What Are Communication Skills?
Communication is a dynamic and complex process. It requires the sender of messages to be aware of barriers and limitations that prevent the information from being conveyed as intended by the receiver. Communicational skills rely on more than the words that you use and the way they are delivered can have an impact on others. Non-verbal influencing with the tone of your voice body language and gestures affect how you can communicate in both your personal and professional life.
Emotional states such as anger, frustration, anxiety, low self-esteem, confidence, and fear or phobias about public speaking can influence your communicational skills in negative ways.
What Causes The Anxiety?
Anxiety is caused by our fight-flight system which alerts the body to threats that can be actual or perceived. This system can also be activated by triggers from previous experiences that do not necessarily present a threat.
When our fight-flight alert system is activated, our body releases hormones that cause physiological, cognitive, and behavioral changes. The heart and respiration rate increases, we can experience nausea and upset stomach (even diarrhea), and sweating. In this state, the mind and body focus entirely on responding to real or perceived threats. We also begin to interpret and appraise situations influenced by our worries. These thoughts may lead to false thinking and assumptions. Additionally, we may try to avoid, escape, take protective actions and change our posture, gestures, and vocalisations. Examples are: avoiding eye contact, changing our tone of voice, not speaking up, or speaking inappropriately which can impact negatively our communicational skills.
Causes of anxiety in relation to communicational skills can include:
- Low confidence and self-esteem
- Social fear or phobias
- Fears or phobias about public speaking
- Experiencing stammering or Tourette’s
Factors contributing to these states include genetics, environmental and experiential factors as well as:
- fear of making a mistake or failure
- fear of forgetting what to say
- perceived or actual power imbalance
- fear of being judged
- worry about what people will think
- worry about not being able to answer questions
- imposter syndrome or being overly self-focused
- being ill-prepared or having gaps in knowledge
- fear of being laughed at, teased, or bullied
- unchecked emotions
- fear of speaking in front of a large group (public speaking).
Social Anxiety & Fear Of Public Speaking
Statistics show that 12.1% of individuals experience social anxiety, with women experiencing this at a higher rate than men. This type of anxiety has a significant impact on our communicational skills due to an inability to speak about or raise a problem, fear of meeting and speaking to new people, dating, stuttering, mumbling or mixing words, speaking at a job interview, asking questions or generally speaking to others to mention just a few situations.
Furthermore, studies show that 77% of people have a fear or phobia of public speaking, and as many as 85% experience low self-esteem or confidence. Additionally, studies show that as many as 10% of people miss out on wage rises and 15% on promotions because of communicational skill problems.
These statistics highlight the prominence of these conditions which can inhibit individuals’ communicational skills.
How Can We Help With This?
Life runs so much more smoothly when we are able to communicate effectively. Hypnosis is a very effective therapy that can help you improve your communicational skills by addressing underlying states and strengthening and is most effective when combined with other therapies such as talk therapy, NLP, cognitive behavioural therapy, education, art therapy, and coaching, therapies which can be applied in hypnotherapy. Everyone’s needs are unique to the individual but generally, three to five sessions are usually required to achieve a successful result.
A client seeing a hypnotherapist for help to improve their communicational skills can expect to participate in an initial discussion about their communicational problem. This is to enable the hypnotherapist to understand the underlying states. This is then followed up by the creation of a bespoke treatment plan to resolve the problem.
It is very common for the underlying states of communicational anxiety to be related to a lack of self-esteem and confidence which leads to overwhelming and exaggerated negative thoughts about themselves. Hypnotherapy can help boost self-esteem and confidence through the application of therapies, hypnosis, and coaching. Hypnotherapy can also help by enabling the client to control unchecked negative emotions such as anger, frustration, over-excitement, fear, and phobias, and help them to overcome negative belief systems that they run in their mind.
What Will The Process Look Like?
Education and use of cognitive behavioural therapy incorporated as part of the hypnotherapy treatment can help clients to manage their negative thoughts and improve communicational skills.
For those who experience anxiety about public speaking, there are ways of improving confidence and enabling people to have the confidence to get up in front of a group of people and deliver a speech. There are two keys to public speaking success. The first is understanding and addressing your fear and the second is believing in yourself.
Taking the steps below can help you to overcome public speaking:
- Understand your fear. What are you afraid of? what are your thoughts and beliefs that are driving your fear?
- Reframe your fear. Once you understand your fear you can begin to reframe it into a logical format.
- Use hypnotherapy to boost your self-esteem, and self-confidence and visualise your success as a powerful presenter.
- Ensure you know your topic.
- Practise, practise, practise. The more you practise the more confident you become.
- Use deep breathing exercises to bring calm to your mind and body
- Speaking slowly during your speech will help you remain calm and collected.
- Speak from your diaphragm. It will help you project your voice and be heard more easily.
- Make eye contact with your audience. It will help them to connect with them and support your confidence.