How to Improve Verbal Communication Skills- Part 1

Effective verbal communication is necessary in almost every field of life. You need good communication to do everything from performing your job properly to ensuring your romantic relationship functions smoothly. Many people struggle with this skill, but it is not too difficult if you remember a few important details.

/Preparing Yourself/

1.Make some mental notes first. You should always be prepared for what you are going to talk about. It can be very helpful to jot down some ideas ahead of time so you don’t forget some of your key points, or just to help you figure out what you want to say.

2.Practice in the mirror. All skills take practice, and good conversation skills are no different. If you have a big speech to give or an important conversation coming up, it can be helpful to practice it with yourself in the mirror beforehand. This way, you’ll at least have a run through in your mind already before you attempt the real thing. And it will help you work out any possible problems that may arise (in your argument, stumbling over words, etc.).

3.Read a lot. The more you know about a topic, the better you’ll be at talking about that topic. Reading will help you enhance your knowledge and will boost your diction in the process.

/Speaking in Informal Settings/

1.Make eye contact. This technique is so important, but many people forget about it when speaking to people. It shows attentiveness and interest in what’s being said. Increased eye contact is associated with credibility and dominance, so it is important to maintain solid eye contact when speaking to someone.

2.Smile. Something as simple as a smile can completely change the way a conversation goes. Smiling helps us form and sustain interpersonal relationships, so it is an essential part of communicating with others.

3.Practice open/relaxed body language. Your body language should be relaxed. This means that you should not cross your arms or stiffen your body. Keeping your arms open invites reciprocated communication rather than sending a message of being closed and unreceptive.

4.Avoid harsh tones. Your tone of voice can be an immediate deciding factor for how someone interprets what you say. You could say a phrase in a positive tone and someone would interpret it positively, while saying the same thing in a harsh tone would lead to a negative interpretation.

5.Don’t get off on tangents. Verbal communication is different than other forms of communication in that it is easier to get off topic, which can make it hard to remember what the conversation was really supposed to be about. This is confusing for your listener. So, stay on topic.

6.Show confidence. Before you start talking, you should be confident that you can achieve the goal you have for engaging in this conversation. If you are unsure of yourself, your conversation partner will be less receptive to your message.

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