From the very beginning, human beings have always been communicating via some type of verbal communication.
Even before the inception of any official language or formal speeches, our grunt and groans were the common means for communicating verbally. – But the necessity of verbal communication has always been linked with the advancement of the human race.
While the human race has come a very long way since that backbreaking beginning, one aspect has not changed i.e.-
“Effective verbal communication is the most important tool when it comes to achieving success in any goal that requires the cooperation or interaction of more than one person.”
Dale Carnegie, an American writer, and lecturer who was also the developer of courses in self-improvement, corporate training, salesmanship, interpersonal skills, and public speaking once said-
“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.”
Amongst these four ways, ‘what we say and how we say it’ are the most integral pillars of verbal communication. In this post, we will dive into different concepts of verbal communication and understand how you can improve it. So, without delaying any further, let us get started right away-
What is Verbal Communication?
To understand the concepts of verbal communication more adeptly, you should be aware of the ramifications of inadequate verbal communication abilities.
If you do not know the right way of communication, you won’t be able to clearly express your thoughts or viewpoints. Mainly, you will suffer in the cases when you require the interaction, cooperation, or assistance of other individuals.
Can you imagine how this world would be like if teachers lacked the right teaching skills?
Their teaching skills were also based on their verbal communication abilities.
So, verbal communication skills are the base of sharing ideas, thoughts, feelings, viewpoints, etc with other individuals.
Such skills are integral when it comes to accomplishing success in the business world.
That is why, Verbal Communication in marketing, business management, leadership, and decision making is considered one of the most crucial features that decide the success and failure of many projects.
You must have noticed people working at the important positions in a company have one trait in common- powerful verbal communication abilities.
With the help of these abilities, they express their vision and ideas more convincingly to get favorable outcomes.
Let us now move towards one of the most important sections of this post i.e. developing confidence for effective verbal communication-
How to Develop Confidence during Verbal Communication?
Do you also have some sorts of unexplainable fear that downslides your confidence in speaking situations?
Then let me tell you that you are not the only one here.
Even, as per research, public speaking is considered one of the most feared activities all around the world.
You just need to understand the whole scenario and connect with your inner self to decipher the problem here.
Many of the time, the lack of confidence while speaking occurs because of low self-esteem. When you start thinking that you may embarrass yourself while speaking or if you think that you are not “good” enough for an occasion, your verbal communication may suffer.
Because of this, you may have the tendency of avoiding conversations that will for sure cause difficulty in your life.
So, how to resolve this confidence issue while speaking?
First thing first, you need to tell yourself that such fears are irrational and unwarranted.
Then you should follow two below given steps that will boost your confidence straight away. Later, in the next section, we will talk about some of the key verbal communication skills in different scenarios-
This might sound like a no- brainer right, but it is one of the most crucial skills that will help you in regaining your confidence while speaking.
You need to learn the right ways of using this. At the moment, when you start feeling anxious or nervous, you should take deep breaths while speaking or before you speak.
The right kind of breathing will remove out the uneasiness of your inner core or your audiences, and hence you will be able to focus better.
You should opt for mental double-checks to observe what is going on in your mind, which will let you stay in present and more focused.
When you are participating in verbal communication, incorporating listening skills is very crucial as well.
Anyone in a conversation who is only waiting for his or her chance to speak lacks basic courtesy of speaking. When you listen properly, you will be able to respond intelligibly as per the flow of the conversation.
This will also ease down your anxiety level, and you will feel more comfortable during conversation. Your patience will for sure be reciprocated which will create an ambiance where you can communicate comfortably.
These two steps will always be the two most important aspects of effective verbal communication.
In addition to these, some of the other practices you should do increase your confidence while speaking is-
- Making a good first impression
- Be the boss of your material
- Practice visualization
- Adopt the power poses
- Establish trust and allow the listener to feel comfortable
You should make a habit of incorporating these skills in your day to day conversations, and soon you will be a confident speaker.
Let us now have a look at some of the key verbal communication skills essential for different roles in the workplace-
Verbal Communication Skills for Different Roles at Workplace
1. Verbal Communication skills of Supervisors
When it comes to a supervisor, their communication is not just limited to telling subordinates about the tasks they are supposed to do, but they should have the right verbal communication skills to empower the workforce, so they stay motivated to perform beyond their potential.
Supervisors, leaders, or managers should have good listening skills to understand the viewpoints, needs, and requirements of subordinates. With the right verbal communication skills, a supervisor will be able to engage with the workforce more effectively.
Some of the key skills significant for a supervisor are-
- Guiding subordinates about an appropriate course of action
- Incorporating assertiveness along with the ability to convey feedback in a constructive manner
- Communication skills to discipline the workforce in a direct and respectful manner
- Having the habit of giving due credit to others
- Abilities to recognize and counter objections
- Asking about and recognizing other’s feelings to show interest in them
- Despite being stressed speaking in a calm manner
- Incorporating the right skills for terminating staff
- Abilities to train others, so they can carry out a task or role
- Knowledge about the affirmative sounds and words such as “got you,” “uh-huh,” “I understand,” “I see,” “for sure,” and “yes” and using them to demonstrate understanding
- Opting to self-disclosure to encourage sharing
2. Verbal Communication skills of Team Members
When you are a team member, you need to understand that open and constant lines of communication are pivotal for the success of the team.
It will be highly significant in completing quality and deadline-critical assignments.
In such cases, good verbal communication skills are considered as the backbone of team-building skills that ensure easy and effective goal accomplishments.
