Communication allows an individual to connect to other human beings. There are many different methods of communication, including physical (body language), written, electronic, etc. An important and basic method of communicating is verbal communication. Verbal communication includes in-person conversations, which can be to one person or to a thousand, phone communication, and any other method that involves a speaker communicating their message via their voice. While verbal communication is one of the most effective methods of communication, there are also weaknesses with it that can create problems.
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Strengths in Verbal Communication
When you are successful in communicating verbally, you can clearly pass your personal thoughts and ideas to another person. To be able to do this, you must relate to the person you are communicating to; in turn, that person will relate to you. When you relate to a person, they are more inclined to really listen to what you are saying and will also be able to understand more easily. In order to relate and be an effective verbal communicator, you must understand what you want to say, who you are saying it to, and how they will interpret that message. When you analyse these factors, it makes it easier to get your message across.
A strength other than the actual message is the speaker's ability to speak in an interesting manner. This involves the tone, volume and speed of speech. When listening to someone with an interesting voice, even a mundane story can sound more enticing to listen to.
Weaknesses in Verbal Communication
Weaknesses in verbal communication come from ineffective communication skills. When communicating verbally, there are many ways to be misunderstood. Some problems are created when a speaker says something and the audience interprets it as something completely different. This can create problems in social and professional aspects of life. Not being able to communicate your ideas to another person can be very limiting. It may also make you feel alienated and rejected. To be able to communicate clearly takes practice, since most individuals assume that their audience thinks the same way that they do. Often, this is not the case.
Improving Your Own Verbal Communication
The most important thing to do when improving verbal communication is to practice communicating. Learn about speech etiquette. Try not to offend your audience, as that will result in them tuning out to what you have to say. Relate to your audience. Do not assume your audience knows what you are talking about. Explain yourself clearly in an order that is easy to follow. Speak in an audible volume. Use different tones and change your speaking speed with your subject matter to keep it interesting. Speech classes or workshops are also very effective in learning verbal communication techniques.
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