Improving Verbal and Written Communication Skills – An Easy Guide!

A successful career is a result of several factors. But, without a doubt, the communication skills that a person possesses make a difference when it comes to competing for better spots in the job market or the relationship and professional performance. 

Also, in addition to a good curriculum, professionals must have the ability to transmit their knowledge, engage teams and relate well with colleagues and customers. 

Language, whether written or spoken — or even that arising from non-verbal communication — is the most effective way of conveying ideas and information. Through it, we transmit to others our values ​​and purposes, our beliefs, and all the knowledge we have. 

However, it is worth remembering that communicating well does not mean being a chatterbox. Effective communication consists of saying the essentials in a clear, cohesive, and coherent way. Not just speak, but be heard! 

English Conversation About Communic...
English Conversation About Communication

We decided to talk about the importance of these communication skills for your career with that in mind. So, follow along and check it out!

Verbal and Written Communication Skills 

What is Verbal Communication? 

Verbal communication is everything transmitted through words, whether in spoken or written form. 

You may have heard that oratory is one of the most in-demand skills in the job market. In many situations, we need to exchange information. For this, it is vital to know the elements of verbal communication to convey the right message in the best possible way. 

Did you know that one of the factors that most hinders effective communication is judgment? Yeah, and we are used to judging all the time.

4 Elements of Verbal Communication 

Have you ever wondered how communication is constituted? According to scholars of this type of language, verbal communication is divided into four elements that are necessary for a person to speak well in public:

1. Intonation 

Intonation is like the melody of a song. You’ve probably already noticed how two words can take on different meanings within a song if it’s romantic or agitated. 

Speech works this way, too, because the way you read or say a word is what differentiates its meaning. Therefore, you must convey the emotion you want to convey when speaking. 

Ideally, you fit your tone of voice into your situation. If you need to scold someone, it is necessary to do it more seriously, without joking around. 

But, if you are going to present work, you should do it pleasantly and smoothly to show people how interesting the subject in question is. 

When talking about a topic, try to imagine the situation behind the message. This is one way to improve your speaking voice. 

For example, in a project presentation, to try to get promoted, you should not use a low intonation, as this can affect your credibility. Position yourself confidently and speak with higher intonation.

2. Pace 

Did you feel nervous when it came time to introduce yourself, and did you start talking too fast to finish the presentation? Or did the fear of forgetting something and “stumbling over” the words cause you to speak too slowly? 

Did you identify with any of the examples mentioned above? If yes, this is not a good sign. Speech too fast makes you lose your voice, and the person listening to you gets tired. On the other hand, excessive pausing speech does not hold the public’s interest, causing disinterest in the listening public. 

To improve your presentation, the words must gain a more constant rhythm. Therefore, you must know the right moment to use the pause. 

The pause is responsible for helping you keep the rhythm, improve your diction, increase the audience’s understanding and provide more logic and elegance to your speech. 

So take short breaks without giving the other time to look away. Remember that you must articulate your voice and draw other people’s attention to your speech. 

This is one of the tips to improve speech. One application of this tip is when you get to the climax of your address, and you want to build suspense before revealing something. 

In this case, you pause, with a little more time, so that the audience focuses attention and interest in what you are going to say next.

3. Diction 

Diction is one of the essential elements in verbal communication, as it is the part of your language responsible for articulating words clearly and comprehensively. 

Often the lack of resourcefulness with words is a problem in speech – related to diction – that people carry since childhood. 

If you ask yourself, “How to improve diction?” know that a very efficient form of treatment is with speech therapists. 

Did you know that knowing how to articulate words the right way can even change the way people treat you? When you speak clearly, people are more interested in paying attention to you.

4. Emphasis 

Emphasis makes all the difference in your speech. Along with intonation, this element makes the audience better understand your intention with a particular message. 

If you want to highlight positive or opposing points of a particular situation, use emphasis. In this way, people will be able to absorb what has been proposed more easily.

IMPROVE NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Tips for Improving Verbal Communication Skills 

1. Be an active listener 

Even if you are a great listener, I guarantee there are still some areas where you can improve. A great way to find your weaknesses is to look at the active listening model. 

The concept of active listening means that you are involved and engaged in what the other person is saying, rather than being passive and letting the conversation pass you by. 

There is no single model, but your search will yield the same ideas, including: 

  • Pay attention when someone has something to say; 
  • Ask open-ended questions so you can get an idea of ​​what they want; 
  • Request clarification on anything you are not sure about; 
  • Paraphrase what they said and repeat it to them to make sure you understand them correctly; 
  • Be in tune with their feelings and yours to ensure everyone’s needs are met; 

2. Talk about your thoughts and ideas 

Just as it is essential to understand what others are saying, be sure to express your own needs. No one will know if you don’t tell them, right? 

This communication skill is critical if you’re a leader because what you say lays the groundwork for your team to follow. If you are an open and honest communicator, you will be setting an example for everyone else to do the same. 

3. Do not make assumptions 

It can be easy to assume that you know what someone else wants. But this is a significant cause of misunderstanding – and one reason why misunderstandings can turn into conflict. 

