How to Improve Verbal Communication Skills- Part 2

/Speaking in Public/Formal Settings/

1.Be concise and clear. Do not add irrelevant elements in your speech. Get to the point and say what you mean so that your listener can respond accordingly.

2.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.

3.Be considerate. Always include a consideration for your audience/listeners when planning out a speech or thinking about an upcoming conversation. You don’t want to say something that might be taken the wrong way or offend your audience.

4.Make eye contact. Making and maintaining eye contact is crucial when speaking to people, whether one-on-one or in a group setting. 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 individuals or to a group.
Note: When you are addressing a crowd, you should not look at one for more than 5 seconds. This is too personal/intimate for a group setting.

5.Smile. Practice smiling while you speak. This is especially important when addressing groups of people because it is a simple way to build a foundational relationship with people you may not have any one-on-one interaction with. Smiling helps us form and sustain interpersonal relationships, so it is an essential part of communicating with others.

6.Pace yourself. Do not speak in hurry, as it will make the listener think that you are confused or that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Speak slowly and confidently.

7.Avoid sarcasm. From the standpoint of a listener, a sarcastic remark requires a process of decoding and interpretation before they can understand what has been said, what has been meant, and if the two are the same.

8.Try to incorporate humor. Everyone likes to laugh, so humor can be a great way to lighten up your conversation and make your listener more receptive to your message.
Note: Of course, you should avoid vulgar or inappropriate humor to avoid offending your listener.

9.Practice open/relaxed body language. Your body language should be relaxed. This means that you should not cross your arms or stiffen your body.
When addressing groups of people, it is important to use your hand gestures to emphasize your message. Try not to be overly animated, but don’t keep your arms stiff at your side either.

10.Be sure of yourself. Your audience won’t put any stock in what you say if you act unsure or timid. You have to show your listeners that you believe in your message before you can expect them to believe you too.

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Note: This article has been adapted from the following source.

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