Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Verbal Communication refers to an interaction in which words are used to relay a message. For effective and successful verbal communication, use words to express ideas that can be easily understood by the person you are talking to. Consider appropriateness, brevity, clarity, ethics, and vividness when engaging in this type of communication.

  1. Appropriateness
    The language that you use should be appropriate to the environment or occasion (i.e., whether formal or informal).
  2. Brevity
    Speakers who often use simple yet precise and powerful words are found to be more credible. Try to achieve brevity by being more direct with your words. Avoid fillers and insubstantial expressions that do not add to the message, such as “uh,” “you know,” “I guess,” and others.
  3. Clarity
    The meanings of words, feelings, or ideas may be interpreted differently by a listener; hence, it is essential for you to clearly state your message and express your ideas and feelings.
  4. Ethics
    Words should be carefully chosen in consideration of the gender, roles, ethnicity, preferences, and status of the person or people you are talking to.
  5. Vividness
    Words that vividly or creatively describe things or feelings usually add color and spice to communication. Hence, you are encouraged to find ways to charm your audience through the use of vivid words.

Nonverbal communication refers to an interaction where behavior is used to convey and represent meanings. All kinds of human responses that are not expressed in words are classified as nonverbal communication. Examples of nonverbal communication are stares, smiles, tone of voice, movements, manners of walking, standing and sitting, appearance, style of attire, attitude towards time and space, personality, gestures, and others.

Mastery of nonverbal communication is important for several reasons:

  1. It enhances and emphasizes the message of your speech, thus making it more meaningful, truthful, and relevant.
  2. It can communicate feelings, attitudes, and perceptions without you saying a word.
  3. It can sustain the attention of listeners and keep them engaged in the speech.
  4. It gives the audience a preview of the type of speaker you are.
  5. It makes you appear more dynamic and animated in your delivery.
  6. It serves as a channel to release tension and nervousness.
  7. It helps make your speech more dramatic.
  8. It can build a connection with listeners.
  9. It makes you a credible speaker.
  10. It helps you vary your speaking style and avoid a monotonous delivery.