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How to have good communication skills

A guide to good communication skills even if you are shy.

Good communication skills are extremely important to have, through your entire life span, and in every possible situation you can think of. If you consider yourself to be shy in nature, I urge you to get over it.

People are shy for many reasons, they may have a withdrawn personality, be insecure, feel like they aren't good at socializing, have a hard time expressing themselves, and so on.

People who are shy, usually do not like the fact that people point out that they are shy, quiet, or both, and chalk it up to " That's just the way I am."

However, the sad reality is that if you don't open up, voice your opinions, and learn to be more outgoing, your communication skills will suffer. If your communication skills are poor you will experience a great deal of trouble in your personal, working, and general relationships. You may have even noticed that being shy causes you aggravation in your day to day life.

Some people experience bouts of shyness, for instance, someone who might normally be out going, may be afraid of public speaking, or talking to their boss, or talking to a member of the opposite sex--- you get the idea.

Bad communication it written, oral, or body language, can send the wrong message in more ways than one. Most people would rather be around those who are easy to communicate with, and are open, than those who need "special treatment" like shy people.

Here are some tips that will improve your communication skills:

In a conversation, really listen. You can show you are really listening my smiling, tilting your head to the side, nodding, inserting signs/words of agreement and so on. If you want people to hear you, you need to hear them.

Have good body language. Stand up straight, it will show confidence. Smile , you will seem approachable. Don't cross your arms over your chest, this tells people you disapprove. Keep your hands to your side, or if you are sitting, keep them in your lap.

When having a serious conversation with your boss, or a higher up, always turn a negative into a positive... for instance, if your boss says, I heard that they work pretty slowly, you should say something like " That's true, they didn't meet the original deadline, but the final product was of really high quality." I know its easy to vent, and skip adding a positive in, but employers want you to be a "yes" person, not a complainer.

Have confidence when you speak. If you are shy AND quiet, project your voice. Always look the person in the eye when you are speaking to them. If you avert your gaze, you will look nervous and not trustworthy. Never turn your head away from someone when you are speaking to them, it may show them you don't care enough to give them your full attention, and it will make it harder for the other person to hear what you are saying. Don't mumble and enunciate your words. Even if you feel intimidated, make sure you project your voice enough so that you are being clear. If someone has to keep asking " I'm sorry, I can't hear you, what did you say?" They will get irritated with you and the conversation. If you aren't sure how you sound to people when you are talking, record yourself and listen really closely to how you sound. Then pick out the areas you need to improve upon and get to work.

Don't let people intimidate you. If you feel intimidated by someone you are in a conversation with, DO NOT let it show. Think before you speak. Speak in an even tone of voice.

Never answer with " I don't know". This will make others feel like you don't care enough to give a response, or that you aren't knowledgeable enough to answer. When people ask questions, they want answers. If someone puts you on the spot, you don't have to answer them right then and there. Say something like " I'm in the middle of something, can I get back to you?" or " I don't want to ill advise you, let me find out for you."

In written communication, always be clear. Before you send an e-mail, or any type of written communication, read over it AT LEAST once, to be sure it makes sense. If you aren't sure its clear, have someone else read it before you send it. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. Write in clear, concise, declarative English. Written forms of communication can be tricky, because there is no way to put your tone of voice in, so if you feel like you are writing a message on a touchy subject that could be misconstrued, its probably best to have a face to face conversation.

The most important part of having good communication, especially if you are shy, is to remain relaxed, open, and confident. This will give you the appearance of being easy-going. People like to communicate with easy going people, because its easier to communicate with them! Its all about confidence. If you are confident in yourself, you will automatically speak more clearly and have better communication than someone who is not confident ( and quiet, shy, and mumbles, etc). You simply have to say to yourself " I QUIT BEING SHY" and GET OVER IT.

Diagram of good communication




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    Another article with many tips for all areas of communication mediums, and how to develop better communication skills.


Chris on June 30, 2014:

Keep in mind that good social skills start with a base of understanding why you feel shy and/or uncomfortable. This explains things pretty well:

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Fleerceteewly on March 07, 2013:

When i utilized to receive on top of existence although lately I've truly established a new weight.

Ana on July 09, 2012:

Saying "I don't know" when you indeed don't is the most honest answer, and definitely the way to go. How many times did you have to deal with someone who couldn't admit they didn't know and instead gave you a whole lot of bull that you then have to work through and discover on your own they didn't know what they were talking about. As if THAT would make you appreciate their knowledge more! LOL totally disagree with your point there.

