“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer
Every IAS aspirant would know that acing the written UPSC exams, i.e., the IAS Prelims and Mains is one thing, but clearing the UPSC board interview is quite a different ball game. Also known as the Personality Test, here a candidate would have to face the UPSC board and answer questions put by them. You will be assessed on your overall personality, leadership skills, ability to handle stressful situations, your balanced viewpoints, etc. Hence, it is imperative that you communicate effectively to the board. You might know all the answers but if you can’t get your point across, there is no point in all that knowledge and ideas. This article gives you a few practical tips on how to improve your communication skills for the UPSC interview.
The first stage in communicating effectively is to listen to what is being told. In the IAS interview, listen carefully to the question asked by the interviewer. Understand what is being asked before venturing to answer the question.
- Think before you speak
The second thing to keep in mind is to think before you speak. Before you speak, pause, collect your thoughts and then frame your words in the proper manner.
- Body language
Your body, eyes, gestures – all communicate along with your words. Learn how to use body language effectively and in a way, that enhances your words. See to it that they don’t contradict.
- Maintain eye contact
It is very important to look at a person in the eye and speak to them. Otherwise, it can give the impression that you are distracted or nervous or simply that you are lying.
- Know your audience
You must always custom your words to suit the audience. The UPSC board consists of highly qualified and experienced people. It is prudent to keep that in mind while speaking to them.
- Be polite
It is important to be polite in your conversations. This makes the person listening more receptive to what you are saying.
- Cultivate your voice
Not everybody is blessed with a voice that is considered conventionally beautiful, but you can definitely work on how you sound. Avoid talking in too high a pitch or volume. Also, if your voice is too low, practice talking at a higher tone.
- Slow down
Americans are considered the most effective communicators in English. This is because they talk, the slowest. So, while talking try to slow your words per minute. Otherwise, you may not be clear to the listener.
- Animate your voice
Try not to talk in a monotone. Go up and down the scale as you talk depending on the context. Try listening to a radio jockey.
To enhance clarity, enunciate each word you utter.
- Right words, right usage
Improve your vocabulary and use different words. But remember to keep in mind the understanding of the audience. Also, know when to use the right words. This can be developed with more reading.
- Work on your language
If you think your grammar is rusty, work on it. Speaking proper language not only impresses, but you also don’t run the risk of being misunderstood.
- Correct your pronunciation
Whatever language you speak, it is natural for the native tongue accent to be present and this is perfectly fine. But, if you think your accent is too heavy, it can help if you work on it.
It is imperative to know the UPSC eligibility criteria before diving deep into the syllabus and preparation of the exam.