Activities for verbal communication skills

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Communication is what life is built on. People who have a difficult time verbally communicating can end up in confusing and frustrating situations. Ineffective verbal communication can lead to divorce, job loss and other difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

Learning and sharpening your verbal communication skills is essential to success in your personal and professional life. Using activities to strengthen your verbal skills is a fun and creative way to improve your ability.

Word Description

This activity requires the participants to divide into pairs. One of the participants is given a word that they need to describe to their partner. Under the word that needs to be described is a list of five words the person cannot use in his description. For example, if the word that is being described is "coffee," the five most common words can be listed under the word such as "black," "drink," "cream," "sugar" "hot." The person describing the word will have to use his verbal skills to get his partner to understand the word without using common words.

Role Playing

Role playing is an effective way to demonstrate effective and ineffective verbal communication. Have two people volunteer for the demonstration. Provide the volunteers with a scenario that requires interpersonal communication. Advise them to use verbal barriers in the scenario such as loud noise, high emotions and poor listening skills. After the scenario plays out for a short time, stop the pair and have the audience evaluate it. Have the volunteers take the audience's critique and apply it to the same scenario. The two volunteers can role play again, this time demonstrating more effective communication.


Objective games can be used to teach verbal communication skills. An objective game takes a group of people, provides them with an objective to accomplish and then adds a difficulty to the objective to cause the group to work together. For example, direct the group to line themselves up in order of birth date from oldest to youngest--without using a known language to communicate. They will have to find other ways to communicate and accomplish the task. These types of games will encourage teamwork and both verbal and nonverbal communication skills.