Have you ever thought why we can understand other peopleís meaning; sometimes even a wink or a gesture. From my point of view, it is because both the wink and a certain gesture can convey some information; the message reaches you if you can understand it.
Not all the message in a conversation can be understood, but we can use techniques to make it understandable. Some of my friends have the experience of selling cell phone covers online, and they feel it is difficult to understand customersí meaning exactly by online chat. Obviously, it is easy to understand that without face-to-face conversation, we cannot see the speakerís appearance, cannot hear his or her tone which contains all kinds of emotions.
Things are much simpler when it comes to face-to-face conversation. In addition, there are some useful ways to make it more effective, and they are practiced in my real experience.
1. Clarity of meaning can be expressed through your body language. Use facial expressions when needed. It is a good way to use soft, gentle facial expression and tone if you intent to reflect passion and generate empathy with the audiences. Avoid negative facial expressions, such as frowns or raised eyebrows. It is hard to tell whether it is negative or not, so youíd better judge it by the context and cultural context. Whatís more, you should be alert for unexpected behaviors which suggest you're cross-culturally colliding, such as a clenched fist, a slouched posture, or even silence. So if you are not familiar with the culture, first of all, ask questions about communication challenges before you start your speech or conversation with people who do not share a same nation or culture with you.
2. Effective eye contact and engagement can enhance communication for both parties. Eye contact establishes self-confidence, trust and relationship. Both the speaker and listeners exchange information and attention in this process in order to get their own interest. Even when I introduce to my clients who are going to buy iphone cover, I always try to persuade them to buy more, while they want to know whether they can get it at a cheap enough price. Thus in such a conversation, it is important to look into the other personís eyes and reassure them. (Remember, this eye contact must be natural and makes them feel relaxed.)
3. Different communication methods are depended on different targets. If you are addressing an audience, pause and make eye contact with a member of audience for up to 2 seconds before breaking away and resuming your talk, which helps you to make every audience feel personally valued. When I introduce the products for those who want to buy the best iphone 4 case in my store, we have communication in eyes sometimes, from which you can understand more in their mind. Well, this does not always work, as in some cultures it is considered to be unsettling or inappropriate. Ask or research in advance.
In fact, many methods can be used in a conversation if they bring good results, which depend on the participants and the topic you choose.