects that are detailed below.

Addresses:

From address:

This address contains your address, the address of the individual/organization who is writing the letter. From address should be written on the right hand top corner of the letter.

To Address:

This address contains the address of the individual/organization to which the letter is addressed.

To address should be written on the left hand side of the letter

Date:

Date can be mentioned either on the right or left side of the page in line with the To address. Please note to mention the month in words for example it should be written as 15th August 2012 and not 15/08/2012.

Subject:

Subject is the most important part of a formal letter and is very important to highlight the subject and mention it below the To address. Subject of a formal letter is the highlight to the matter described in the body. Just as a topic of an essay it is the topic of the letter and the heading of the purpose for writing the formal letter.

Salutation / Greeting:

Salutation is a greeting to give respect to the one whom this letter is addressed .It can be in the form of  Dear sir/Madam or can be directly addressed with the name for example- Dear Mr. Krishna.

Body:

Body of a formal letter should be straight to the point and should not carry lengthy unwanted conversations. The first paragraph should contain self introduction or a formal introduction to you, the complaint, appraisal or enquiry.

The second paragraph should include a detailed explanation to the matter and should contain all the technical or descriptive information about it.

The last paragraph should conclude with the expectation of the output desired from the described matter.

Conclusion:

Ending the letter is always addressed with a respected complimentary close like yours sincerely/yours faithfully followed by the name of the person or organization writing the letter.

Precise Speaking

Introduction

In the world today our language is a wonderful source of communication, but the only downfall is that it is nowhere near close to perfect. It is always much nicer to hear someone who has clear and precise language coming out of their mouth instead of jumbled mumbling words.

Speaking in Short

  1. First I would like to talk about the scope. Is your response actually what you need to talk about? Or are you trying to beat around the bush and not get to the point of your conversation? If the scope is too wide or broad it may hide the subject or delay the action. Make sure your audience knows what they want to do and ask yourself if you have said everything that they need to know or respond to take the correction action.
  2. Keep your audience’s attention by not changing terms. For example if you call a box, a box at the beginning do not change the card, unless there is a reason to change it. If there is a reason for this change you need to explain it to your audience so they know what is going on.
  3. Remember to have a passive voice. Do you tend to overkill your verbs? Remember to talk to your audience instead of about your audience. Voice is very important when trying to relay a message across to a group of people.
  4. Do not forget about conjunctions. Conjunctions are a good form for blocking run on sentences as a preposition. Conjunctions may also capture topics that are not related and fill empty spots we have to take a breath. They also may take up a spot if your audience may need a breather as well. Conjunctions are very important when relaying your message smoothly.
  5.  Last but not least one of the most important are prepositions. Prepositions are the main source in our language for run-on sentences. Most likely, positions do not have any point to your message at all and when you do use a preposition make sure that it is necessary.

Conclusion

Speaking in short helps immensely in delivering what you want to say and helps the receiver to understand the message more precisely.

Key Aspects of Public Speaking

Introduction

The process of speaking to a group of people in a structured manner with an intend to inform, influence or entertain the listeners is known as Public Speaking.

In Public Speaking, the purpose may range from simply transmitting information to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story. Good orators are those who are able to change the emotions of their listeners and not just inform them.

In current scenario, Public Speaking for business and commercial events is often done by professionals.

