9 Ways to Improve Your Verbal Communication Skills

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Good Verbal Communication Skills Open Many Doors

More often than not, job applicants boast about their verbal communication skills in their resumes. Are we all on the same page about those? It seems like a skill that everyone has. We all communicate on a daily basis. At the same time, you can quickly think of people in your life who are ‘easy to talk to’ and who you simply love talking to. Picking those people is no coincidence. There are probably hundreds of others who would say the same thing about them. Best part? You can become one of those people through practice.

What Are Good Communication Skills?

For starters, let’s define good communication skills. Simply put, it’s an ability to say the right thing at the right time. Good communicators successfully mediate several different opinions and ideas. Communication skills shine the most during group decisions. Great communication is the reason why that one friend in your group always manages to get the group together.

Great communication skills are built on a solid basis and it takes a long time to learn them and un-learn poor communication habits.

Improve my Verbal Communication?

Here are some of the most important tips on how to improve verbal skills:

1. Practise Active Listening

Communication implies talking, but every good communicator knows is it’s just as much about listening. If you want to improve oral communication, paying attention to what your interlocutor is saying is very important.

Purple infographic showing the 5 Elements of the communication process to improve your verbal communication skills
Communication is a process


Maya Geller, a writer at TopEssayWriting says:

‘For first-time trainings of active listening, you can try testing your listening abilities with a non-human speaker. Turn on the radio or a YouTube video, be super-focused about what the speaker is saying and try to repeat it afterwards. It may sound silly, but it’s a good way to exercise it.’

2. Maintain Eye Contact

When you consistently maintain eye contact during a conversation, you are showing that you care enough to pay attention to what’s being said. If you often look away from your interlocutor or glance across the room during a conversation, you’re signalling that you are not interested.

3. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Talking to yourself in the mirror to practice communication skills has been portrayed in many movies and TV show scenes. Still, most people dread doing it in real life. It definitely can be challenging and weird, but it’s scientifically proven to boost self-confidence and communication skills.

Man with glasses practices verbal communication in a mirror
Practicing your verbal communication skills to yourself in a mirror will help to build your confidence


4. Ask Questions

Eye contact is a typical signal that you want to keep the conversation going. In the same way, asking questions is a great way to keep the natural flow of the conversation. Asking questions and sub-questions helps us understand exactly what the speaker wanted to say.

During a conversation, a lot of things can get lost due to noise or misunderstandings. When we regularly ask questions to determine that we have gotten the point, we’re one step closer to building great verbal communication skills.

5. Pay Attention to Your Body Language

During a conversation, you should pay attention to your own and your interlocutor’s body language. Just like eye contact, it can signal the level of interest in the conversation and show you when your interlocutor is bored or interested.

For example, it’s well known that arms crossed over the chest signify boredom or defensiveness. You should always avoid this pose during a conversation, especially if it’s one-on-one. You can also read into the moment when your interlocutor wants to end the conversation, such as when they are impatiently shifting from one leg to another.

6. Radiate Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is indescribably important in everyday life, be it in relationships, business or leadership. Namely, self-confidence helps us convince our listeners that what we’re saying is right or correct. Building true, unshakeable self-confidence is a long road with lots of challenges, but you can also use quick body language tricks to mimic self-confidence in moments when you’re feeling nervous or insecure.

Woman dancing under an arch of water symbolising self-confidence
Self-confidence helps your listener to trust what you’re saying


7. Build on Other Communication Styles

In most cases, people who are great in verbal communication will often be great in written communication as well. There are exceptions, such as great texters and email-writers who are just not as slick in real life, but usually, all types of communication are connected and can be trained using one another.

So, if you’re preparing for a speech or you have a big presentation, you can craft it in written form and then practice its verbal delivery. You can use these services to do that:

  • ClassyEssay – a platform where you can find professional writers.
  • Studyker – when you need to hire writers for presentations, speeches, reports, seminars, conferences, etc.
  • WriteScout – if you’re having trouble finding the right words, try this service.

8. Know Your Audience

In verbal communication and social etiquette, there’s a phrase ‘reading the room’, which best describes the abilities of great communicators. In everyday life, this means that you know how to juggle different types of conversations, tone, style, topics, etc. For example, you wouldn’t talk to your significant others as you would to your boss.

9. Think Before You React

This is an important bit of advice that’s often neglected in mainstream tips for how to improve verbal skills. After you hear new information from someone who’s speaking, you will inevitably have a reaction to it: shock, anger, happiness, laughter or, in many cases, indifference (which can also be viewed as a sort of reaction).

Before you start verbalising that reaction and responding to your speaker, think twice. An inappropriate reaction can cause misunderstanding, troubles in communication and overall a negative experience for you and your interlocutor.


The ability to hold a conversation and captivate listeners with your communication skills is one of the most sought-after social skills. It sounds trivial and mundane, but it’s actually incredibly hard to achieve it. The main misconception is that people are either born great communicators or they are just not built that way. Well, this is something that definitely can and should be practised and polished.

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Communication and InfluencingCommunication Skills TipsEffective Communication

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