How To Master Verbal Communication? 11 Practical Tips

How to master verbal communication

Verbal communication has been the great aptitude of human beings given that practically the entire culture and thought of our species is based on it.

Not only is the act of speaking verbal communication, that is, uttering words orally. So is the act of writing, since specific information is also transmitted through writing. However, possessing negligent verbal skills can significantly harm our ability to convey the message we want to make our audience understand.

That is why it is very important to learn how to master verbal communication, something that we will see in this article, in addition to briefly explaining what exactly this type of communication is and how it differs from non-verbal communication.

What is verbal communication?

Verbal communication is understood as the act of transmit information through words, which can be expressed orally or in writing That is, and unlike what many people believe, verbal communication, in addition to being the act of speaking, is informing in written form, using meaningful words and phrases.

Normally, when talking about communication, a very clear distinction is made between the verbal and the non-verbal, as if they were oil and water. But the truth is that both types of human communications are mutually necessary, since it is not possible to send a message in a fully effective and unambiguous way by relying solely on verbal communication.

When we talk to someone we always pay attention to their facial gestures, hand movements, tone of voice… These aspects of non-verbal communication can indicate whether what the person says agrees with what they really think. For example, if the person tells us that they are very calm and yet they are constantly moving their legs, they are transmitting nervousness to us.

What should be highlighted is that verbal communication It is a very useful tool for the human species that, if not properly mastered, can lead to misunderstandings If you do not have good verbal skills, the message you are trying to send will not be well understood by the audience, whether it is made up of listeners or readers. Thus, this audience will not understand the message nor will they know how to ask the appropriate questions.

How to master verbal communication?

There are several strategies that can be put into practice to master verbal communication. Next, we will see a list of all of them with clarifying examples.

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1. Get off to a good start

On many occasions, especially when it comes to a first meeting with another person, How the first minutes of the conversation go will profoundly mark the relationship in the future

First impressions have a very significant impact on the view you have of others, and the way you speak is a key aspect. During the first contact you should be friendly and try to use a calm tone.

Regardless of the context in which the conversation is taking place, you should try to talk about more neutral and generic topics, to give way to those issues in which there may be greater polarization of opinions

2. Prepare the topic

In order to master verbal communication, whether oral or written, It is necessary to have extensive knowledge of the topic you are going to talk about It is very important to document yourself before starting a conversation or starting to write a text.

Whether it is an informal conversation with friends or a final presentation, it is very important to prepare the topic you are going to talk about.

It is not just a matter of demonstrating that you know the subject If, for example, we are going to discuss a specific issue and we are trying to convince others about our position, the use of data that we know helps to give strength to our opinion.

3. Choose the appropriate words

To facilitate public understanding, you should try to say or write the most appropriate words for both the level and type of listeners or readers to whom the speech is directed

For example, when writing a document on psychology, if it is focused on an audience not specialized in the subject, the use of technicalities should be avoided or, if mentioned, describe exactly what they are.

On the contrary, if the same document is addressed to psychologists and related professionals, in that case it will not be necessary to describe each term used, since it will be understood that the audience to whom they are directed already knows them.

By choosing the appropriate words you can capture on the recipient’s mind an image very similar to the one we ourselves have imagined in our mind In the event that the language is vague or too abstract for the situation we are talking about, the meaning of what we are trying to say will be carried away in the wind.

Also, the use of words that are too rare makes the conversation or text in question become heavy and not very dynamic.

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4. Speak clearly

You must speak clearly, that is, appropriately vocalizing the phonemes and using a volume appropriate for the space you are in, if you are speaking orally.

If you speak too softly, the other person will not understand anything, plus can interpret that we are not sure what we are talking about or we are afraid that someone will hear us which can be interpreted as if we were telling a secret.

On the other hand, if you speak using a volume that is too high, it can be interpreted as being angry or wanting to convey some type of negative feeling regarding the message that is being broadcast.

5. Use an appropriate tone

To use an appropriate tone, you must first be aware of what tone you are using. This may seem difficult, since everyone speaks and reads from their own perspective and evaluates the tones of others based on their own. However, once we have managed to identify our tone, It will take a little patience and time to work on its improvement

If you are writing a text, a good way to know what tone is reflected in the document is to simply read it aloud before handing it over to the person in charge. By reading the words aloud it is possible to find out what the tone transmitted is, and if any modification is necessary.

The words used, in themselves, may be appropriate for the topic being talked about and the audience they are focused on; however, There are certain constructions that can be interpreted as sarcasm, pedantry or excessive formality

6. Look in the eyes

Although this point would be more related to non-verbal communication, it is important to mention, given that It serves as support to effectively communicate what we are trying to say through words

Looking into the eyes of the person you are talking to helps create a certain connection, which is essential for both parties to pay attention to what the other is saying.

But, be careful, you have to be careful and not look too hard. This can be interpreted in many ways and none of them are comfortable for the interlocutor.

7. Focus on the audience

In the event that it is being spoken orally, you must pay attention to the other and concentrate on what they are saying

It is possible that, as you speak, questions come to mind to clarify certain points previously discussed in the conversation, however, you should make an effort and avoid thinking about them while the other person is speaking.

Thinking about what questions will be asked can put us at risk of not paying attention to the person and, coincidentally, he is answering the question we are going to ask him.

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When we do it, the person will tell us that they have already told us and may feel a little upset when they see that we are not paying attention to them.

8. Avoid distractions

It may be the case that, while talking to another person, there is background noise. This should be avoided, or try to ignore this stimulus and focus on what the person you are talking to is saying.

If this distractor cannot be controlled, you can invite the other speaker to go somewhere where there is less noise or where there are not as many distractions emphasizing that you want to say something more or less important.

9. Avoid focusing too much on the same point

Whether you are having a conversation or writing a document, it is possible that you focus more on some topics than others. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. Appropriate prominence should be given to those points that deserve it no more than necessary.

Points that may be superficial but still give meaning to the conversation or text as a whole should also be taken into account.

That is why you should avoid focusing too much on the same point, since in that case you run the risk of appearing too heavy or having only understood a very small part of the entire topic that has been discussed.

10. Encourage the participation of others

A fairly common situation, which would be within oral verbal communication, is that not only two people participate in the same conversation, but more. In this type of situation it usually happens that, despite there being several members in the group, only two or, at most, three are the ones having the real conversation.

A good way to demonstrate solid verbal skills, as well as strengthen bonds between conversationalists, is to encourage the participation of others. In addition to not feeling ignored, they may say something that enriches the conversation, but that they have not dared to say before due to lack of assertiveness.

11. Summarize

After having talked at length about a topic or, in case the conversation or text in question is coming to an end, it always looks good summarize the main points mentioned throughout the conversation

In this way it is possible to review what has not been completely clear, and focus on it if appropriate.

On the other hand, a demonstration is made of the capacity for attention that has been put into practice throughout the conversation or in the preparation of the written text.