Public Speaking

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is a natural feeling, but too much nervousness can be detrimental. You should know the material which you are going to talk about. Pick up the topic that interests you. Know more about the subject, one need to add humour, personal stories and conversational language. You need to rehearse out loudly with all the equipments that you are going to use. Respect all the punctuation marks. Take a pause of few seconds after every statement. Practice with a timer. Knowing the audience beforehand makes things smooth for the speakers. Greet some audience members as they arrive. It is much easier to speak to a group of people than to strangers. Imagine yourself speaking; your voice needs to be clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping for you. It will boost your confidence. Focus your attention away from your anxieties and concentrate on your message and audience. Mainly your speech should represent you as an authority and also as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to Effective Speaking. Do not apologize for any nervousness or problem; the audience probably may not have noticed it. You should realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. Arriving early and rehearsing is one of the best ways. Arriving early and rehearsing is one of the beat ways. Observation is also plays a vital role to gain knowledge. Though all of us are talented in many spheres, multi- tasking is still the virtue of today’s competitive environment. The audience has to be well gauged in advance and the speech has to be well written so that there is no problem while delivering the message. Often mistakes are the basic ways to learn. It is important to observe, learn and not repeat mistakes. Rehearsing well is the chief idea if the topic is unfamiliar.

Conclusion

Public Speaking is one area which demands you to have good body language, adequate knowledge about Grammar, Clarity in Volume and correct Attitude.

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:

Giving participants the opportunity to read and then re-read the same text and 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.

Develop Voice Quality

Developing voice quality is very essential for effective development of communication and leaving a lasting impression on the audience. A great voice quality automatically attracts the audiences and keeps them engaged in the event. When an individual possesses great quality it doesn’t matter what content he is prepared with, his voice quality is so beautiful that he captures the audience’s attention and makes the atmosphere comfortable and interesting.

Tips to develop voice quality-

Voice quality-Voice quality should be very crisp and loud enough; some individuals lose the clarity in search of loudness. A microphone is always available but still the quality of voice should be clear enough without the technical instruments, handling the voice then on the microphone is a different art.

Vocal Pitch-Changing the pitch of the voice during conversation is very essential to improve the quality of voice and make an impressive impact on the audience. Pitch can be changed by varying the speed and stressing on the important part of the sentences or paragraph while delivering the other simply with ease. Changing the vocal pitch gives the voice a very sharp and crisp tone which is very effective and engages the listener.

Be Natural- In orderhave a crisp clear and effective voice many individuals try to fake and imitate voices of others. This looks very vague and artificial. Being natural is the most important part of improvingvoice quality. Voice cannot be changed completely it has to be improved with various technique and the natural tone can be polished but not replaced with a different one.

Exercises- Various vocal exercises and techniques should be implemented to improve voice quality some exercises such as loud reading, good posture exercises that enable proper flow of voice, vocal chords should create sound that makes the vibration felt in the chest and back while sound delivery and when this is practically felt the output is effective. Various breathing exercises are effective to make the voice quality clear.

Conclusion-

Techniques for improving voice quality start from practice and can be effectively developed with implementation of the techniques practically.

Technology Based Communication Tool

Technology, in recent times, has created many new ways of communicating. Now there are various methods of communication that use technology to increase the speed, range and accuracy as compared to earlier times, where technology was restricted only to writing letters, using land line phones and speaking in person.

1. Phone- Telephones are the best thing that can ever happen to mankind. Phone is an interesting manner of communication that uses technology. They have been around for more than 100 years and since last one decade they have become portable. Cell phone has changed the definition of being in touch on the move. It means that phone calls are now much more commonplace and the person can be reached in all kinds of venues and not just at home.

2. SMS- Phone has lead to a new form of communication – the text message. It is cheaper and easier than calling someone. It is a communication tool that has shortened the communication between people and helps in delivering information far more efficiently.

3. Internet- The Internet application provides the ability for people to interface with one another via phone lines over the computer. The Internet is an enormous communication tool that affects both the usage of Phone and also SMS.

4. Fax- The element of Fax is substantially cheaper than sending things through emails. This enables to quickly send documents that are not available in the digital form. Fax machines are a combination of a phone and a photocopier. The documents are scanned by the user, which are then encoded and recapitulate through phone calls to another fax machines.

5. Social Media Web sites- It is a new media that describes social media websites. They differ from older web sites as they encourage participation from and interaction with the viewer. This enables the companies to engage their customers more effectively.

Thus, technology as a communication tool acts as a backbone of social interaction.

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