MissShy on June 05, 2012:

ever been in a shy persons shoes? - no. get over your selves. some people are just born shy/introverts. could you be any more insensitive? i have been shy/introvert for for as long as i could remember. i throw up after talking to people, even if its my family. and with out having average communication skills, i have a husband, who loves me and says i don't shut up. i own my own business and it's doing great without 'communication skills'. We shy/introverted people do talk to people that we are comfortable with and we stay away from people who are full of them selves, much like people here. Shyness/introversion is a personality, just like outgoing is. Learn to accept. And besides, shy/introverts are much smarter then the outgoing/extroverts, because we take out time to think. All aside, article was a rude, but helpful. Just remember, Every one counts.

Narendranath Darwai on May 23, 2012:

Communication as I understand is not possibe through words. The best way to avoid communication is to speak. Because everybody speaks and nobody listens. That's why lovers communicate better than anybody else. Nothing is said, nothing is heard and everything is understood. Had everyone mastered the art of silence, communication would have been lot easier than ever before. I forgot everthing that was taught but I remember everthing I learnt. Thanks to those who express only after experiencing and not experimenting.

gabriel on May 21, 2012:

Hello someone somebody everybody life is good nice sweet peaceful knowledge was made to be share conversetion is key of every succesful journey thank a lot of ur good work

annie on May 20, 2012:

Article is really very good and we can learn so many things from it.

sujit on May 03, 2012:

thanks boss. I get a lot of help.

segun on April 18, 2012:

with what i just read now ithink it very important for every body to develop good communication skills this will enable us to convey our message effectively either in oral or writing

Fer on March 20, 2012:

Please help me . I am 16 years old this year and I Have a problem speaking . Please help me big time cause I really want to change. My email address is redeagle2@live.con

Shy but bubbly on February 28, 2012:

I came across this article when looking for ways to deal with people who just don’t listen - poor communicators. Like Suzanne, I found the harness of your comment "get over it" hard to take.

I agree with the Monk, answering a question with "I don't know" is not wrong and I often wish more people would have the confidence to say they didn't, too often people sit and nod, embarrassed to let on they don't know.

I also feel it’s the environment we create for people that encourages people to speak up, (or not as the case maybe). I took this quote from the internet

"Find a forum where you are not at such a disadvantage, some place where what is greatest is you can shine. Then stop trying and just be"

I will keep an open mind on advice given in the article and agree "Good communication skills are extremely important". But we all have unique talents, personalities and opinions and think it’s important to remember. In life, even the greatest communicators have shy moments, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and it should not be seen as a weakness, it’s what makes us human, vulnerable and empathic.

Am proud to be a shy, bubbly person!

berrykim on February 23, 2012:

Nice article

mariettabonachita on February 09, 2012:

Thanks for the very informational tips on improving the communication skills of a person. i agree to it.

shalom on February 02, 2012:

marie,i must commend you for your respond n doing justice to the article by taking time to explain n add pieces of advice to it.kudos

Marieso on January 29, 2012:


I think this article is interesting, and I'm glad I've read it. I do think that it is important to refine your communication skills if you have a shy personality. Having good communication skills definitely makes your life easier.

However, shy people don't always have self-confidence problems. Also, some people will prefer the company of introverted people, because they tend to think more before they talk, they are usually tactful and their thoughts are more likely to be unique, less influenced by society's thinking.

I think the first thing to do when you have a complex of being shy and having poor social skills, is to accept it. In some situations, being more introverted is an advantage. Nobody should be ashsamed of being shy.

Improving social skills is a must! You have to learn how to do small talk, how to ask questions about other people's interests. It will take a lot of time, and it will always require effort, for introverted people. It's definitely a long term project. You can't stop being shy by simply saying "I quit being shy". Since being extraverted and outgoing is a lot more valued by society, I think it's important for shy people to look at themselves and find things they are proud about themselves. It is easy to get discouraged, to feel like a lesser human being, just because so many people will say "why are you so quiet?" "That person has nothing to say, that person is completely uniteresting" "that person is so awkward" etc... People saying that obviously don't know what it's like to be shy. If you are shy, find things you like about yourself, don't take destructive criticism, try not to care if you have bad social experiences, it will happen again and again. Do not care for people who seem to not get along with you. You can't get along with every one anyways. Don't cut out the world, keep exposing yourself to parties, reunions, perseverant and courageous. People will appreciate and admire you for it. I would recommand reading on introverted/extraverted. There is a lot to learn on how an introverted brain works. Never forget that you are not alone.


