6 Ways to Become a Better Communicator

“Can I get your opinion on something?” I asked my son.

“Why? So you can do the opposite?”

I laughed. Sometimes I need to debrief to process my thoughts. But real communication is a two-way street. It should be a reciprocal exchange where both parties leave satisfied. Let’s look at six ways to become a better communicator.

1. Edit Your Words

Have you ever heard someone share a brilliant insight and then drone on and on until the point is lost? Drowning the point in verbiage is like diluting your favorite beverage with so much water that it loses its flavor.

Drowning your point in verbiage is like diluting your favorite beverage with so much water that it loses its flavor. #communication Share on X

Whether we’re talking with our kids, spouse, or sharing in a group, less is more. Good communicators learn to edit their words. We strengthen our message when remove excess words.

The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? (Eccles. 6:11 NIV).

2. Consider Their Needs

Every person wants to be valued and treated with respect. How do we do that? Jesus showed us.

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you (Matt. 7:12 NASB 1995).

3. Follow Jesus’s Example

Jesus, the supreme communicator, could have impressed and entertained the crowds with stories about heaven, creation, and the many types of angels. After all, He’d spent an eternity in heaven. Instead, the heavenly man called Himself the Son of Man and used earthy illustrations his audience could grasp. He talked about:

  • Crops
  • Weeds
  • Vermin (moths, birds)
  • Sheep
  • Building
  • Worry
  • Sorrow

In other words, He humbled himself to speak our language and address our needs.

4. Serve as Christ’s Ambassador

I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some (1 Cor. 9:22 NIV).

My first year after college, I spoke to a group of high school students and staff on nutrition. As a nutrition major, I used terms I soon realized my audience didn’t understand. I quickly shifted to tangible examples that illustrated my points.

After spending time with believers, we unconsciously adopt jargon that confuses or makes others feel left out. For example, “I spent time in the Word.” “Have you been born again?”

We understand this lingo. But do they? Do our terms alienate the people we want to reach? A good communicator works to connect with her audience and chooses terms they understand.

Language is always changing. Certain references offend people because of their association with past injuries or injustices. We must be careful not to mock other faiths or denominations. Good communication includes being sensitive of people’s wounds. We may need help identifying and avoiding those landmines.

You know how frustrating it is when a phone connection garbles or drops words. I don’t want people to miss Jesus because my language confuses or repels them. If they reject the message, let it be because they understand. Not because they misunderstand.

5. Listen Well

I don’t know of anything more frustrating than not being heard—whether in talking to a doctor, hairdresser, or family member. But I’m just as guilty of half-listening. As children of God, we’re called to love one another. In our distracted world, listening takes work, which makes it even more valuable. Being a good communicator means asking questions and listening to the response so we can learn more.

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19 NLT).

6. Be Present

Jesus left heaven so we wouldn’t misunderstand the Father’s love. Being present says more than a dictionary of clever words. Let’s make the extra effort to clearly communicate the love of Christ with everyone we meet.

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9 NIV).

What is your best tip or pet peeve concerning communication?

Comment here.


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  1. Pam Ecrement

    Well done, my friend! More and more it seems that too many allow words to fall out or shout out of their mouths with a need to get them out versus really communicate. Communication is truly becoming a lost art.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Well said, Pam. It is so tempting to think too highly of our own opinions and not value the thoughts of others.

  2. Melissa Henderson

    Yes! Yes! Thank you for this message. 🙂

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Melissa!

  3. Tara Furman

    Wonderful insight! So, so true.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Tara!

  4. Ann Musico

    These are excellent tips. For me active listening makes all the difference. When I am talking to someone and they are scrolling on their phone or even just looking bored makes me shut down.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Me too, Ann. I remember clearly someone doing that to me. I stopped in mid sentence and moved on.

  5. Heather Hart

    Such a great post! Speaking isn’t my strong suit, but I love these practical tips!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Heather. You’re probably a good listener which is so valuable.

  6. Joanne Viola

    Communication is so important and quickly becoming a lost ability. This >> “Being a good communicator means asking questions and listening to the response so we can learn more.”

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Joanne, unfortunately, you’re so right. A house divided against itself… Thanks Joanne.

  7. Barbara Latta

    Great tips that contain some things we don’t think about. We may drone on and on trying to make our point without thinking of what the other person wants to say. Thanks for the wake up call, Debbie.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Barbara, thanks for reading, even when you’re at a busy conference!

  8. Marilyn Nutter

    Excellent points to remember and use. Thank you.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Marilyn!

  9. Michele Morin

    I get very weary of hearing people talk past each other, and of arguments made from a presupposition that bears more scrutiny. We do need to work harder on the art of communication!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I agree. As believers, our foundation is sure. We don’t have to be threatened. We can be calm and kind. Thanks, Michele.

  10. J.D. Wininger

    Well said Ms. Debbie. We all need to remember “slow to speak.” God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      J.D., I saw that and the opposite this week. What a difference.

  11. Jen Knight

    My husband had a friend that mentored other pastors and one of his most used phrases in his critique was “you missed a lot of great opportunities to end”. That goes right along with number one. These are great suggestions. Thank you.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ha ha! Love that, Jen. I’ve heard my share of talks and probably given them where that was true!

  12. Yvonne Morgan

    Great list of ideas. Thank you Debbie. This is an area I need to improve so I will put them into practice

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Yvonne. I think most of us have areas we need to grow in.

  13. Lisa notes

    This is an area that we have room for improvement! 🙂 I know I do. I’m currently working on #5 being a better listener and #6 being present.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Lisa, those two are real challenges in a world full of electronic dings and chirps. I too need growth there. I’m trying. 🙂

  14. Rita

    My pet peeve is when people tell you the same stories every time you see them. If it was a fun story that would be one thing, but it is usually a relentless complaint. It is usually because they refuse to take an action that would alleviate some of their frustration, but they don’t act. They just want to live frustrated, and dump frustration on me that I have no power to change. If I say something like, I wouldn’t put up with that, then they get upset with me.

  15. Janet Susan Distler

    I love your information from the scriptures about our animals. We have two cats,Bella and Penelope. Bella is a orange tabby and penelope is a calico. However Penelope has been fighting outside with other cats. I’d like to bring my cat pumpkin up from Florida to be with me because I just moved from Florida to my family home on Long Island. I’m a caretaker for my best friend Sally and my brother John helps me. However I wanted your advice as to whether or not I should bring my cat up here because of Penelope being hostile. Pumpkin is an indoorcat. My brother let’s the cats live outside. So I don’t know if they will get along. I don’t want any hostility towards pumpkin as my grandchildren are now taking care of him in Florida, Thank you for your advice. Janet

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Janet, it sounds like this is something you and your brother need to discuss. If Pumpkin stays inside and Penelope only fights outside cats, you may be fine. May the Lord lead you in what is best for all.

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