Some of the verbal communication skills important for the team-members are-
- Ability to convey messages concisely
- Skills of encouraging reluctant team members, so they can share their input
- Ability to describe a difficult situation without getting angry
- Abilities to explain that you need assistance
- Skills to paraphrase for showing a good understanding
- Ability to pose probing questions for eliciting more detail about any specific issues
- Right skills to receiving criticism without defensiveness
- Ability to refrain from speaking frequently or interrupting others
- Ability to requesting for feedback
- Conversational abilities to state your needs, viewpoints, desires or feelings without blaming or criticizing
3. Verbal Communication skills with Clients
When you are communicating with clients, you need to incorporate those dynamics of verbal communications that focus upon identifying and addressing the needs of your clients.
You should incorporate consultative dialogues for developing positive client relations. Some of the skills that you should incorporate here are-
- Ability to anticipate the concerns of others
- The polite way of asking for clarification
- Verbal skills to ask open-ended questions for stimulating dialogue
- Ability to calm an agitated customer through the recognition of their complaints
- Verbal skills to talks about the benefits of a product, proposal, or service, so clients can be convinced
- Identifying non-verbal cues of clients and responding verbally to resolve issues
4. Verbal Communication skills of Public Speakers
In case you want to sharpen your public speaking abilities, you need to practice it.
You may also opt for formal training in presentations, so your verbal communications get improved while addressing the public.
You should speak with absolute articulation and persuasion while speaking to the public. Some of the public speaking skills you should incorporate are-
- The adeptness to enunciate each word clearly
- Structure your speak by introducing the focus of a topic at the beginning of your interaction
- Ability to plan communications before delivery
- Verbal skills to project your voice to fill the room
- Include concrete examples for illustrating points
- Learn the right way to restate important points towards the end of a talk
- Opt for the language and style that are appropriate to the audience
- Learn to speak at a moderate pace
- While speaking with the public, you should speak with confidence and modesty
- Your statements should be supported with facts and evidence
- Have skills of tailoring messages to different audiences
- Include storytelling and humor to engage your audience
After going through some of the key verbal communication skills, let us have a look upon some of the mistakes that you should avoid in the process of improving your verbal communication skills-
Mistakes to avoid to improve your Verbal Communication Skills
1. Always avoid using abusive language
The worst of all the mistakes that one can make while speaking to others is the use of abusive language. Even in the most irritating circumstances, you need to have control over your emotion and language.
This becomes more crucial when you are talking with ladies, kids, or elderly people. They always incline pleasant vocabularies, and that is why you should never opt for any sort of harsh tones deliberately or inadvertently.
In conflicting situations or disputes, abusive language can aggravate the whole scenario and hence can worsen the outcome. The use of such language even when other parties are using it will not be useful, and you should try your best to control language if you do not want to heighten the anger of all the associated parties.
However, the practicality of this also depends upon the actual situation you are facing; still avoiding the use of abusive language is one of the most important practices that you should practice to improve your verbal communication skills.
2. Avoid condemning too much while communicating
To communicate effectively, you should also avoid condemning others frequently.
No one likes to speak with someone who always emphasis on the negative aspects of others’ perception. You would have also experienced that paying attention to the thoughts of such people and interacting with them is not a very pleasant experience at all.
When a person tends to condemn others frequently, people tend to either ignore them or feel sorry for them.
That is why, when you plan to master verbal communication skills, you should never tend to condemn other speakers or your audience. Instead, you should be logical and persuasive in your verbal communication practices.
3. Avoid being conclusive in your speech
To master verbal communication skills, you should have patience while communicating with others. That is why; you should never tend jumping straight to the conclusions.
Those who tend to conclude their conversations, you will not be able to express your thoughts as eloquently as would have originally thought in the beginning.
In this form of conversation, you may get distracted or halted by other parties.
So, you should never be in a hurry to conclude your conversations.
4. Avoid having a narrowed perspective in your communication
For good, constructive, and productive verbal communication, you must have a wide perspective to have good power of acceptance and ability to understand others’ perceptions.
Letting others share their viewpoints is crucial for effective verbal communication skills.
When you have a narrowed perspective, you may get prejudiced while having conversations with others. You will have a prefixed mindset to think that another party should think as per your thought process.
When you have preconceived notions in your perception, you won’t be able to think of new ideas in situations when the other party responds as per your expectations.
Just wanting to stand-by your own beliefs can be one of the primary reasons because of which your communication fails most of the time. So, widen your perspectives and have the power of acceptance for others’ thoughts as well.
5. Never be fallacious or misleading while communicating with others
To be a trustworthy communicator, you need to avoid the habit of being fallacious.
You should never mislead people if you are at a position where thoughts can influence others. Sharing inaccurate information is considered as cheating, and sooner or later, people will know the truth, and they will lose trust in you.
Relations built upon the years of hard work and mutual trust get ended because of misleading communication. So, avoid this practice if you want to build a reputation for your verbal communication abilities.
In addition to these mistakes, your communication should also be not biased and self-centered.
While communicating, you should be fully focused, plus your technicalities should be clear.
When you are a good communicator, you will for sure a better connection, conviction, and negotiation skills.
All such skills are crucial for leading a more productive professional as well as personal life.
On the concluding note, we hope this post would have helped you in grasping everything crucial about verbal communication skills, plus you would have also learned some key practices to improve your communication.
How important do you consider verbal communication in deciding success in today’s time?
Do you think the digital revolution around the world is being more pivotal in increasing the significance of verbal communication nowadays?
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.