A proud and perseverant introverted person.

shalini on November 27, 2011:

Ha what a stupid articular. doesn't contain gooooood information shit what a wast........

tom on November 21, 2011:

i need more communication

Nicllas on November 07, 2011:

cool I'm gonna try to encourage myself to have more confidence and going to speak to my boss. I won't scare and shy anymore. I must get over it. thank a lot.

sanae on November 07, 2011:

i love english but my level is poor

what i can do ?

Emmanuel Maitha on October 05, 2011:

You might get over shy as a bad comm. skill and be confident and straightforward but use abusive language does u it help? Therefore, consider the following PRINCIPLE for you to be a good communicator;THINK

T---Is it True?

H---Is it Helpful?

I---Is it Inspiring?

N---Is it Necessary?

K---Is it Kind?

If what you want to communicate doesn't pass this Test, then you should not speak it out.

PRADEEP PANDEY on September 15, 2011:

VERY GOOD .........&USEFULL............

katy on September 14, 2011:


Roshan Laishram on September 01, 2011:

Great idea to make others to understand the importance of good communication to this competetive world !!!!!!!!!!!!!! keep it up

TheMonk from Brazil on July 03, 2011:

"Never answer with " I don't know"."

I disagree with this. I think when you do say you don´t know something, people will have confidence in you when you do say you know what you are talking about.

If the matter is "appearing lazy", you can say something like "I don´t know, but I will will look for the answer and get back to you as soon as possible."

Just my 2c.

Suzanne on June 22, 2011:

Hi -

I did not realize I was shy until just before I read your article. I have always considered myself an extrovert; one symptom being that I often speak before I think. I can talk and talk in social situations. But when it comes to having to talk to someone on the phone I JUST CAN'T DO IT. I much prefer email to phone. Perhaps it is because I might not hear very well? Perhaps it is because I don't like people to yell at me? Whatever it is, I DON'T LIKE IT.

So, when your first comment of "get over it" came up, I nearly cursed you and went on merry web way. But I wanted to give some feedback.

As I said, I never thought I was shy. I didn't realize I was shy, and I never thought to myself, "well, that's just the way I am".

I think I will continue on to read the article, but I just wanted to share this alternative perspective.

CAC on May 02, 2011:

Thank you for writing about this topic. It is very informational and will help in my own business dealings.

Nthabiseng on April 04, 2011:

u're article has been of gr8t help to me. thank you so much.I guess sometimes we tend 2 think that communication skills are for marketers and CEOs not for doctors.How wrong can we get

JANAKIE GOVENDER on March 30, 2011:

I find the information very informative and educational, it has helped me with my research in sales communication. Thank you and GOD BLESS.

AHAZ SIBALE on February 25, 2011:

can also be done by accuracy of what the sender of the message is about what he/she want to present to his audience.

tsegay t on February 07, 2011:

just like you i want talke english language.

RONA BARRAGAN on January 27, 2011:



. on January 14, 2011:

a good advice for an interview

kason on December 16, 2010:

interesting tips, it is already helping me.

adeebfakhry on December 13, 2010:

I am very grateful of these helps me a lot !

Azam on October 14, 2010:

Nice post thank you for sharing it helps me a lot.

Awokoya bolaji on September 15, 2010:

This article as help me a great deal because communicating with people is a big problem to me and i have done every thing to get out of this so i need help

mahi on August 29, 2010:

I am going to try it THANK U for such nice tips

Unknown Source ( Age17 ) on August 11, 2010:

Wow i think I'm going to try this THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

kemar on May 30, 2010:

it is a good thing communitecate with people from near and far

Jack James Bird on October 11, 2009:

someone who has got a good memony

Jack James Bird on October 11, 2009:

someone who has got a good memony

haddy on October 03, 2009:

what can i answer if some one asked me a question i don't have an idea about and we are not going to meet again say in a lecture? thanks a lot

Amani on September 22, 2009:

interesting,i like those expressions we use to make the sender feel that i'm giving him a deep consideration .

mishuexpert on July 28, 2009:

Nice place/article. I find it very interesting as it gives so many helpful information to people.

Thank you very much for sharing your information.


Diana Weiss on June 08, 2009:

Nice article and great diagram.

shrikrishna on April 10, 2009:

good article ,

for the persons like me ,

i can talk with full confidence anywhere , anplace , anytime.

but i am only 30% confident ,

when someone calls me ,

good article,

thank you

Michael Noone from Thailand on March 05, 2009:

This is a good post...I know that you've heard it before and I'll tell you why.

