Verbal communication involves the use of words to convey messages. The two types of verbal communication are written and spoken communication. We’ll be discussing verbal communication skills in this guide, so read further to be enlightened.
What are Verbal Communication Skills?
A verbal communication definition was stated in the previous subheading, so we can proceed with presenting one for verbal communication skills.
Verbal communication skills can be defined as the abilities necessary for delivering and receiving oral and written messages effectively. For example the ability of a manager to give written instructions which can be easily understood by employees.
Importance of Verbal Communication Skills
In a study, it was gathered that almost 80% of the people who use texting as a method of communication prefer to have text conversations with businesses. Another research revealed that almost 75% of adults prefer to use email as their primary method of communication.
We understand that the methods stated in the above citations are under verbal communication (based on the verbal communication definition given earlier). Therefore, it’s evident that having adequate verbal communication skills is important. Take a look at the 5 importance of these skills below.
- To establish and maintain great working/business relationships
- Employees will be able to understand directives from managers better
- Managers will be able to understand employees’ needs better
- To foster a cordial intercultural working environment
- To boost employee motivation, loyalty, productivity, creativity, and innovation
1. To Establish and Maintain Great Working/Business Relationships
Imagine being able to tackle organizational conflict as fast as possible with the aid of these skills. That would save a lot of time that should be put into production processes. Employees would be able to interact effectively, as well as cooperate with one another in getting goals and objectives attained. Teams will greatly benefit from a situation where each member has these skills. Moreover, teamwork will be at an optimal level.
2. Employees Will Be Able to Understand Directives from Managers Better
Managers will be able to streamline production processes easily which in turn will lead to an increase in output. Also, there’ll be fewer incidences of mistakes and cases of conflict will reduce. These will happen because they’ll have the necessary skills for communicating directives and answering feedback well. Apart from that, they’ll be able to figure out the barriers to the communication process and find ways to tackle them.
3. Managers Will Be Able to Understand Employees’ Needs Better
Imagine that employees are able to express themselves confidently without the fear of being bullied or rejected. Such a work environment will encourage the discussion of personal problems bothering employees which the managers will, in turn, assist them in solving. The freedom of workers to express themselves will promote employee-to-manager feedback, clarification of information, and so on.
4. To Foster a Cordial Intercultural Working Environment
How do employees and managers in a workplace that’s characterized by diversity maintain an effective information flow? Intercultural verbal communication skills will be needed to build rapport amidst cultural, lingual, and social differences. This will be extended to the organization’s relations with customers, suppliers, and other establishments in view of heterogeneity (diversity).
5. To Boost Employee Motivation, Loyalty, Productivity, Creativity, and Innovation
Do you know that putting these skills to effective use can improve the job satisfaction levels of the workforce? When workers have a sense of job security with a better information flow from top-level managers to low-level managers, it will strengthen their loyalty to the organization. They would be enthusiastic about achieving the company’s vision and mission like they were their personal long-term goals.
Employees need to feel like they’re a part of the company. The impression should be that employees and managers are part of a big corporate family. Creativity and innovation will be encouraged in a work environment that promotes the exchange of concerns, opinions, and ideas. Increased productivity will lead to business growth and expansion as the ultimate results!
What are the Principles of Verbal Communication?
The verbal component of communication depends significantly on the proper use of the principles of speech: a clear, graspable, and organized structure, as well as a clear, fluid and variable tone.
A coherent form of verbal communication involves the use of these principles:
- What you say without saying: Your tone, clothes, body language, eye contact, gestures, position, space, and environment can be like saying something about yourself.
- Context: How the words are said. The situation and the circumstances in which it is delivered can change the meaning of the words.
- Silence: Silence is not always bad. A short pause can also reflect what you think, feel, or might be planning to say.
- Relevance and purpose: The communicator must be sure that the message(s) being directed toward the receiver is both significantly relevant and is perceived to be the purpose of the communication.
- Responsive and reinforcing verbal communications: This principle conveys the idea that in order for verbal communication to be deemed successful, the receiver of the message (the audience) must respond in a way that is deemed indicative of their acceptance of the proclaimed message or belief.
- The Graspable Organization of Verbal Communication: It is the ability to develop a message which is easily grasped by the listener.
The principles of verbal communication could be used to give a wide range of answers. They are integral to all forms of communication, as they “flow through” all other forms of verbal communication.
