Verbal business communication skills

Verbal Communication

Talking to your boss, a colleague or customer…
Creating a podcast…
Being interviewed…

Good verbal communication skills are important in business, so that you can communicate effectively with people in a wide variety of situations. In some cases you may be dealing with people in other countries, people with different cultures, varying ages and with different levels of experience…

…the way you communicate, portrays an image of you and your organisation. Remember, this image could be the first impression someone gets. Or the last!

No matter who you are, have you ever thought how powerful all of your verbal communication really is? And have you ever realised how damaging it can be when you don’t communicate properly?

Verbal communication is not just about how you communicate your thoughts, responses and ideas effectively, it is vital for developing a business and forging relationships with colleagues, customers and suppliers.

When most people think about improving the impact of their verbal communication, they focus on how to improve their formal presentation skills. That’s because most people would consider a formal, pre-prepared presentation to a specific target audience as the most common situation in which verbal communication creates an impact.

In reality this is simply not the case. Most communication takes place on an informal, impromptu basis; less than 10% of communication is a in a formal situation. The vast majority of the time, individuals will find themselves having to communicate in familiar but unplanned situations; the boss or colleague calls for a “quick update”, a prospective customer calls out of the blue to ask about their latest requirement, a client calls unexpectedly to complain.Think (and speak) on your feet Most of the skills learned on a communication or presentation course will be of little help in these situations – what is required is the ability to think (and speak) on your feet! After all, how often have you:

  • Been asked to summarise a technical report into a 3-min concise and brief verbal update during a meeting?
  • Been caught on-the-spot by a customer calling in?
  • Found yourself in a situation where you needed to answer important questions on the spot and you were not able to find the right words or the right structure to present it well?
  • Had problems when trying to get your ideas across to your peers and your superiors in a structured way when it mattered most?

Any of these situations seem familiar?

Verbal communication comes with a personal responsibility. You are responsible for what you say. The listener has a responsibility to actively engage in the conversation, but as the communicator, you have the responsibility of making your message clear and understandable. Knowing your listener is essential in communicating appropriately.

Tags: business communication, speaking and presenting, Think on Your Feet (Training), thinking, verbal communication
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