Verbal communication skills are vital to relaying a message properly to your audience. You can be the most charismatic speaker in the world, with a terrific memory and a good point, but if your language does not adequately get that point across, your effort is worthless. Proper verbal-communication techniques include the sound and tone of your voice, your language and your authority.
Sound and Tone of Voice
The sound you make when you speak may seem like a trivial aspect in conjunction with what you are trying to say; however, there are times when your tone can make or break your effectiveness. For example, if you are talking in a room full of preschool children and you speak with a booming deep voice in an abrupt manner, odds are that half the children will be so intimidated by your delivery; they will not hear what you are saying. In the same respect, if you are trying to make friends with a table full of lumberjacks, approaching them in a high-pitched, squeaky voice using a formal accent may not win you many companions. Using the appropriate voice and speech pattern for your audience is the key to a successful interaction.
Another aspect of verbal communication is language. To use the most effective language, the speaker must first assess his audience. In a formal setting, the speaker should use proper grammar and conservative talk. If you are a supervisor trying to alleviate concerns among a group of your employees, you may want to use a more relaxed, casual language and less-than-perfect grammar. Obviously, if you use a type of language not common among your receivers, they will have a difficult time understanding what you are saying.
Finally, an important element of verbal communication is authority. Authority in this frame of reference does not refer to your level of command; it simply means that what you are saying is true. If you begin your speech, or even a personal conversation, with a statement that your receiver knows to be false, she may not pay any attention to the rest of what you are saying. You must be sure before you begin making your point that it is a valid point and the facts you use to back it up are correct. Demonstrating your authority on a subject will cause your audience to trust you and be more open to what you want to tell them.
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