Verbal Communication: Meaning, Types & How To Improve

verbal communication
Image source: The Soft Skills Group

Verbal communication is the process of conveying information to others through speech. You may use verbal communication skills in the workplace to make presentations, convey your points at meetings, make phone calls, or engage in fruitful interactions with coworkers. Understanding the many styles of communication and their significance might help you become a better communicator. This article will describe the many ways of verbal communication, demonstrate the importance of verbal communication, and provide ideas to help you improve your skills.

Types of Verbal Communication

When you use multiple methods of communicating, you can more effectively communicate ideas or express emotions. In verbal communication, you express your thoughts to another individual aloud. The tone of your speech is another information that you might transmit throughout a conversation. The four modes of verbal communication are as follows:

#1. Interpersonal

Individuals communicate information, such as ideas or opinions, through one-to-one contact. Two or more people take turns sending and receiving information in this situation. Information can be exchanged in person, over the phone, or through Internet channels. Strong interpersonal communication can increase personal interactions and add value to a conversation. It is critical to be aware of your tone of voice, gestures, expressions, and body language when conducting interpersonal communication, as they may indicate a reason behind your words.

#2. Intrapersonal

Intrapersonal communication is communication that takes place within a person. Self-talk, acts of imagination, visualisation, or recollection are examples of how people process their thoughts. Interpersonal communication can be critical in a variety of social and personal tasks. This sort of communication might be a solitary introspection or it can lead to spoken conversation.

#3. Small-group interaction

When there are more than two people present, small group conversations may occur. The number of participants may be minimal enough that each individual can interact or speak with others. Small group conversations are typically focused on completing specific tasks or achieving certain goals. It is common at board meetings, weekly team meetings, and press conferences. Small group communication in the workplace can enable employees to execute informal roles, collaborate, and establish a sense of belonging.

Members may need to discuss a specific subject in order for small group talks to be successful. In small group formations, member characteristics might have a role. A individual who knows the group’s task, for example, may emerge as a leader and attract members before assigning duties that influence the group’s structure. Small group communications can be influenced by their size, structure, identity, and interaction pattern.

#4. Communication with the public

This type of communication frequently occurs when one person speaks to a large group of individuals, such as a crowd. Election campaign speeches are excellent instances of public communication. In most circumstances, information flows in only one direction. Typically, one individual addresses or delivers information to a large number of recipients. The speaker may attempt to disclose and explain an idea to an audience through public communication. A lecturer delivering a speech at an industry convention is a good example. Disseminating critical information to the general public via television and radio can be an important aspect of public communication.

The Importance Of Verbal Communication

In the job, verbal communication can be quite important. It is necessary to hold a meeting, make a presentation, or have personal talks. Effective verbal communication typically extends beyond talking to include how messages are delivered and received. Here are some reasons why verbal communication is important:

#1. Assists you in expressing yourself

Using various forms of verbal communication may assist you in expressing your ideas, thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This can assist you in reflecting on your personal qualities. You might describe yourself as determined, collaborative, or patient, for example. It’s critical to communicate your strengths, priorities, and expectations to others, especially if you’re going to work with them. Once team members understand your working style and abilities, they may be able to assist you in settling into your new role.

#2. Complex thoughts are organized

You may have a lot of ideas about your tasks, deadlines, and priorities as you work. Communicating ideas aloud with a team member might assist you in condensing several thoughts into a single statement. In addition, if you organize or lead a professional project, your team members may value your ability to convey complicated ideas clearly. This expertise can also be useful when communicating concepts to clients or business partners.

#3. It aids in thinking.

Verbal communication can also help you analyze and make future judgments. You can use your thoughts to recall your previous career history, examine your current role, and consider your future chances. This can be useful in the workplace. You can, for example, use verbal communication to reflect on the past in order to better your performance in the future. You can brainstorm project ideas with your coworkers and team members.

#4. Influences your mood

Your mood may be influenced by how you speak or use oral language. Your viewpoint and attitude regarding your current employment may be influenced by how you and your supervisor communicate. For example, you may be pleased when your boss recognizes your contribution to your team. What you say has the potential to influence the attitudes of others in your team or company. For example, if you compliment others’ work, they may feel better and love their work more.

