9 Ways to Improve Written and Verbal Communication Skills

Effective communication is an essential tool for achieving success; good communication generates understanding, brings people together, and facilitates understanding messages. 

Immense problems arise from poor communication, such as disagreements between people, harmful environments, be it at work or at home, etc. Generally, the difficulty in communicating is associated with a lack of professional competence, so we must invest and value our communication.

In this article, you will know different ways you could further develop both written and verbal communication, and understand their importance. 

What is Verbal Communication?

Verbal communication is the one where the message is transmitted by audio/sound or speech; that is, it is the one that uses the resources of the language to express content.

How To Improve Communication Skills...
How To Improve Communication Skills In English For Beginners

What is Written Communication?

Written Communication is the one where a code is used to transmit the message; currently, it is widely used in newspapers, magazines, books, websites, and other communication platforms.

9 Ways to Improve Written and Verbal Communication Skills

1. Reading is the first step to improving both writing and speaking skills

Reading is the best way to acquire knowledge of textual production. Do you remember that, in the first years of school, the teacher conducted many literacy activities?

With the habit of reading, you stimulate your brain, learn new words and get used to different ways of expressing yourself. This makes thinking more agile, facilitates reasoning, and increases knowledge on various subjects.

As we read the most varied topics, from simple to complex, children and adults, the whole collection will help your brain to develop, and with it, all your creativity and writing skills.

Consequently, it is easier to argue, express feelings, and defend your point of view.

Reading is crucial for the learning process of the human being because it is through it that we can enrich our vocabulary, gain knowledge, and streamline reasoning and interpretation.

2. Take a moment to practice your writing.

Our tip is that you include writing training in your routine; it is essential to devote at least an hour of the day to writing, get used to practicing your writing, and make it a habit, as well as reading.

If you don’t know what to write about, how about writing a text telling your opinion about the last movie you watched or some book that marked your life?

Write reviews on the most varied subjects that arouse your interest. Just have a notebook or diary and tell something interesting that has happened to you or some personal reflection.

At first, don’t worry about showing it to anyone if it makes you uncomfortable. With the development of their skills, this insecurity about their writing and the fear of others’ opinions tend to disappear.

3. Review everything you write

Sometimes, in a hurry, we click on the send button in a message, email, or even an academic paper without first reviewing it carefully. But stop being lazy and don’t let it happen!

Put yourself in the reader’s place and re-read what you wrote. Would you understand the content you wrote if you weren’t the author of the text? Is it cohesive, well-structured, and free of grammatical errors? Did you get the message you wanted? Ask yourself these questions and rewrite your text as many times as necessary.

4. Travel to places different from your comfort zone 

The Economist Intelligence Unit and Lucid chart produced a report revealing that 42% of employees attribute misunderstandings at work to different communication styles.

When we travel to different places with cultural and perhaps moral habits opposite to what we can imagine, as usual, we know that we are in the ideal place to improve our communication skills.

Going abroad and experiencing communication barriers makes our brain more aware of the differences between the different styles of communication, which then leads to developing new forms of empathy and adaptability in the form of transmission of a message.

5. Dive through grammar

Grammar is the complete description of the language, that is, a set of rules that establish the writing parameters, specifying the correct way to combine the words to form coherent sentences, paragraphs, and texts.

Spoken language is much more flexible and informal than writing, but it is also necessary to follow specific grammatical rules to understand each other in a conversation.

The intention here is not to give a cultured or erudite image but to learn to master the exact meaning of each word.

6. Learn the art of truly listening to others

One of the biggest problems with personal communication is that people are very concerned about what they’re going to say, but they’re not very prepared to listen. Think of how many difficult situations you have lived with friends, colleagues, or family members because of the difficulty of listening and being listened to.

To open oneself to listen to others is to be willing to think about what they say to you and resist the urge to respond quickly.

Be careful not to get into defense mode and close your mind to what you are being told, and this habit can be especially harmful in the work environment.

A good communicator is always a good listener; those who hear do not lose information, ask appropriate questions, and understand their interlocutor.

You can empathize with phrases like “Talk more about this topic” or “I’m interested in what you say,” and also “Tell more details about it, so I can understand why you think so.”

7. Don’t be the “truth’s master.”

The posture of arrogance is one of the worst behaviors one can have when trying to communicate with other people; it pushes the listener away and creates an atmosphere conducive to conflict. After all, who will desire dialogue with someone who always feels they have the truth?

It is challenging to establish effective communication in this case, as one of those involved feels that they are right and the others are wrong. So one of our tips on how to improve communication is to exercise humility. 

Be open to questioning your certainties and considering all opinions.

This does not mean that you need to give up what you think and always agree with others; the point here is to seek a balance, maintaining your personality without imposing what you believe with arrogance. Always look for ways to argue with acceptance and respect.

8. Talk to strangers at least once a day.

From the moment we leave home, we have contact with many people, don’t we? Be with a salesman in the grocery store or store clerk.

Try to talk more with these people, if only to talk about the weather! As you communicate with people you’ve never seen before, you feel more confident to speak to people you see every day. 

In addition, this type of conversation yields many insights, opens the mind, and brings new subjects to your repertoire. Try it out!

9. Ask questions and repeat to someone else. 

Let’s face it; we’ve all been distracted when talking or not listening to someone else. Asking questions and repeating the last words she said shows her interest in what is being said, keeps you attentive, and helps clarify points that may have been misunderstood. (e.g., “So will you buy tickets for Saturday?”). 

It also helps in small talk and fills embarrassing silences; instead of trying to start a conversation using common topics like weather, ask the other person questions (for example: “Do you have plans for the summer?” or “What have you been reading lately?”) and pay attention to your answers.

Conclusion

The primary way to know more words and meanings is almost a cliché: you have to read a lot. But that’s not enough. The diversity of readings is as vital as their volume.

After all, different words will only appear in other contexts. Moreover, putting this vocabulary into use utilizing writing or speech ensures that it will not be forgotten, and resorting to dictionaries whenever necessary is also fundamental.

References and Further Reading

10 Ways to Improve Verbal Communication Skills. Indeed.com

 AcethePresentation. AmadeBai, Emidio. 10 Critical Communication Skills.

AcethePresentation. AmadeBai, Emidio. 7 Apps for Developing Communication Skills.

CSUMS. Top 3 reasons to take a Professional Communication Skills Course.

How to Improve Written Communication Skills. Edu CBA.

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

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