Verbal Communication: The Power Of Words
Verbal communication or oral communication as it’s also referred to is an important part of of our relationships in our business as well as personal lives. It’s used to express in words a purpose or meaning when interacting with families, peers or co-workers. And even though it’s thought of as the words we speak to one another it actually entails much more of our overall effective communication skills than just the words we have to say.
Other than the words we say, how we say them and the tone of our voice makes a big difference in how our message will be received. Hence, verbal communication is a necessary skill that is quite important to all of us. It’s an ability that everyone can develop to enhance relationships and interactions. And to develop this skill, learning about certain barriers and ways to improve are quite helpful.
Understanding the Barriers
One common barrier to effective verbal communication falls within the category of cultural differences. As you know, people from various cultures think differently because their culture influences their way of thinking. Thus, this can impede interactions. For instance in some cultures, eye contact between a man and a woman is not encouraged. Certain words even within the same language have different meanings from one group of people to the next. And picking up non-verbal cues might be difficult when two people are attempting to communicate from different cultures.
Another obstacle to successful interaction is the tendency of some to stereotype and use unqualified generalizations. You need to avoid speaking this way as it may destroy your credibility and can affect clarity as well. In using this manner of speaking, you might not realize that you are offending the listener.
Lack of clarity is also a barrier when it comes to communicating with other people. If you don’t speak accurately or clearly, you may confuse the one you are talking to as far as the message you are trying to convey is concerned. This may lead that person to interpret your message wrongly. One way to ensure that your message is delivered properly is to watch for feedback.
Knowing How to Improve Verbal Communication
The first way to enhance verbal communication is to think and prepare before you speak. Whether you are going to speak in public, to your boss, wife or children, you need to think before uttering any words. You may also have to project your thoughts in your mind as this can enable you to prepare yourself with any objections that may arise. This method allows you to practice your presentation and make it right.
Next is to reduce the use of verbal pauses such as “ah” and “um” or other problems with your speaking ability. Have you ever listened to how you speak? If you haven’t, then it’s time for you to do so. Record yourself speaking and then listen to how it comes across. You can also request someone to listen and provide you with feedback. It’s essential for you to be aware of verbal pauses, tonality of your voice or other ways of speaking that might be an irritate to your listener. Also pay attention to ways that may be perceived as uncertainty in what you are saying.
One of the ways that you can help people to understand your message is telling a story, a quote or a joke. This technique provides a bridge between you and the listener allowing them to be able to relate to what is being said. Starting a speech with a joke or funny story can help listeners to relax and open their minds to you and what you have to say.
Words uttered can affect your life as well as others. They have the power to produce emotions and motivate others into action. Success is well within your reach if you have the power of verbal communication on your side.