#5. Gives clarity

Verbal communication can also promote connection and engagement by providing clarity. People recall knowledge better when it is presented directly to them or when they observe someone do a task in front of them. Participants in group meetings or training sessions may ask questions and receive immediate responses, which helps them comprehend the task at hand or a scenario.

#6. Improves motivation

Words of acknowledgement or praise from a management can boost individual members’ confidence and promote productivity. Hearing a motivating speech usually appears more genuine than receiving a cold email. Verbal communication can also help your team members feel appreciated and understood. For example, an in-person meeting can allow employees to express their issues to management or coworkers. Regular group meetings and conversations with employees might help to promote team spirit.

#7. It saves time.

When working in a team or group, the leader usually assigns duties and conveys the expectations to the members. Giving directions verbally rather than in writing will help you adequately convey the brief and objectives and clear any concerns before team members begin their task. Everyone will understand and agree with you, saving you time.

What Are Verbal Communication Skills?

More than just talking is required for effective verbal communication abilities. Verbal communication includes both how messages are delivered and how they are received. Communication is a soft talent that is essential for every employer. 

Workplace Verbal Communication Skills

What defines effective verbal communication on the job is determined by the communication partners’ relationships and the work context:

In the workplace, verbal communication occurs between many various persons and groups, including coworkers, supervisors and subordinates, employees, consumers, clients, teachers and students, and speakers and their audiences.

Training sessions, presentations, group meetings, performance reviews, one-on-one talks, interviews, disciplinary sessions, sales pitches, and consultancy engagements all require verbal communication.

Techniques for Improving Verbal Communication

In the workplace, strong verbal communication skills are required. Team members with strong communication skills can excel in their jobs. The following suggestions may assist you in improving your workplace verbal communication skills:

  • Consider your options before speaking. You should think about what you want to say before saying it.
  • Take note of your tone. Be mindful of how you speak to ensure that the message is received correctly. In verbal communication, your attitude toward the person you are addressing is important.
  • Take a few deep breaths. When giving longer presentations, you may take breaths between paragraphs as you consider what to say next.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others. It is beneficial to observe the speaking style of prominent speakers and individuals you admire. You can improve your own style by imitating some characteristics of theirs.
  • Pay close attention. Talk less and pay more attention to what others are saying. It can assist you in establishing rapport and demonstrating your interest in their challenges or problems.
  • Take caution. Check that your words, gestures, facial expressions, and body language are in sync with your discussion or speaking.
  • Consider alternative viewpoints. Consider what you want to say from the listener’s point of view, and then plan your reply.
  • Make your voice heard. When speaking to a large gathering, use a strong, confident voice so that everyone in the room can hear you.
  • Rehearse your presentation. Before giving a presentation or even an interview, rehearse in front of a mirror or record and play back your voice.
  • Make your points clearly. When giving a public speech, rehearse beforehand to ensure that you enunciate each word correctly.

What Is Non-Verbal Communication?

Nonverbal communication includes posture, facial gestures, and eye contact. We all utilize these cues in everyday communication, even if unconsciously.

Nonverbal communication also includes the manner in which we exhibit ourselves to others. You radiate power and confidence if you enter into a meeting with your back straight and your head held high. If you’re stooped over with your eyes on the floor, you exude anxiety and uncertainty.

According to experts, nearly 70% of all human communication is nonverbal, which means that we only communicate about 30% of our messages verbally. 

Peter Drucker, an Austrian-American author and educator, was correct when he remarked, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” 

Every day, we all perform and respond to nonverbal communication — and what we understand no one speaks. 

Types Of Non-Verbal Communication.

#1. Facial expressions

The first thing we notice about someone is their expression. A smile, frown, or grimace reveals a lot about their mood and how the conversation will proceed. Happiness, sadness, anger, and fear are universal emotions and important types of nonverbal communication.

#2. Kinesics

Kinesics, often known as gestures, are conscious bodily movements such as waving, pointing, and thumbs up or down. What gestures are socially acceptable and which are considered disrespectful is usually determined by one’s culture. 

