The importance of speaking skills
Spoken communication, also referred to as verbal communication, has always been the most natural way of communicating. Whether it is upward, downward, or horizontal communication, the spoken word carries a lot of weight in the business world. When wielded with confidence and a good vocabulary, speech can be the most effective way to communicate clearly. In addition, speaking to someone enables listeners to respond instantly and close the communication loop. It is never an email waiting to be opened and replied to whenever.
The benefits of speaking skills
At workplaces, good oral communication skills are integral to leadership. Confident articulation offers you the ability to persuade and direct people. Speaking clearly and knowledgeably can make you stand out and enhance your chances of growing in your career. Effective speaking also provides you a sense of personal accomplishment and keeps your motivation levels high.
Learning to speak well
To begin with, one must understand that all the four basic communication skills- listening, speaking, reading, and writing- are interconnected. Acquiring good speaking skills come easy when you work towards gaining proficiency in the other areas as well. Listening skills help us communicate by understanding the context. Reading and writing instill in us the ability to get our thoughts in order and also help us build the vocabulary required to express ourselves with clarity.
Essentials of effective speaking skills
- Confidence is among the most critical aspects of effective speaking. Whenever someone speaks, the first thing that becomes apparent is their level of confidence. A confident voice almost always lends an air of credibility to your words, forcing people to pay attention. True confidence comes from first-hand knowledge about the topic on hand and being self-assured enough to lead the conversation. Conversely, if you exhibit signs of low confidence while speaking, people will assume that you are not sure of what you are saying.
- Authenticity is integral to all good speakers. It means that speaking comes naturally to those who have absolute clarity of what they want to say and how to say it. When you speak from the heart, it is immediately apparent to your listeners that these are your original thoughts, told in your voice. It allows you to engage more freely with people and build deeper connections. Authenticity, therefore, requires preparation and practice. Even if we are quoting from something we have read or heard about, one must learn the art of putting things across in our ways.
- Voice modulations are what offer speakers an engaged audience. A monotonous delivery can sound tedious and mechanical that can easily distract and distance the audience. Modulating the pace of talking, pauses to convey an important point, and changing your voice’s volume to emphasize key sentences can help keep the audience fully attentive to your message.
- Audience interaction is a great way to ensure that the audience effectively assimilates your speech. Asking questions and seeking the opinions of your audience while you are speaking will secure their attention. Interact with the audience and encourage their active participation in the topic that you are addressing. It will keep them engaged and allows for a free flow of thought.
- Body language is an essential part of effective public speaking. None of us listen to only the words that are being spoken; we are also acutely tuned in to the speaker’s body language. From facial expressions to posture and eye contact, they all add up to what is being conveyed. This means standing straight (or sitting upright), both arms relaxed on the sides, maintaining constant eye contact with the audience, and avoiding elaborate body movements that may distract the audience.
While speaking skills are integral to a successful career, it is certainly not limited to one’s professional life. Good speaking skills can enliven your personal life, attracting the attention and respect of people around you. In addition, it helps you maintain a high level of confidence and self-esteem.