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English Communication: How Are You? More Angles of View–In Person & On the Phone

English Communication: How Are You? More Angles of View–In Person & On the Phone

shutterstock_125613056 - CopyIt’s not what you say, but how you say it.

“How are you?” is a ritual greeting in the United States.  But how you say it can move it from ritual to relationship.

Here are a few more angles of view:

Angle of view three:  For optimal connection, say the person’s name within your ritual greeting.  There is something particularly sincere about saying the other person’s name:  “How are you, Mary?”  By saying their name, you are demonstrating a bit of extra caring.  Depending on your tone of voice, the person knows if you sincerely want to know how they are really doing or if you are doing a pure ritual greeting.

Angle of view four:  55% of a person’s impression of you comes from body language.  Do you want to be perceived as being open and friendly?   Make your body posture open.  Legs and feet steady and straight.  Arms hanging naturally from the shoulders.  Be sure not to cross your arms in front of your chest.  Better to keep hands out of pockets.  Lean slightly forward.  Look in the person’s eyes.

Angle of view five:  Did you know that people can actually hear a smile over the telephone?  Try it the next time you are greeting someone on the phone.  The position of the lips makes different frequencies and tones and people can recognize that.  Combine that with a warm, sincere tone of voice, and you will warm the other person’s heart.

Angle of view six: For variety, try this: “I’m so glad to see you.”  Or, it’s great to see you.”

Yes, we have the same, classic take-home message: Communication is truly about connection.   So many angles of view—even for the ritual greeting, “How are you?” Do look and listen.  Do take the effort to know and say their name. Make your body language and tone friendly and open.  Express your pleasure. Remember to do connection.   Remember to be connected.  So satisfying for all.

Click here: www.cleartalkmastery.com/scheduler to sign up for a Free Sample Lesson with us!

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

 

 

Rerun from 08/20/2014

Wow Your Audience

Wow Your Audience

Get a business card from someone in the company that you’ll be addressing and scan in the company logo. Then you can make it appear in the corner of every screen with your logo.

 

 

 

Rerun from 08/04/2014

English Communication: How Are You? Two Angles of View

English Communication:  How Are You?  Two Angles of View

shutterstock_146389226“How are you?”

Simple little phrase, yes? But it drives international people a little crazy in the U.S.

That’s because in their home country, if people say, “How are you?”, they really do want to know how you are doing or what is happening in your life.

First angle of view for this phrase: In the U.S., this is a ritual greeting.  When you say, “How are you?” you are acknowledging the other person.  It is the same as “Hi.”   How do you know that?  Because often there is no opportunity for other persons to respond with utterances expressing their state of well-being.

Second angle of view: This little greeting ritual will actually tell you a great deal about other people, even if they only respond with a word or short phrase.  The expected answer–ritual answer–is “fine,” or some variation.  “OK.”  “Not bad.” “Just fine.”  The key is mostly in the tone of voice and the body language.   35% of a person’s impression of you comes from your tone of voice.  And 55% of impression comes from body language.

Thus, listen and look.  You will get a good handle or idea of the genuine mental, emotional state of other people if you closely listen and look.  Combine all three– the words, the tone of voice, the expression on people’s faces, the set of their shoulders, their posture—and you will know whether the person is exuberant, in great mental shape, feeling above average, feeling average, in kind of OK shape, or dreadful.  We are all expected to say “fine,” or similar.  But if you truly are wanting to know how the other person is doing, then look and listen.

Why would you want to know?  Because adjusting your communication to the other person will give you powerful outcomes.  Based on your perception of the other person’s well being, you can make good judgment about what to communicate, how much to request.  Getting a match up between other people’s communication mode and your mode will allow you to build unconscious empathy with other people.  The outcome?  Communication will be more successful, more satisfying.  For a vivid example, if you say, “How are you,” and the other person’s face drops into one of tenseness (look to the eyes and the skin around the eyes, for tension around the mouth, or a body posture which looks stiff), then the advice is to pursue the question to determine what is happening with the other person–for example, if the person has suffered a big loss (i.e.,  loved one—perhaps via breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend or the death of a dear husband or mother or cousin).

