Develop your vocabulary. Read, write, speak, and listen. You can obtain anything based upon how you present yourself. Your first job, your first love, and the ability to influence others will be gained through how you present and carry yourself. Stand tall, articulate your point of view, speak clearly, and go forward. In doing so, you do not find yourself; on the contrary, you create the self you want to be.
Being articulate and learning to communicate to all types of people is a skill that is developed. When I first started in the arena of public speaking, I basically shot straight from the hip. I spoke from just one point of view-my own. I didn't take the time to consider other viewpoints or methods of dealing with life and being a student of life. But as I grew, somehow I began to realize that I needed to examine my theories, delve into things, and really think about things more deeply.
It's immature to think that you can deal with life without thinking things through. I find myself always questioning the mechanism whereby I change things. What can I do to make things better? What can I do to improve and change? Public speaking forced me to really apply myself in the areas of writing down my ideas and thinking them through. In turn, this process caused me to further develop my ideas, as well as my speaking skills. I had to constantly work to improve my skills, my posture, my vocabulary, and the way I relate and communicate to people.
I had to know what I valued and be intrigued by what other people valued; then, I could have some sort of discussion. Sometimes in order to know your own viewpoint, you need to come in contact with opposing points of view. I've concluded that people tend to see the world based on the particular "lens" they are looking through. In other words, people see the world through their own filter, or way of thinking and perceiving. What results is that people see what they want to see.
For example, a person who is self-conscious about his or her weight may walk into a room full of people and the first thing they may notice is how big or small everyone else is. The weight issue becomes a "lens" through which they view the world. However, someone who is comfortable with his or her weight won't notice everyone else's weight at all. They walk into a room full of people and just enjoy mingling and getting to know everyone. For them, the weight issue isn't even a factor.
Recognize that everyone may not share your same viewpoint. Others may see the world through an entirely different lens, based on their own past experiences, training, influences, and insecurities. They may see things that you don't and vice versa. To get more skilled at speaking to groups and expressing yourself verbally, delve into and embrace a broader range of experiences and viewpoints than just your own. Learning to first relate to people on their level will open a door for communication to begin as well as to be received.
(Excerpt taken from John Alston's book entitled, Why Goodness Must Be Taught.)