In Westernized countries, for example, looking at your watch implies, “I need to be somewhere,” yet many Middle Eastern communities consider this rude. They are more prone to believe that a conversation should continue until it organically concludes.

#3. Paralinguistics

The components of verbal communication that aren’t the words themselves are referred to as paralinguistics (or vocalics). Paralanguage includes your tone of voice, volume, and pitch. 

This style of communication is effective because changing your voice alters the meaning of a sentence. Consider all the different ways you may say “I’m fine.” If you say it gently, you may be feeling sad, but if you say it aggressively, someone may perceive your defensiveness.

#4. Posture and body language

True body language includes crossing your legs or arms, nodding your head, slouching, and sitting up straight. For example, you may have watched crime films that use body language to advance the plot. It might also indicate what isn’t said in the discourse. 

Nonverbal communication, on the other hand, is complex and delicate. Just because you see a movement doesn’t mean you understand what it means.

#5. Proxemics

Proximity refers to how close something is to you. Personal space is important to humans. They also interpret physical distances differently in encounters.

The appropriate proximity is determined by social and cultural norms, personal preferences, and relationships. For example, if you’re in a relationship, you’d expect to sit next to each other on the couch. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to sit so close to a coworker. 

Proxemics is an essential component of interpersonal communication. Recognizing when to modify your closeness for each scenario guarantees that you don’t make people feel uncomfortable. 

North American scientists studying proximity biases have classified anticipated space as follows:

  • Intimate space: Up to 18 inches of room for close physical touch between people in an intimate relationship. 
  • Personal space: 18 to 4 feet, depending on whether you’re chatting with a stranger, a casual acquaintance, or a close friend. 
  • 4-12 feet of space provided in social settings, such as a shared office area or the distance between a presenter and their audience.
  • 12 feet or more of public area, as seen in shopping malls and airports.

#6. Gaze

It may sound cliche, but “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” Eye contact is an important aspect of nonverbal communication since it can reveal how we feel. 

When we are terrified, our pupils dilate as a result of an increase in adrenaline. When we are excited, we blink quickly. Maintaining eye contact usually indicates that someone is at ease and telling the truth. Avoiding eye contact, on the other hand, may indicate that they are frightened or concealing something.

#7. Haptics

Haptics is the study of communication through touch. Touch is strong because it is fueled by our emotions. How we respond to touch is influenced by our social status, gender, and, of course, our upbringing. Touch is typically used by women to show caring and concern, whereas men are more likely to convey control. 

Harry Harlow, a psychologist, built a career out of investigating the effects of touch on rhesus monkeys. Monkeys who were not physically touched by their mothers suffered with social interactions. We share this effect with our forefathers: early physical touch improves our social skills later in life.

#8. Appearance

Another thing that people notice right away is your appearance. Your hairdo, clothing, tattoos, piercings, and even your body form all send out signals. This can lead to others making quick decisions. There’s a reason your mother always said to “dress to impress” for a school presentation or a job interview.

#9. Chronemics

Chronemics refers to the role of time in communication. People’s interpretations of time might be personal, cultural, or related to their power or status. 

Have you ever waited for a friend to arrive at an event? You may have been irritated or disrespected by their laziness or lack of time management. Consider your boss arriving 15 minutes late to a meeting. You might comprehend their hectic schedule better. 

#10. Physiological reactions

Your body emits nonverbal cues that are nearly hard to regulate. This can involve nervous perspiration, blushing, or crying.

In Conclusion,

Even if you are a shy introvert who prefers to work alone, you can enhance your verbal communication skills so that you can establish rapport with others more readily.

Take the time to actively practice the following workplace communication skills: active listening, clarity and conciseness, confidence, empathy, friendliness, open-mindedness, giving and soliciting feedback, confidence, respect, and nonverbal (body language, tone of voice, eye contact) communication. 

  1. What Are Transferable Skills?
  2. Employability Skills: Tips on How to Improve Your Employability Skills
  3. Interpersonal Skills: Meaning & Why They Are Important
  4. Administrative Skills: What They Are And How You Can Improve Them


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