While sound vocalization comes naturally for humans as with most species in the animal kingdom, speech is a skill acquired through extensive learning. Therefore, you can train yourself to become a better speaker in front of anyone. Effective communication skills will take you far in your personal, academic, and professional pursuits.
Verbal communication, unlike nonverbal communication, is the transmission of information through the organized articulation of words. While sound vocalization comes naturally for humans as with most species in the animal kingdom, speech is a skill acquired through extensive learning. Though it is not the only way of communication, we broadcast our thoughts vocally through a known system of language. But because communication is two-way—delivery and reception, it loses its value when the receiver of the information doesn’t understand the message.
Sound is intrinsic in animals. Animals vocalize to communicate information to their kind or to other animals in a system that the receiver also understands. Birds sing when they are looking for potential mates. But they are calling each other for the rest of the year to call their kind or warn of danger. Rattlesnakes shake the tip of their tail to warn others to stay away or be bitten. The sound seems to do its job, and an owl is taking notice. When a burrowing owl hisses, it sounds like that of the rattlesnake’s rattle. The sound keeps others from disturbing the bird’s peace.
What’s fascinating is that animals can produce sounds unique to their species even if they were isolated. Although humans can produce sounds after birth, we can’t transmit intelligible information before we are trained to do so. Based on research on language acquisition performed on children born deaf, we have to receive such training early in life to be able to speak the way we do. Hearing sounds is important in learning to speak and refining speech. Those whose hearing was impaired had difficulty learning to speak. While the children whose hearing ability was impaired later in life showed problems in their speaking skills.
Small group communication: This is similar to a conversational type of communication shared between a small number of people. There can be more than one person talking during this interaction. Examples of this type of interaction are workplace meetings and press conferences.
Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal communication is the conversation that occurs between two or more individuals wherein they share information one at a time. One person sends the information and another or a group of people process and interprets it.
Intrapersonal communication: The conversations you host in your head is an example of intrapersonal communication. This form of communication exists within ourselves as we send and interpret the same information.
Public communication: Public speakers address a large group of people. They either prepare a speech or a script or talk in impromptu. There is one person talking and the rest of the crowd listens to what he or she has to say.
Browse through the following verbal communication examples.
It should be one of your goals to develop your communication skills, either for business or leisure. When addressing a person or a group of people, how do you effectively and efficiently deliver your message as you have organized it in your head?
When you’re preparing a speech, make an outline that you picture in your head as you are speaking. But don’t hurry to get to the end of that outline. Take your time by taking short pauses. The breaks will help you organize your thoughts and think about the words that will come out of you. When you’re on stage, a short water break will help you arrange your ideas in your head. Speak in such a way that each word uttered clearly.
You don’t speak as loud when you are talking face to face with someone as you would when speaking in front of a crowd. Adjust the volume of your speaking voice, especially when a microphone isn’t available. You should also vary your voice tone so as to avoid monotone in your speech. Rich tones and inflection will help you emphasize key points in your message. An animated speaking voice also engages the audience and keeps them hooked to what you’re saying.
Whether you are talking to someone in private or in front of a large crowd, your nonverbal language plays a role in delivering your message as you intended it. You can use gestures but keep it appropriate and minimal so that they don’t distract the listeners. Your facial expressions will also help you convey the meaning of your message. Body language will enhance or change the audience’s interpretation of what you are saying.
Be confident in your skills and ability to address the people you are talking to. Self-doubts about your skills will only distract you from delivering your message effectively. Confidence exudes from your posture, body language, and voice. Command the attention of the room by refining these factors. You can’t convince a crowd when you can’t even convince yourself. Start learning how to deliver persuasive speeches today!
Speaking effectively is an art that most people fail to see the benefits of until it’s late. Make it a self-improvement goal for the year to become a better, effective, and persuasive speaker. By diligently practicing, you will conquer communication barriers and the fears you have with public speaking.