Strong verbal communication skills are important for everyone to master. They are extremely valuable in both your personal and professional life. When speaking clearly, confidently, and with poise, you are much more likely to command the respect of others and build rapport. This is particularly important in business interactions.
The following 7 tips will help you improve your verbal communication skills, whether in person or over the phone so that you can better connect with your audience, earn respect, and build the relationships necessary for successful business interactions:
Eliminate any awkward pauses or stalls that might happen when speaking by being prepared and organised in advance. This will also also help you understand and present your information more concisely. Sometimes it helps to take a minute to pause and organise your thoughts in your mind before you start speaking. However, this may be difficult or not possible during impromptu discussions. Pausing will slow this process.
The most effective way to get your point across is to make it in a clear and concise manner. Speak slowly, and avoid using complex, convoluted sentences. By speaking in a direct fashion, this will convey your message in using direct language. Ask yourself, “How can I make my point clear and concise?”
Speaking in a confident manner will help you build trust and command the respect of your audience. There are several factors which can impact your ability to speak confidently, including your command of the subject matter, your word choice, the tone of your voice, your body language, and your ability to make direct eye contact with your audience. Make sure you understand your topic well, and be prepared to answer any questions confidently.
Being a good listener is just as important as being a good speaker. Make sure to keep the 5 stages of active listening in mind as it will improve the quality of your verbal interactions:
This helps to ensure you understand your audiences needs by showing them you genuinely care about their thoughts and ideas. Repeating what they have said, and summarising what you have heard to ask for more questions will build trust and rapport much quicker.
Speaking in a monotone voice is a quick way to make your audience bored and display disengagement. How about using voice inflection, with will emphasise the important points, and then vary the pitch of your voice which will express more emotion. Doing this is a sure way to keep your audience engaged in what you have to say.
Your body language plays a huge role in the impact on others, and how they interpret what you say and your attitude about the conversation. Pay attention to the gestures you make, your facial expressions, and your body language to ensure they align with the message you are trying to get across.
It's equally as important to be able to read the body language of the people you're speaking to. Keep eye contact (don’t stop blinking :) ) while communicating to be able to pick up on any hesitations or lack of engagement. This is a great way to quickly bring back your audience when you see their attention slip.
Just because you have a strong command of a topic doesn’t mean the people you are speaking to have the same knowledge as you. Think about if your audience will understand what you are trying to communicate, particularly if they lack the technical knowledge about a subject that you possess. The best advice is to simplify your pitch. Make it simple, or KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Never assume your audience understands or holds the same level of knowledge you do. Make sure to pause and always ask questions if you don't believe the audience understands.
WildJar’s call recording platform can be a valuable training tool to help you improve the way your employees speak with customers over the phone. You can listen to conversations to learn from what your employees are doing well and identify areas for improvement. Over time, this can help you implement training that will improve the verbal communication skills of your employees, which will ultimately lead to greater success for your business. Combine this with our Conversation Intelligence Power Up, and you will be able to see all the data you need for real time optimisations and reporting.