Also, for most effective communication, match the communication demeanor of the other person.  That means you match the same positioning of the arms and legs, and have the same level of energy and loudness .  That means you lean forward into the talker.  Remember, people will indeed tell you their mental and emotional state if you know how to read the signs.

I recommend you match in tone of voice and in body language, the mode of the other person.  That is your instant empathy and connection.  Then take a moment to adjust your communication message.

Click here: www.cleartalkmastery.com/scheduler to sign up for a Free Sample Lesson with us!

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

 

Rerun from 08/13/2014

Tips for Teleconferencing

Tips for Teleconferencing

Use emotion in your voice. Emphasize emotion so you don’t speak in a flat tone. Use metaphors and similes to create word pictures for others.

 

 

 

 

Rerun from 07/28/2014

English Communication: Wicked Awesome Words

English Communication: Wicked Awesome Words

shutterstock_116274073 - CopyThe other day, Roberta (from Italy) commented, “Why does English have so many words for everything? ‘Smart,’ ‘Clever,’ ‘Brainy,’ ‘Intelligent’– in Italian we just say ‘Intelligente!’

It’s true, English has a lot of words!  You may think too many.  Most experts count at least 250,000. (Other experts say half a million, a million or even a billion. It is all in how you count them!)

No matter how you count the number of words in English, this is significantly higher than most other languages–likely more than any other language.

Why so many words?  The answer is in the language’s long and complicated history of invasion and conquest.  Of different cultures (and their languages) colliding, borrowing, and merging into one giant, beautiful mess.  And the answer is in the rapidly expanding vocabularies of all the sciences, technology, and even slang and colloquial phrases in popular culture.

Don’t worry, though– you don’t need to memorize anywhere close to all quarter-million (or more!) words to be a proficient English speaker.  And when it comes to words with synonyms (words with the same or similar meanings, like ‘smart’ and ‘intelligent’), you can often communicate what you need to say if you know just one of the words.

On the other hand, there are a few types of words in English that have hundreds of synonyms–especially adjectives like ‘good’ and ‘bad.  For example, ‘really good’ can be expressed with words like excellent, wonderful, amazing, incredible, and many more.  With words like these that are so, so common, you probably want to be able to use a few and recognize many.

To top it all off, these words also have slang counterparts– words that are fun to know and helpful to recognize, but should not be used in formal speech or writing.

Here are some of our favorite slang or informal words which mean “really good:”

  • Awesome – Very common; can be used by anyone in informal situations
  • Bodacious – Less common; very informal, has a ‘surfer’ or ‘stoner’ feel; used esp. by young men
  • The best thing since sliced bread – Less common; cute and cheesy; can be used by anyone
  • The bomb – Less common; very informal
  • Dank – Less common (though more so recently); very informal; used esp. by men in early 20s or younger
  • Fantastic – Very common; can be used by anyone in most situations
  • Far out – Less common; very informal, has a ‘surfer’ or ‘stoner’ feel; used mostly by young people
  • Off the hook – Less common; very informal; used mostly by young people
  • Righteous – Less common; very informal; used mostly by young people
  • Sick – Less common; very informal; used mostly by young people
  • Tight – Less common; very informal; used mostly by young people
  • Unreal – Less common;  informal; can be used by anyone, but used mostly by young people
  • Wicked – Less common; very informal; used mostly by young people

Pay attention to the variety of ‘really good’ synonyms you encounter in your daily life.  You never know what bodacious words you’ll come across.

Click here: www.cleartalkmastery.com/scheduler to sign up for a Free Sample Lesson with us!

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

Contributing editor: Amber McKinney

 

 

Rerun from 08/06/2014