This article covers most of the aspects of good communication and it is well thought out and structured.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your work...



lonelyromance on February 09, 2009:

i totally agree with you. it's a great hub and very very insightful. it gives a clear idea that most of the people out there crave for but can't make it. your article will help both me and others to have knowledge on good communication skills that we could use in our day to day lives

aqsa ambreen on January 30, 2009:

hi,me really very happy to se such article about communication skills,its really very eassy and understandable.i learned a lot from here.if there is any more knowledge about communication skills please share with me through e.mail,my email id iz,

betherickson from Minnesota on August 27, 2008:

You did a great job here. Your article is very interesting and informative. Definitely this is very effective. Thumbs up to you! :)

danbern on August 06, 2008:

thanks it helps me a lot......but is it natural to get intimated by other person?

Julie A. Johnson from Duluth, MN on July 05, 2008:

lady, audience, audience, audience -- it needs to be the main focus if effective communication is going to take place. Some good tips. But for shy people putting this information into action is much easier said than done. Interesting topic. Julie

glassvisage from Northern California on June 25, 2008:

Nothing makes me more frustrated than people who don't communicate well... and I make sure to let them know, too :)

cyril22 on June 20, 2008:

Hi my name is cyril, i live and work in the UK, london to be precise. How are u doing? i guess u are fine. am not really good with this kindda stuffs, since i separated with my wife i have been alone so i thot i look for one who fill the emptiness. I wld like us to be friends, maybe we cld get closer. i have my own small company that i manage by my self. I hope to hear from you maybe then we wld really talk about ourselves. You cld mail me on

mtsandeep from india on May 04, 2008:

i have published a hub on how to improve INTERACTIVE SKILLS.please comment on it. i think you are the one to do this for me.

mtsandeep from india on May 04, 2008:

i have published a hub on how to improve INTERACTIVE SKILLS.please comment on it. i think you are the one to do this for me.

tulup on April 28, 2008:

communication between each other is good because it keeps relationships working good and keeps you on your toes and also with your familys and honstly is one of them if you don't have communication that's were you ends up doing the wroung thing

tulup on April 28, 2008:

communication between each other is good because it keeps relationships working good and keeps you on your toes and also with your familys and honstly is one of them if you don't have communication that's were you ends up doing the wroung thing

Jykeith Comal from Richmond, TX on April 28, 2008:

Nice pic......

leefrank from Malaysia on April 27, 2008:


I agree with you wholeheartedly that good communication is very important in one's life. If you can't tell you can't sell.

Everyone of us is a sales person whether you know it or not. You have to sell your ideas, your plans or projects. If you cannot communicate your ideas , you just simply cannot get things moving. My two cents!


austinno from agege on April 25, 2008:

thanks for your articleon good communication skills i think i will go by it because it is much about me

Betty Jo Petty from Arkansas, U.S.A. on April 24, 2008:

good advice. I could have used this before, for sure. Betty Jo

Jykeith Comal from Richmond, TX on April 24, 2008:

Your on fire ms lady....keep it up...i'm jealous :)

theapprentice on April 23, 2008:

I think your advice is spot on. Shyness is something that can be overcome in my opinion. It does take work and will not come easy. You will need to move out of your comfort zone and, yes, it will be very uncomfortable but if you use the tips about good communication you will find that people respond positively to you and then your confidence will grow.

ram_m from India on April 23, 2008:

Good tips for overcoming shyness and very good links too.

Lifebydesign from Australia on April 21, 2008:

True- body language is important as well, especially in developing rapport. Great post!

aviator on April 21, 2008:

There should be a hub about how to deal with people who are NOT good communicators.

wellness5 from Fondi, Italy on April 21, 2008:

Great post - I would like to point out that your 'its' when you mean 'it is' needs an apostrophe ! That will help communication too !

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on April 20, 2008:

Communication, or the lack thereof, is the cause of many problems (right, John). You've hit on a very important topic in encouraging people to speak up, and to use appropriate body language (actions speak louder than words). Our jobs, our marriages and so much more depend on it!

John Chancellor from Tennessee on April 20, 2008:


I totally agree that most people under-estimate the importance of good, open and clear communication. I think poor communication is the root cause of most personal problems. You have given some great tips on how to be a better communicator.

Our emails have become so informal that they often go out with spelling, grammar and structural problems. No matter who you are emailing, it deserves to be proofed. Make sure what you send is what you meant to send.

Trsmd from India on April 20, 2008:

Thanks for providing lot of information about comunication skill development.

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on April 19, 2008:

Very interesting hub. I could have done with this message put to me when I was a lot younger. It took me years to get up the confidence to join in conversations etc. thanks for sharing

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