Verbal communication refers to that communication which is done with the help of words. What I am doing at this moment? I am communicating with you with the help of words. Hence, I am engaging in a verbal form of communication. Believe it or not, verbally communicating is not the most used form of communication. In fact, it is the least effective. No matter how good one may be in communicating, this fact stands true. In general communication, (as seen over the past eon) words are only 7% effective. Yes, conveying things non-verbally is used much more than using words to convey. There is a complete psychology of communication that one needs to understand. But we shall discuss it later. Right now, it is important that you understand why is communication important, and what are the ways to improve communication skills.
Types of Verbal Communication
There is a major misconception on the World Wide Web about its basic meaning. I am going to correct that. Many people believe that verbal refers to oral communication; that is spoken language. However, in reality, oral communication is one type of verbal communication. Written communication, which is considered to be separate, is actually the other type. So, there are two types: first type, written communication and the second type, oral communication. As such the definition could be written as, "Verbal communication is that medium of expression that makes use of words. It is governed by the rules of the language that the used words are in."
Written Communication: As the name suggests, written communication refers to the written word and communication using it. Written communication is used massively as a mode of communicating with someone who is far away. E.g. Letters, emails, text messages, chatting, articles, etc. It is not very expressive due to absence of voice and intonations.
Oral Communication: Oral communication refers to speech. This type of communication was basically used to communicate with people within earshot. However, with the advent of telephones and voice chat, it can be used to communicate with people who are far away as well. Oral communication can be a little bit more expressive as compared to written communication.
Both of these communication techniques use words as the basic medium. As such, they are the integral methods of communicating verbally.
Styles of Verbal Communication
All activities that an individual engages in while trying to communicate something, would fall into one of the two styles. They are; formal and informal verbal communication. Let us understand these styles better.
Formal Verbal Communication: This style is very formal and makes use of correct linguistics. At the workplace, as a principle, this style should be followed. Formal communication does not involve slang language. It mostly requires an individual to stick to a certain language; hopping between languages is not an appropriate formal way of communicating. More so, the language being used, should be done correctly. Errors are seldom tolerated in formal style.
Informal Verbal Communication: In classrooms, the communication of students is mostly informal in nature. A chat between good friends will probably be the best example for this style. Slang language and language hopping is permitted. In the workplace, the grapevine ordinarily makes use of this style of communication. It has been seen through surveys and studies, that this style of communication is better at helping people bond and communicate freely.
In case of oral communication, body language plays a very major role. Body language and other non-verbal communicating methods help make the communication more complete and effective. It facilitates intercultural communication to a great extent, as well. For example, if someone were to say, "I care about you", with absolutely no facial or physical expression, you would think that a robot is talking to you, right?
Well, that is why, communication methods via speaking are said to be one of the most complex, yet essential activities that a human being engages in. Communication in inevitable. Even while we try not to communicate, we communicate. It has been there since before the dawn of time, it is omnipresent and is the reason why all the elements on Earth are tied together. This is where I sign off! Take care!!