Part of excellent communication skills means having empathy: understanding what’s going on in the other person’s head. 

This is important because what we say is not always accurately represent what we want. Especially in a difficult situation, or where it’s easy to get overwhelmed or embarrassed, it’s common for us to try to disguise or hide our real needs. 

When you ask questions, listen carefully to the answers and repeat what you think you understand from their speech. You will be playing a significant role in minimizing misunderstandings and reducing the risk of conflict. 

Like that famous quote by George Bernard Shaw: “The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has happened.”

4. Practice self-awareness

People with advanced communication skills have a solid grip on their own emotions. They know how to control them when they’re upset or overexcited and won’t let them take control of the conversation or cause unnecessary drama. 

It’s essential to keep your balance when reacting to something you don’t like. If you feel your heart pounding or your face getting hot, try to find some alone time where you can calm down. 

Another important part of self-awareness is admitting when you’re wrong. It may seem like a massive blow to your ego, but believe me – you will likely find that by admitting your mistakes and trying your best to stop them from moving forward, you will build respect and integrity in the eyes of your loved ones and colleagues.

5. Don’t be accusatory when raising an issue 

Difficult situations are about to happen. Even if you feel like someone has done something completely wrong, remain calm during the discussion. 

If you start the conversation with an accusation that something is their fault, it’s practically an invitation to a fight. Our natural reaction to the accusation is defensive, and nothing good comes out of this conversation. 

Instead of telling the team member, “You’re always late for meetings,” try something like, “I see on your attendance sheet that you’ve been late twice this week. It’s all right?” 

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A GOOD VERBAL EXPRESSION

Verbal expression is an essential attribute for anyone who wants to be a good manager and develop in the job market. After all, those who want to stand out in their careers must know how to communicate their ideas in an objective and accessible way while still provoking identification in the listener. 

Anyone who can communicate always comes out ahead. The ability to communicate is usually a differential in a job interview when transmitting information to a team or even in a simple conversation.

Written Verbal Communication 

All information passed through media such as newspapers, magazines, and messaging apps encompasses written verbal communication.

Written communication requires a lot of attention since the receiver of the message is not present at the time of writing.  

Thus, the message sender needs to know the rules of spelling and punctuation marks to understand the message better. 

The communication channel between sender and receiver must be unambiguous for the message to arrive. After all, a sentence with the wrong punctuation can take on another meaning.

Tips for Improving Written Communication Skills

1. Be clear on concepts 

As Albert Einstein would say: “If you can’t explain a concept to a six-year-old, it’s because you don’t understand it.”  Before you start writing, take a moment to try to explain the concept to the 6-year-old in your head (we all have one, right?).  

If your writing has a purpose, ask yourself what the expected result is. Have a definite and clear purpose. Now apply it.

2. Make the message less complex 

It doesn’t take much thought organization to compose a “normal” text message; however, if you’re writing something more complex, organize all your ideas before writing. 

Outlining, or even writing a few quick notes about the topics you want to cover, can save you a lot of time in the future. And speaking of questions…

3. Anticipate reader questions 

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do they have the necessary knowledge about the subject they will write about? If you don’t think so, you will have to fill in the blanks.

4. Don’t explain too much 

If you take the time to organize your thoughts in advance, it will be easier to keep things simple. The idea is to give readers enough so that they understand what you want to convey without having to overload them with trivial information. If you feel that you are putting in more details to get the message across to your reader, ask yourself if these are essential. If not, get rid of them.

5. Use Simple Words 

John Grisham – bestselling author – stated: “There are three types of words: (1) words we know;  (2) words we should know;  (3) words no one knows. Forget those in the third category and use those in the second sparingly.” 

There is a difference between having a rich vocabulary and using the well-known “face words” to show off. Unless you intend to write poetry, keep your language straightforward.

6. Read aloud 

And speaking of flow, reading what you’ve written aloud can help you see if your writing flows naturally. If you have too many stops, try adding a few long sentences to break the monotony. 

If, on the other hand, you find a sentence where you spend too much time without ever concluding, then you have probably seen an overly complex sentence that needs to be rewritten. 

Reading the work aloud always works!

7. Put your personality into the writing 

Letting your personality shine through as you write is best to develop your style. Use phrases and expressions that you would typically use (within the acceptable, of course) and, where appropriate, include some moments of humor.  

At all times, except the most formal and professional, be genuine when writing.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A GOOD WRITTEN EXPRESSION 

Having an excellent written expression is essential in the corporate environment, as it allows the recording of information in reports, regulations, and communications, among others. However, for these documents to be truly effective and promote understanding, it is necessary to pay attention to the quality of the messages.

Conclusion 

Verbal communication is passing or exchanging information through written or spoken language. Despite the tremendous technological advances, Verbal Communication is still the most used to pass on information, especially in interpersonal relationships.

Reference and Further Reading 

Categories of Communication. Skills you need.

9 Ways to Improve Written and Verbal Communication Skills. AcethePresentation.

12 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid During a Presentation. AcethePresentation

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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