A person’s verbal communication skills include speaking clearly, listening attentively, asking questions, and expressing feelings. These skills are essential for a variety of reasons, including job interviews, social interactions, and relationships.
There is no denying that communication is an important part of our daily lives. Whether you’re communicating with your family, friends, or co-workers, being able to communicate effectively can make a huge difference in your life.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the 10 effective ways to improve your verbal communication skills.
What is Communication Skill?
Communication skill is about representing yourself effectively and interpreting others correctly. Communication skills can be divided into three primary components. You need to master all of them in order to be an excellent communicator.
These are the 3 primary components of communication skills-
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
- Active listening
Verbal Communication Skills
Verbal communication skill is one of the most important interpersonal skills that we can possess. The art of expressing your feelings, thoughts, ideas, or opinions through the use of spoken words is called verbal communication.
In other words, verbal communication is a means of transferring information between people, where the effectiveness is determined by how the message is heard and interpreted. There are different forms of verbal communication, such as speech, discussion, presentation, and conversation.
Communication skills aren’t just about knowing and speaking a language. Following are some factors that determine how effective your verbal communication skill is:
- The tone of the voice
- Clarity of speech
- Volume and speed
- Body language
- The quality of words
Communication Skills For Workplace: A How-To Guide
HOW TO IMPROVE VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS?
Let’s look at the 10 effective ways to improve your verbal communication skill –
1. Organize Your Thoughts Before You Speak
Are you one of those people who just says whatever comes to mind?
If so, stop doing that!
Rather than just saying whatever comes to mind, pause for a moment and consider your words before saying them.
In certain circumstances, people create awkward situations or embarrass themselves with their statements. They give the wrong impression to others, resulting in further damage to their relationship and respect.
It is important that you always try to organize your thoughts before you speak. This may be hard to do when you are in an unexpected conversation or discussion, but with practice, you can learn how to do it. Just take a few moments before speaking to organize your thoughts.
2. Use The Clear And Concise Approach
Isn’t it annoying when someone you’re talking to can’t get to the point?
People get annoyed when someone keeps on talking without getting to the point because they don’t have the time or energy to handle it.
You do not wish to be the person who irritates others, do you?
Whenever possible, try to express what is on your mind in the clearest way possible. Be clear and concise!
Clear, concise communication is the most effective and efficient method of conveying your message. Always use simple and straightforward language and avoid using complex sentences.
3. Be Aware Of The Words
Sometimes the words we use to convey our message can create confusion or misunderstanding. Which can later lead to unintended conflicts.
Clarity is the key to avoiding such misunderstandings and confusion. Always try to use simple words and simple sentences to convey your message.
Make sure you are aware of the words you are using while talking to someone otherwise you could be misunderstood!
4. Use Voice Modulation
Voice modulation means controlling or adjusting your voice and tone. Setting the pitch or tone to soft or loud, fast or slow depending on the situation or audience. This helps you communicate a message more effectively.
You don’t want to sound boring in a conversation, right?
With voice modulation, you can make your communication more attractive. There’s a high chance you won’t be able to do it right away. The good news is, that you can get proficient at modulating your voice with practice!
Try these things while you talk-
- Avoid continuous and monotonous pitches or tones.
- Don’t speak too quickly or too slowly. Control and adjust the pace as required.
- Don’t be very loud. To be precise, avoid using a loud commanding voice.
- Increase the emphasis or stress on certain words to draw others’ attention.
5. Use Appropriate Body Language
You should also pay attention to your non-verbal actions when conveying your message. For example, the tone of your voice, your body language, and the speed at which you speak all play a role.
Non-verbal actions are so powerful that they can either reinforce or contradict the message that you are trying to convey through your words.
In addition to your verbal communication, your body language is equally important. It is especially important when dealing with face-to-face interactions.
Having your words and non-verbal actions in sync can improve the effectiveness of your verbal communication.
Communicating with appropriate body language makes it easier for the other person to understand what you meant by your words.
6. Improve The Questioning Skill
To clarify something that is unclear, we ask questions. Questions are great ways to test understanding. Furthermore, questions allow us to ask for help and support in a very open and clear way.
