Human beings are continually communicating with those around them, using different types of language.
One of the main ones is oral language, speech. Communicating orally and doing so in a fluid, understandable way that allows the transmission of meanings easily is something that is taken for granted by most people, while not being able to do so represents a high level of functional limitation. Fortunately, verbal fluency is a trainable skill..
In this article we present a dozen tricks that can help us improve our level of verbal fluency.
- Recommended article: “14 Top Soft Skills for Success in Life”
The concept of verbal fluency
In order to correctly train verbal fluency, we first need to know what we are training. Therefore, we will first make a brief comment on what this concept implies.
We understand verbal fluency as the ability to establish a dialogue clearly and spontaneously., establishing connections between phrases and ideas in a natural and unforced way so that the speech appears continuous and prolonged over time. Fluent speech will allow ideas and information to be transmitted in an understandable way to the recipient, with an adequate rhythm and avoiding unnecessary pauses and breaks in rhythm and tone that could alter understanding.
The absence of verbal fluency can have different causes, from regulations such as certain types of character or the absence of practice in the use of language (for example when we learn a language we are not very fluent, or in situations of deprivation of stimulation) to the presence of neurological alterations and disorders, such as Broca’s aphasia.
A dozen tricks to improve our verbal fluency
Fortunately, verbal fluency is a skill that can be trained., there are multiple ways to improve it. Below we leave you several commonly used tricks and strategies for this.
1. Tongue twister
Fluency is acquired with practice. One way to do it in a more or less enjoyable way is by using tongue twisters.. Although they pose a challenge for the majority of the population, they allow the subject to challenge themselves to complete more or less prolonged sequences of words with similar sounds and with few pauses between them. If we are trying to improve a child’s fluency, it is useful to see it as a game and not punish mistakes or slowness, otherwise it could generate frustration and reluctance to do so.
2. Theatricalization of scripts and role-playing
One way to improve verbal fluency can be found in the use of dramatization. It is a pleasant way in which the person will have to expose himself publicly by relating a text that he must have studied and repeated numerous times before. The use of representation and dramatization, costumes, scenery and gesticulation allows to improve fluency in an entertaining and fun way.
3. Talk about topics in which we have mastery
To speak fluently we have to be confident in what we are saying. Although in daily life the topics of conversation and what we are going to have to communicate can vary enormously, it can be useful in order to start training fluency to talk about topics over which the trained subject has a certain mastery. Knowing what you are talking about will allow you to prolong your speech and little by little you will gain confidence in your abilities.
4. Create a story together
Cooperative activities also help reinforce verbal fluency. One of the ways to do this is to make a story cooperatively, chaining words and forming meaningful sentences.. Each member of the group must repeat what the previous ones have said and add a word or phrase, so that in the long run the flow of words increases and you see yourself making a story that is increasingly complex and fluid.
5. Self-instructions out loud
It may be useful to ask the subject to perform an action and while doing it, explain the actions and steps. what he is doing. In this way, fluidity can be improved in a more unconscious way, given that the person will be focused on carrying out the activity itself.
6. Repetition tasks
One of the most used techniques, It is based on making the subject repeat what we have told him. Relatively short words and phrases are initially used, to increase in complexity as their length is overcome with a normal rhythm and speed.
Another little trick that can increase our verbal fluency is to sing. Through singing we replicate the sounds and intonation of the authors of the song, producing increasingly longer speech that we will try to adapt to the parameters with which we have heard it.
8. Explanation of images
A common trick that can improve verbal fluency is make the subject to be trained explain the content of an image that reflects a situation, whose complexity may vary. If a simple and short explanation is offered (for example, a wedding is observed and the subject simply says the word that identifies the situation), questions can be asked about it.
Another task that can be seen as a game is to ask the subject to express the similarities or differences between two elements, which must be very perceptible and clear at the beginning and more abstract as they progress.
10. Learning vocabulary and expressions
In order to be fluent in the language, it is necessary to have a base of knowledge about what things are and how they are called., so if you do not have enough vocabulary it is necessary to implement it little by little. Although this does not generate verbal fluency per se, it is a necessary requirement that facilitates it.
11. Turn-based tasks
Sometimes verbal fluency is diminished not by lack of speed, but by excess of it.. In this sense, carrying out games or activities that require taking turns or taking certain breaks. It does not have to be a language-only task, but motor tasks can also be used (such as English hide-and-seek) or conducting debates.
12. Time limit
Setting time limits for saying something can be helpful if it is experienced as a game or competition.. For example, it may be proposed to carry out a presentation on a specific topic in which certain information must be reflected for five minutes, and subsequently reduce the time available for this, having to maintain the proposed information on each occasion.