Communication Skills

General Communication Skills

General communication skills are absolutely vital when trying to get an audience to engage in a conversation.
Cultural differences could affect the way communication is interpreted, for example, some body language in the Chinese culture is the complete opposite in the Western culture. In order to be able to communicate sufficiently with them, you'd have to develop an understanding of the way their body language helps with communicating. Another aspect that could affect communication would be engaging with the right audience, this is important because you wouldn't talk to a room of 30 year-olds the same way you would talk to a room full of 5 year-olds. The chances are if you're talking to older people the same way you'd talk to younger children, they'd be less engaged.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills is face-to-face communication, this includes body language and active engagement. There are two types of language: positive and negative. Positive is when the source uses language that enables the recipient to trust and understand what they're saying.Negative is when the source uses uncertainty and misunderstanding when communicating.

Nonverbal communication like body language takes up more than half of the ability to communicate with an audience, this means that the way to look at people, the tone of voice you use, and how to present yourself has a very big impact on how well an audience will engage. Active engagement is helpful to make sure the recipient stays focused on the conversation, this includes; Nodding, summarising (brief overview of the main subjects) and paragraphing.
The speed of response helps to understand if the recipient is engaging in the conversation, if you ask a question and someone replies straight away - they're going to be engaged and listening. However, if you get a slow or even no response, no one is paying attention.

Written Communication Skills

Written communication skills is the way people communicate through writing and typing and is always important when trying to send an email to a customer or work colleagues, using the correct grammar and spelling is an absolute must. Yes, most applications now have the spelling check feature but just because a word is spelt correctly doesn't mean it's being used in the correct way. Their, there, and they're are the most common wrongly used words when it comes to written communication - they are all spelt correctly but are easily used the wrong way.
Layout is also important. When someone opens a letter or email and are faced with a massive paragraph of text, it's probably going to make them roll their eyes and ignore it for a while. The key is to break it up in to little sectors, maybe highlight the most important parts of the email, this way it's easier to the eye.
Depending on whether it's informal or formal, it is important to not use slang words when writing a formal email or letter, instead of "hiya", write "good evening/morning", this will make you sound more sophisticated and your recipient will likely engage.

Barriers of Effective Communication

General Communication Skills

Cultural differences plays a massive part of barriers of effective communication.

In order to work in an English business, a basic level of the English language is normally required, but they may have a hard time understanding long words and sentences. A way to overcome this is maybe hiring an multilingual or a translator so everyone is on the same level of understanding.
Psychological barriers can also be an issue because the message will be influenced by the mental state of the receiver. This means that not only could they be distracted by their personal thoughts but they are also less likely to be listening to the source of communication, a way to overcome this issue is stress management. Mental conditions like anxiety also play a part, if the source suffers from anxiety then they will not be as confident as others, this means their body language could become distracting to the source or people could lose interest.
Insufficient knowledge on the subject can also be a general barrier,

Interpersonal

Physical barriers are a part of every face-to-face communication; they're easy to spot and just as easy to reduce. This includes closed doors, walls, and the distance of your audience.
You need to make sure your audience isn't too far away because your voice probably won't reach that far and they won't be able to hear you, this could also cause distraction to other people trying to listen because the people who can't hear would have to ask other people what you're talking about. Make sure everyone is sitting/standing quite close in order to be able to hear you. Another barrier would be non-verbal communication and distractions, if people are looking at you and trying to listen and you're looking at the ceiling or throwing and catching a pen, then that's going to distract the audience and their attention will end up else-where while you're trying to talk.
Often when there are people engaging in a conversation, there are numerous nods, smiles and raise of hands when you ask if there's any questions - this is their way of showing that they're engaged in what you're talking about, if this isn't happening then your audience isn't engaging.

Written Communication

In the general communication skills, I mentioned that language is a barrier. This isn't just in face-to-face communication but also in written communication also, but there are ways around it when trying to send emails or letters, applications like Google Translate try and break the barrier in written communication. This may work for some, but even when using applications like that - there is still issues with terminology, using technical language to someone who is less able to understand English can cause issues, which is why you should always try to explain it like you would to a child, just without sounding patronising.
Another issue would be poor spelling, not only would it cause a bad image for the company but also would make it difficult for the reader to understand, always proof read your emails and letters to make sure every word is spelt correctly and is used in the right context. You can always double check with the internet or a friend if you're unsure of the spelling or the context.
Lastly, keep in mind disabilities like Dyslexia. This condition makes it difficult to read and write, they often get words and letters mixed up which can make it difficult to communicate via email or letter because they often won't be able to understand, to overcome this, make sure you try not to use complex words or technical terms without sounding to informal or patronising.