Your Comprehensive Guide For Improving Verbal Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Strong communication skills are a necessity for every professional, irrespective of what industry you work in or what work you do. You may utilise many verbal and nonverbal techniques to execute your duties, such as initiating conversations with clients, delivering sales pitches or presentations and interacting with colleagues. Developing your communicative ability can advance your career and help you impress hiring managers during job interviews. In this article, we discuss what verbal communication skills are, define their importance in the workplace, explain how to improve these skills and review tips to highlight them during the job application process.

What Are Verbal Skills?

Verbal skills are the ability to use words to transmit information. More than just the ability to speak, verbal communication skills determine how you give and receive messages in both oral and written communication exchanges. Instead of just focusing on what you say, these skills also concentrate on how you say it. This ensures that you can convey an idea or an instruction clearly.

Related: Common Business Communication Skills And Their Importance

Examples Of Verbal Communication

Listed below are two types of verbal communication skills that can help you grow as a professional:

1. Active listening

When interacting with another individual, listening attentively to the discussion can make it easier to plan your response. When holding a one-on-one discussion, making a report, or attending a conference, active listening is critical. It helps you to consider the information, understand it properly and prepare an answer in response to it. For example, if a customer service executive can use their active listening properly when speaking to the customers, they can help resolve customer problems more quickly and effectively.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples

2. Effective public speaking

Effective speaking refers to how well you can communicate your message to your audience. Words may change based on the situation, topic and audience. Selecting the right words is critical for conveying the intended message properly. The method you deliver a message can have a big impact on the message you are attempting to communicate. Because the cues you give through your facial expressions, gestures and body postures substantially impact how your audience perceives or interprets your message, nonverbal communication is critical to effective speaking.

Related: Verbal Communication Examples In The Workplace (With Tips)

How To Improve Your Verbal Skills

Follow the steps given below to improve your verbal communication:

1. Think carefully before you speak

Stopping to think before responding to a question can help you reply more effectively. You can organise your thoughts into a succinct, coherent message by taking the time to contemplate. If you are anxious or eager while responding, it might show in how you reply and your words may not convey the information properly. As pauses imply thoughtfulness, your listeners are more likely to believe you thought about the ideal response before speaking. This is especially important during interviews, even if you have practised the answer before.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

2. Be concise when speaking

When speaking, being brief not only makes your speech understandable but also allows you to get the most crucial points over to the audience quickly. Before you begin, consider how you might communicate the facts in the clearest and shortest way feasible. Minimise the use of jargon and intricate sentences and avoid incorporating unnecessary details, whether you are writing or speaking. Following these practices helps ensure your audience learns your important elements and can reply appropriately. This ability is extremely useful when giving instructions or objectives to colleagues, as it ensures that there are no misunderstandings.

Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

3. Consider your audience

To communicate effectively, you must first understand your audience. It is most likely that your audience might not possess the same experience or understanding as you do. Make sure you communicate the material in a way that everyone can understand, especially when addressing abstract and complex topics. For example, a non-technical professional may not possess enough knowledge to understand technical terms, so using simple terms while speaking makes communication easier.

Think about your listener's background or perspective, as different demographics possess diverse communication habits. You might speak to a close friend informally, for instance, but you might not do so if you speak to your manager.

Related: What Are Channels Of Communication? (Importance And Types)

4. Maintain a polite tone

During professional verbal interactions, the tone is always critical and how you utilise it can influence how your audience interacts with you. A welcoming, pleasant tone combined with a smile creates a positive impression. Likewise, responding in a monotone or uninteresting manner can come across as indifferent, which can sound impolite to your listeners. Utilise inflexion to accentuate crucial points and change your tone. This strategy is a simple way to get the attention of the audience.

Related: 10 Ways To Improve Your English Communication Skills

5. Pay attention to your body language

Despite being a non-verbal mode of communication, your body language can influence how you engage with the content. Body language that is comfortable, including not crossing your arms or tightening your stance, displays confidence and power, making others want to listen to you. These expressive mannerisms also make you look more receptive to receiving input, making others feel more at ease conversing with you.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Non-verbal Communication Skills

6. Use active listening skills

Start by removing any potential sources of distraction, such as a loud environment. Before responding, listen carefully and wait until the individual you are interacting with has finished speaking. Instead of worrying about what you wish to say, concentrate on what the other speaker is saying. To ensure that you thoroughly comprehend the facts or message, ask questions for clarification. For example, during client meetings, listening is just as important as speaking because it shows a genuine interest in the speaker's thoughts and ensures you meet their requirements and do a satisfactory job.

Related: Client Management Skills: Definition, Analysis And Tips

Importance Of Using Verbal Skills In The Workplace

Verbal communication skills are important because they allow you to establish rapport with others, resulting in more favourable encounters and stronger professional relationships. You may project conviction and ensure that your audience can understand your statement or objectives by using these abilities. Clear communication is beneficial in a variety of professional circumstances, like speaking engagements, trade talks and networking events. Here are some other situations where you may employ verbal communication:

  • Asking for assistance: Individuals can request their supervisors, peers and teammates for support more easily by improving verbal communication.

  • Requesting leaves: Professionals may employ their verbal communication skills to request time off from their bosses. They can do it over the phone or arrange a face-to-face appointment.

  • Workshops: Professionals use their communication skills to deliver specific guidance to workshop attendees during workshops.

  • Training new staff: Supervisors often train employees on workplace norms and assist them in learning daily operations through verbal communication.

  • Interacting with clients: Verbal communication may help professionals speak confidently to potential clients and help to persuade them to buy a product or service.

Related: 4 Types Of Communication (With Tips)

How To Highlight Verbal Skills During The Job Application Process

Listed below are the ways you can emphasise your verbal communication skills when searching for jobs to make you a more impressive candidate:

1. In your resume

A professional resume demonstrates excellent communication abilities. Make sure your resume is well-structured and devoid of typos and grammatical mistakes. Likewise, you may even mention verbal communication skills in the skills section of your resume, particularly if the job description specifies these skills. For example, the job description might include keywords like public speaking or presentation skills. You may also choose to include the skill in your professional summary section or use a strong action verb to indicate your mastery of verbal communication skills. Here is what it may look like in the work experience section:

Example: 'Lectured as a fellow and provided clear guidance to post-graduate researchers.'

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include On A Resume (with Examples)

2. During your interview

Be aware of the nonverbal clues you may express through your body language. Positive techniques to communicate in your interview include meeting your interviewer's eyes, using active listening skills and expressing confidence. Both at work and in your personal life, most people consider your actions and behaviour to be a kind of communication. For example, sitting straight indicates that you are paying careful attention to what the interviewer is saying. You can enhance the way you meet and interact with others by understanding your strengths and limitations and practising desirable attributes continuously.

When answering a question, listen to it carefully and analyse your answer before replying with confidence.

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