Communication is key, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's easy. Knowing how to effectively get your point across takes some conscious thought and effort.

Want to give your own communication abilities a boost? Watch one (or all!) of these enlightening TED Talks, and you're sure to take your skills to the next level.

1. Julian Treasure: 5 Ways to Listen Better

Communicating isn't all about talking -- listening is equally as important (if not more!).

In this intriguing talk, sound consultant, Julian Treasure, digs into some of the scientific reasons we're all so bad at listening.

The best part? He provides five simple exercises that you can implement to become a better listener -- right now!

Standout Quote: "We spend roughly 60 percent of our communication time listening,but we're not very good at it. We retain just 25 percent of what we hear."

2. Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

Writer and radio host, Celeste Headlee, knows a lot about not only how to talk to people -- but how to make sure that time is meaningful and impactful.

In her TED Talk, she lays out ten rules that will help you have more effective and memorable conversations. Even if you master just one of them, your conversations are sure to improve.

Standout Quote: "There is no reason to learn how to show you're paying attention if you are in fact paying attention."

3. Clint Smith: The Danger of Silence

In a conversation, you tend to listen most to the things that are said. But, have you ever given any consideration to what's not said?

Poet and teacher, Clint Smith, claims that silence can be incredibly enlightening. In fact, it often reveals far more than you think.

Needless to say, Smith's moving talk is sure to inspire you to think about silence -- as well as use your own voice and speak up.

Standout Quote: "We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't."

4. Laura Trice: Remember to Say "Thank You"

"Thank you" is arguably one of the most powerful and important phrases in the English language -- a concept that Dr. Laura Trice expands on in her intriguing TED Talk.

Yes, her insights will inspire you to utter this phrase more often yourself. But, beyond that? You'll also feel inspired to tell people exactly what sort of praise and recognition you need yourself.

It's an empowering message that's sure to have a major impact on the way you communicate.

Standout Quote: "So my question is, why don't we ask for the things that we need?"

5. Julian Treasure: How to Speak So That People Want to Listen

When you speak, you want people to listen. Fortunately, one of Julian Treasure's other TED Talks can help with that!

Throughout his speech, he outlines some tips and best practices you can use to not only ensure that people to listen -- but also make sure that they enjoy doing so.

Standout Quote: "What would the world be like if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were actually fit for purpose?"

We could all stand to refine our communication skills. Add these TED Talks to your must-watch list, and you're sure to walk away with some valuable tips you can put to work!

Published on: Jul 19, 2017
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