“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and reality.” This quote by Nat Turner perfectly sums up the importance of communication in today’s world.
Communication refers to the act of sharing or exchanging information, ideas and thoughts via verbal and non-verbal methods.
Communication is not just limited to words; it’s more than that. It encompasses how you engage, express, and listen.
There are different ways to communicate, each of which plays a vital role in expressing thoughts, emotions, and opinions. However, we primarily use five types of communication on a daily basis—verbal, non-verbal, written, listening, and visual.
This article will talk about verbal communication, its importance, and how you can improve your verbal skills.
What is verbal communication?
Verbal communication refers to the process of conveying information via the use of language. Put simply, it is the communication that includes words—spoken, written, or signed. Spoken communication involves face-to-face interactions and conversations via radio, phone, television, etc.
Effective verbal communication is crucial for both—interpersonal and professional interactions. It helps you initiate conversations, engage in discussions, build relationships, and much more. When you speak with confidence and poise, you are more likely to create a rapport and command respect from your peers.
Moreover, Robert M. Krauss in “The Psychology of Verbal Communication” explains, “A species’ survival depends critically upon its ability to communicate effectively, and the quality of its social life is determined in large measure by how and what it can communicate.”
What are verbal communication skills?
Verbal communication skills are now more critical than ever. They include both how you receive and deliver messages in a written or vocal manner.
Basically, verbal communication skills refer to effective speaking and listening.
They focus on non-verbal cues such as body language, posture, facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, etc.
Whether it’s about interacting with colleagues, making phone calls, or having personal discussions, verbal skills are among the most vital skills to succeed in life.
Examples of good verbal communication skills include:
- Profound understanding of non-verbal cues
- Open to giving and receiving feedback
- Active listening to the speaker
- Speaking and sharing your ideas confidently
- Adding humour in everyday interactions
How can you improve your verbal communication skills?
As mentioned above, verbal communication skills help in having fruitful interactions and developing stronger work relationships. Those who communicate well tend to succeed both personally and professionally.
Therefore, understanding the different aspects of verbal communication and its crucial role in our lives is the first step to enhancing communication skills and nurturing relationships.
By acquiring these valuable skills, you will be not only able to express your views clearly but also feel confident and secure.
Stop talking and start listening
Listening is as important as talking in any conversation. When you listen to someone, it reflects your interest in their ideas and helps you understand their needs better.
Additionally, others are more likely to reciprocate and hear what you share and convey when you pay attention.
Think before you speak
Take your time to reflect on a question. It will help you concise your thoughts in a more precise statement.
If you don’t think before speaking, you will lose the impact of your message. Similarly, it’s equally important to allow your counter peers to talk without interrupting their thoughts. It shows mutual respect and enhanced professionalism.
Use of concise language
Being concise and crisp is an effective way to deliver a message. Try to convey your thoughts as clearly as possible and use as few words as you can.
It helps others understand your views better and make you more approachable. Also, it is useful when providing instructions to colleagues, leaving little or no room for confusion.
Focus on body language
Body language is fundamental when sharing information.
Make sure you have a proper posture and relaxed body language when you deliver your message. It shows a sense of confidence and authority that makes people listen to your ideas and thoughts.
Other ways include maintaining eye contact, using facial expressions, and nodding to grasp people’s attention.
Speaking with confidence
Confidence is the key. When you are confident, it shows in your body language and reflects in your words.
If you are confident, others will listen to you more intently and believe in what you are saying. A simple way to build confidence is to plan your conversations. For instance, write pointers to help stick to a script if it’s a meeting or a speech.
Feedback is important
One way to improve verbal communication is to practise in front of friends and family. They can give you valuable feedback that will help you improve.
Practise conversations and speeches in real-life scenarios and ask for feedback from your trusted employees in the office or your supervisors. This will help you enhance your verbal and non-verbal skills.
Practise, practise, practise
The fastest way to improve is to keep on practising.
Try speaking in front of a mirror to see how you stand, how you look when you talk, and how your hand moves.
Record yourself to listen to the tone of your voice later. It will give you insights on how to deliver specific sentences to create an impact.
Ensure that you have a friendly smile. Practise in front of friends, family, and work, and you will feel more confident about your speaking abilities.
Understand your audience
To communicate messages effectively, you need to understand your audience. Not everyone has the same knowledge as you; people are from different demographics and backgrounds.
Try and understand the most effective way to communicate so that everyone can understand the message clearly and feel a part of the conversation.
Be mindful of your tone
The tone is a crucial element in verbal communication. Keep a friendly tone with a smile on your face. It creates positive interactions and makes you more likeable and relatable.
Speaking monotonously or in a flat tone shows a sense of uninterestedness, and you can quickly lose your audience’s attention. Express emotions via your style to better convey your messages to your audience.
Show your authentic self
Authenticity connects with people like nothing else. If you are authentic, people will be drawn towards you and will find you more relatable.
For example, if you don’t know the answer to a question and admit it in front of others, it reflects that you are honest to accept it. That’s not all. Being your authentic self in conversations shows a sense of comfort and allows people to engage with you organically.
Silence is okay
Resist the need to fill the silences. Ideally, people should avoid silence as it can make a conversation static and awkward.
However, it is essential to take necessary pauses to reflect on what you are about to say and allow the other person to take their time without interrupting their thoughts and ideas.
Use names in conversations
Using names is probably the simplest way to improve verbal communication. How often do we see that someone introduces themselves and the other person forgets their name?
Remembering people’s names and bringing them up in conversation is an excellent way to show mutual respect. It’s a great way to keep people’s attention and build a relationship with them.
Verbal communication is a skill that differentiates good from the best. If you can verbally communicate well, you will succeed in both your personal and professional life.
By simply improving your speaking abilities and listening skills, you can master the world of professionals. Good speaking skills will help you build rapport and stronger relationships with your employees, superiors, and clients.
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