How to Improve Verbal Communication Skills
It’s advisable for companies to organize training programs for their employees to improve these skills. This will prove to be worth the investment later on.
We’ve been able to define verbal communications and state its importance in an organization in terms of skill set. Now let’s take a look at how to improve those skills. Below are 10 ways that these skills can be enhanced.
1. Prepare Yourself by Reading and Researching
It’s always good to plan the communication process beforehand, as long as it isn’t impromptu. Adopt a regular reading culture and research everything that’s relevant to the communication process. Having a regular reading culture helps you improve your diction, express ideas better, and strengthen language skills.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Organize your thoughts before the communication process, so as to avoid pausing awkwardly when speaking or affecting your confidence negatively. You should also ensure that your diction, tone, nonverbal cues, facial expressions, and body language flow with the conversation while encoding your message.
3. Communicate with Conciseness
Effectiveness in communication also depends on knowing when to be either straightforward or comprehensive. You have to be sure of the flow that’s suitable for any situation.
4. Encode with Clarity
Simply put, communicating with clarity means expressing yourself in a clear language and manner. Avoid using ambiguous expressions that would hinder the decoder’s understanding.
5. Be Confident
Speaking with confidence is one of those reasons that makes audiences give speakers their undivided attention. They’ll trust what you have to say when you’re bold with the following:
- Body language
- Use of language
- Maintenance of eye contact
- Knowledge of the subject matter
6. Inflect when Speaking
Inflection involves the variation of pitch or intonation when speaking to avoid sounding monotonous. If you don’t do so, your audience will most likely get bored. Lay emphasis on words or main points by inflecting.
7. Engage in Active Listening
Listening attentively helps you understand the other party and build trust in his/her mind. Ensure that eye contact is maintained, so that they’ll know you’re interested in the information they’re sharing. Understand, memorize, evaluate, and be responsive.
8. Be Attentive to Nonverbal Cues
Be aware of nonverbal cues from both you and your audience. Others may be able to read your attitude via your body language. At the same time, it can affect their interpretation of your message. Your gestures and facial expressions should also be controlled. On the other hand, you should be observant of those of your audience. Always be alert and maintain eye contact.
9. Put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes
You cannot completely understand the recipient of the information you’re passing across unless you put their point of view into consideration. The fact that you understand your message well doesn’t mean the decoder will grasp it easily.
10. Practice what You Learnt Regularly
Everything you’ve learnt has to be practiced. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Use any technique that works for you to get better results. Take advantage of the online courses that will be recommended in the next section.
Watch this YouTube video to learn more about the above improvement tips:
Best Ways to Learn Verbal Communication Skills
The best ways to learn these skills include taking online courses. That’s why we’ve presented two Teachable.com courses below with links to their web pages. Keep in mind that they cover the two types of verbal communication.
- Course Title: Conversation Countdown
Description: Students will be able to converse in a new language effectively after one week of taking the course.
- Course Title: Write Your Heart Out
Description: Students will learn how to write professionally.
What are the verbal communication skills examples?
Here are some examples of verbal communication skills to give you an in-depth understanding of the subject matter:
- Examples of verbal communication skills team members should have:
- Asking when in doubt
- Being open to constructive criticism
- Examples of verbal communication skills supervisors should have:
- Active listening skills
- Ability to motivate
- Advisory skills
- Examples of verbal communication skills presenters should have:
- Public speaking (oratory)
- Persuasion skills
- Proper articulation
- Use of appropriate diction
- Good command of language
- Effective use of examples, instances, and storytelling.
- Use of the suitable language for an audience
- Examples of verbal communication skills clients should have:
- Conversational skills
- Active listening skills
- Requesting for clarification
- Attention to non-verbal cues
What are the Elements of Verbal Communication?
You’ll understand the verbal communication definition better when you know its elements. They’re given below.
What are the Principles of Verbal Communication?
When you define verbal communications and then move further to learn its principles, you’ll be aiding your understanding of the main concept.
- It has rules
- Syntactic rules
- Semantic rules
- Contextual rules
- It is abstract
- It organizes and classifies reality
Motivate yourself to improve these skills because they can be useful in your personal life—apart from a corporate setting. The possible rewards for such a skill set are limitless. Developing them requires daily practice. Use what you learned in the courses to improve your skillset on the two types of verbal communication.