3 Proven Exercises to Improve Your Verbal Communication Skills

In this blog, I will share three specific exercises and learnings that I’ve picked up from various experiences. These include giving a talk at TEDx, a memorable failure (and redemption) working with JetBlue, and insights from the analytics of over a hundred videos that I’ve put out on YouTube. So, let’s dive into these activities that can help you improve your verbal communication skills.

 

1. Record Yourself to Improve Your Verbal Communication

The first lesson comes from my experience of preparing for my TEDx talk. To improve your verbal communication skills, one of the most effective things you can do is to record yourself speaking. Watching yourself communicate verbally and offering feedback will help you identify areas for improvement, such as making eye contact, adjusting your tone, and improving your body language.

If you’re feeling brave, you can even share a snippet of your recording on social media and ask for feedback. This can be an incredibly powerful tool in helping you become a better communicator.

 

2. Shift from “Me” to “We” and Check-In with Your Audience

My second major learning came from a huge failure at JetBlue. During a workshop, I realized that my focus was more on how I appeared and what the client thought of me, rather than genuinely engaging with the audience. To improve your verbal communication skills, it’s essential to shift your perspective from being self-centered to being other-centered.

This means focusing on providing value to your audience rather than trying to look good. Additionally, checking in with your audience during a presentation can help you gauge their level of engagement and make adjustments in real time.

 

3. Learn from YouTube Analytics to Enhance Your Verbal Communication

The third set of learnings comes from the analytics of over a hundred videos that I’ve recorded on YouTube. Analyzing this data has provided me with valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t in terms of engaging with my audience.

 

Context Hooks: Capture Your Audience’s Attention

One key takeaway is the importance of having a “context hook” in your communication. This means telling your audience what’s in it for them within the first 30 seconds of your presentation. A compelling context hook can keep your audience engaged and make them more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.

 

Closing Signals: Finish Strong

Another crucial lesson I’ve learned is to be aware of the closing signals in your communication. Pay attention to the cues that signal the end of your presentation, as these can cause your audience to disengage prematurely. Ensure you’re providing value until the very end of your talk, without giving unnecessary cues that signal a wind-down.

 

Working Together to Improve Your Verbal Communication Skills

I hope these tips have provided you with valuable insights into how you can improve your verbal communication skills. As a professional speaker and coach, I am passionate about helping others become better communicators. If you’re interested in private coaching to become a better virtual presenter, feel free to check out the information below. Have an awesome day!