An important part of a conversation is asking questions. Thus, having effective questioning skills is essential to strengthening your verbal communication skill.
You can invite someone into a conversation simply by using questions. You can also show interest in others or in their conversation by asking questions.
Questions fall into two categories. One is that demands only one or two-word answers, known as closed questions.
Closed questions are useful to get clear and direct responses. But, as the responses to such questions have a limit, there is less chance that the conversation will continue. Most often, they stop the conversation.
Also, when someone asks closed questions, they control the conversation. But, in order to have a smooth and wonderful conversation, you need to give space to others by asking open questions.
The questions which demand further discussion and amplification are known as open questions.
These types of questions broaden the scope for a response. The other person gets more scope to express his or her thoughts or views. Therefore, they show a greater level of interest and participation in the conversation.
Let’s understand the difference between closed and open questions from these simple examples-
When is your birthday?
Where do you live?
How was your holiday?
Usually, the answers to these questions are in one or two words.
What would you like to do on your birthday?
What is it like to live in your city?
How did you spend your holiday?
These questions need explanation and will take longer to answer. Thus, such questions encourage long conversations. Always try to use open-ended questions if the situation doesn’t demand closed questions.
7. Don’t Dominate The Conversation
How would you feel to be around someone who talks too much and dominate the conversation?
Not very pleased, right?
Talking too much doesn’t make a good impression on others. When you try to dominate the conversation, people feel uncomfortable and become less interested in you.
Instead of talking too much, give the other person some space to express their thoughts, feelings, or opinions.
8. Don’t Assume! Reflect And Clarify
It is always better to reflect and clarify the message or information you have heard instead of assuming that you have understood it. When someone talks or communicates with you, you can use the paraphrasing method to clarify your understanding.
Reflection can make your verbal communication skills stronger and more effective. The quality of a conversation is always improved when you reflect and clarify.
By reflecting, you can make sure you’re getting it. Let the speaker know if there’s anything unclear or if you need clarification. Hopefully, he’ll clear things up. He’ll even go over it in detail if necessary.
Additionally, reflecting and clarifying shows you’re interested in the conversation. It also shows you’re interested and attentive!
9. Speak With Confidence Without Losing Humility
Those who speak humbly and show genuine respect for others are always respected. Although you should practice humility and respect others, you should not give up on your self-confidence.
Humility and self-confidence both have their own significance in someone’s life. Humility means not being proud and never undermining others. Whereas, self-confidence means trusting one’s abilities and values.
Someone who has both humility and self-confidence trusts his abilities and values. Thus, he always behaves with confidence. At the same time, he is also neither proud nor thinks he is better than others. Indeed, we need both of them together to thrive as better human beings and to create a better society.
Self-confidence refers to self-assurance in one’s judgment, ability, and personal strength. And humility improves your personality and makes it more attractive. It brings you respect in society and at work.
You can do these things to reflect confidence in your speech without losing humility-
- Choose your words wisely
- Watch your tone of voice
- Ensure proper eye contact
- Maintain proper body language
10. Learn How to Listen Better
The next thing you can do to improve your verbal communication skill is to learn how to listen better. This involves listening attentively to what others are saying and asking thoughtful questions.
There is no doubt that listening is a core element that strengthens verbal communication skills. You cannot achieve great verbal communication skills without being a good listener.
When you listen to the other person, you should show genuine interest in what he or she is saying. You should listen attentively so that you can understand the speaker’s message without disturbing them. To be good at listening, you should learn and master the art of Active Listening.
One of the easiest ways to improve your verbal communication is to practice speaking with others. To do so, you can speak to people at your workplace, at school, or even online. Ensure that you ask them questions, listen carefully, and express yourself clearly.
Whether you’re giving a presentation or talking to a friend, being able to communicate effectively is an invaluable skill.
Having strong verbal communication skills is one of the key elements needed to be able to lead a fulfilling social and professional life. It helps you become a people person. In addition to this, it provides you with the opportunity to excel in your career.
The 10 effective ways we’ve talked above will help polish and enrich your verbal communication skill!