Communication is the basic tool for human connection and it is the key to both personal and career success. Communication lies at the heart of all kinds of relationships whether personal or professional. For career growth, you must have good verbal communication skills and oral communication skills. “Excellent communications skills” – Do you remember reading this requirement in every job description? Yes, it is part of almost every JD because without, proper verbal skills, you cannot share any information within the team or with others in a professional manner. Effective verbal communication is all about the words that you choose, and how they are heard and interpreted. In this post let us look at the importance of verbal communication and how to improve your verbal communication skills to grow in your career.
What Is Verbal Communication?
Verbal communication is any kind of communication where you use words to share information with others. Everyone uses verbal communication to communicate even the simplest of things. Have you seen an infant cry out when hungry or when in discomfort? It is their verbal skill to communicate that there is a problem that needs attention. Professionally, different verbal communication skills are used for clarity, cohesive and concrete information transmission. Effective oral communication can range from the obvious – speaking clearly, to the more detailed way of communicating with perfectly articulated cohesive information.
Your verbal communication skills can define your personality and your leadership skills too. Do you remember the iPhone launch presentation by Steve Jobs? It is the perfect example of effective verbal communication that conveyed the message in the most powerful and functional manner.
Importance of Verbal Communication
Effective oral communications and verbal skills are essential in the workplace – whichever field you may be in – improving your interpersonal communication will always help you. Verbal skills play a key role in bringing teams together, solving conflict, and motivating your team. When you have strong verbal communication skills, you can grow in your career at a faster pace.
The importance of verbal communication can be seen at interpersonal levels in both your personal and professional lives. Here’s why verbal skills are important.
1. Helps you express yourself
You can express your ideas, thoughts, emotions, and experiences better when you have good verbal communication skills.
2. Helps you think
Communication is always two ways, it is as important to listen as it is to speak. Effective oral communication will benefit you at the workplace as it helps you to think and retrospect.
3. Gives Clarity
With good verbal skills, you can give clarity to your fellow team members or seniors while presenting any idea.
Want to motivate your team to work better, brush up on your oral communication skills.
5. Saves Time
When your verbal skills are good you can put across points and ideas easily and give clarity while communicating which eventually saves time.
Types of Verbal Communication
A good orator can put across their ideas and thoughts to a large audience easily. When you improve your verbal skills you can communicate ideas more effectively at all levels. We use our verbal communication skills to express ideas to another person(s). There are various types of verbal communication we might be using daily. Let us take a look at these types of verbal communication and understand why verbal skills are so important.
1. Interpersonal Verbal Communication skills
This is a more personal level of verbal skills as one uses it for one-to-one conversations. When you are expressing your idea or opinion to another individual in face-to-face meetings or talking over the phone or video you are using interpersonal verbal communication skills.
E.g, While attending a one-on-one job interview it is better if you have strong interpersonal verbal skills as it might add value to the conversation.
2. Intrapersonal Verbal skills
Self-talk, self-motivation, and visualisation are all types of intrapersonal communication. If you are in a creative field these verbal skills are very useful to keep yourself motivated. It helps with personal introspection, and also improves your communication skills with others.
E.g, You may use self-talk to calm yourself when faced with a stressful situation or boost confidence before a social gathering or public speaking.
3. Small Group Communications
Small group conversations or group communications are a regular practice at any workplace. Conversations within a team, presentations, meetings, and board meetings are typical types of small-group conversations. Usually, the number of participants in such groups is not very high so stick to the topic and talk factually to present your thoughts.
E.g, Panel discussions during job interviews, presentations for any project to your team or board members, etc are types of small group communications.
4. Public Communications
In public communication or public speaking, you are addressing a larger audience. Verbal communication skills for a public speaker need to be optimum yet easy to grasp. Since the audience is large, use simple words and phrases and structure your thoughts so that the audience understands easily. Public communications also require you to have good confidence in yourself and your oral communication skills.
E.g, Product launches, election campaigns, and presentations are a few examples of public communication.
Difference between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
Verbal communication refers to the use of spoken or written words to convey a message or information. It includes things like speaking, writing, singing, and other forms of symbolic language. Examples of verbal communication include having a conversation with someone, giving a presentation, or writing an email.
Nonverbal communication, on the other hand, refers to the use of nonverbal cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, to convey a message or information. It can also include things like gestures, eye contact, and posture. Examples of nonverbal communication include nodding your head to indicate agreement, rolling your eyes to indicate sarcasm, or crossing your arms to indicate defensiveness.
Both verbal and nonverbal communication is important for effective communication, as they work together to convey meaning. For example, when someone is speaking, their tone of voice and facial expressions can indicate whether they are serious or joking, even if the words they are saying are ambiguous. Similarly, when someone is giving a presentation, their body language can indicate whether they are confident or nervous, even if the content of the presentation is sound.
For example, in a job interview, both verbal and nonverbal communication play a role in making a good impression. The interviewer would use verbal communication to ask questions and the interviewee would use verbal communication to answer. The interviewer would also be observing the interviewee’s nonverbal communication such as their body language, facial expressions, and dress to make an assessment.
Overall, understanding and being able to effectively use both verbal and nonverbal communication is key to successful communication in any situation.
10 Verbal Communication Skills You Might Be Using at Workplace
Here are 10 verbal communication skills that you might be using every day at a working setup. It is essential to understand the importance of verbal communication and work towards its improvement whenever required.
1. Conveying messages to the team
2. Giving feedback in a constructive manner
3. Giving credit to good work by the team
4. Training juniors
5. Questioning at R&D levels
7. Asking for clarification
8. Pitching for a new project
9. Client communication
10. Illustrating points at meetings
15 Tips for Improving Your Verbal Communication Skills
Here are some tips to improve your verbal skills.
1. Think before you speak
2. Be prepared with your pointers
3. Use simple language to convey your idea
4. Speak confidently
5. Understand the audience and speak so that they clearly understand
6. Always speak in a respectful and cheerful tone
7. Pay attention to your body language
8. Listen to feedback and what the audience is saying
9. Avoid using too much jargon
10. Speak factually when required
11. Add an element of fun and humour when doing public speaking
12. Use storytelling while reaching a wider audience
13. Practice verbal communication skills at home to be at ease
14. Do not fear judgment
15. Practice verbal skills in front of a mirror.
7 Practical Exercises for Improving Your Verbal Communication Skills
1. Practice active listening
This means actively paying attention to the speaker, making eye contact, and providing verbal cues such as “mm-hmm” or “I see” to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
Practice different scenarios such as a job interview, a presentation, or a difficult conversation with a friend or family member. This will help you become more comfortable and confident in different situations.
3. Speak in public
Whether it’s giving a presentation at work, speaking at a community event, or even just giving a toast at a friend’s wedding, speaking in public is a great way to improve your verbal communication skills.
4. Join a Toastmasters club
Toastmasters is an international organization that focuses on public speaking and leadership development. Joining a local chapter can provide a supportive environment for practicing and improving your verbal communication skills.
5. Record yourself
Record yourself speaking or doing a presentation and then listen to the recording. This will allow you to hear any mistakes or areas that need improvement and make adjustments accordingly.
6. Read aloud
Reading aloud can help improve your pronunciation, fluency, and overall speaking ability. Try reading a newspaper article, a chapter from a book, or a script to practice your speaking skills.
7. Use a language-learning app
Try using a language learning app to practice your verbal communication skills in a different language. This can help you become more fluent and confident in speaking a different language.
We use verbal communication skills every day – be it speaking to our family members or friends. An individual with good verbal skills always excels at talking and putting their ideas forward. Effective verbal communication is essential and can help you scale great heights both in your personal and professional life.
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