Types of Verbal Communication (With Importance and Tips)

Updated 17 December 2022

Verbal communication is the process of using speech to pass information to other people. In the workplace, you may use verbal communication skills to make presentations, share your points during meetings, make telephone phone calls or engage in productive conversations with colleagues. Knowing the different types of communication and their importance can help you become a better communicator. In this article, we explain the different methods of verbal communication, show you the importance of oral communication and share tips to help you enhance your skills.

Related: 4 Types of Communication (With Examples)

What are the 4 types of verbal communication?

When you use different ways of speaking, you can communicate ideas or express emotions more effectively. In verbal communication, you express ideas aloud to another person. The information you may convey during a conversation also includes the tone of your speech. Below are the four types of verbal communication:

1. Interpersonal

One-to-one communication takes place when individuals exchange information, such as ideas or opinions, in words. Here, two or more people take turns sending and receiving information. The exchange of information can happen in face-to-face meetings, on the phone or via online platforms. Strong interpersonal communication can add value to a conversation and enhance personal interactions. When using interpersonal communication, it's important to be mindful of your tone of voice, gestures, expressions and body language, as they may convey a motive behind your words.


  • Why Interpersonal Communication is So Important at Work

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2. Intrapersonal

Intrapersonal communication is communication that occurs internally. It may include self-talk, acts of imagination, visualisation or recall, where an individual processes their thoughts. Interpersonal communication can play a crucial role in various social and personal functions. This type of communication can remain a personal introspection, or it can lead you to communicate verbally.

3. Small group communication

Small group communication may happen when more than two people are present. Here, the number of participants may be small enough to allow each person to interact or converse with others. Small group communications usually focus on completing specific tasks or accomplishing certain goals. Board meetings, weekly team meetings and press conferences are typical examples of small group communication. In the workplace, small group communication may help individuals perform informal roles, collaborate, and develop a sense of belonging.

For small group discussions to be successful, members may have to discuss a specific issue. Member attributes can play a role in small group formations. For example, a person who understands the group's task may emerge as a leader and recruit members, then assign roles that affect the group's structure. The size, structure, identity and interaction pattern may all influence small group communications.

4. Public communication

This method of communication usually takes place when one person talks to many people, such as a crowd. Public speeches during election campaigns are good examples of public communication. In most cases, the information goes in one direction. There is usually a person who addresses or conveys information to many recipients. With public communication, the speaker may try to disclose and explain an idea to an audience. A good example is a lecturer giving a speech at an industry conference. Disseminating crucial information to the masses via TV and radio can be an integral part of public communication.

Importance of verbal communication

Verbal communication can play a significant role in the workplace. It's essential to conduct a meeting, make a presentation or hold personal conversations. Effective verbal communication usually goes beyond talking and may encompass how you deliver messages and how you receive them. You can take a close look at the significance of oral communication below:

1. Helps you express yourself

Using different types of verbal communication may help you express your ideas, thoughts, emotions and experiences. This can help you reflect on your individual strengths. For example, you may define yourself as determined, collaborative or patient. It's important to tell others your strengths, priorities and expectations, especially if you are going to work with them. Once team members know your working style and your abilities, they may help you settle into your new role.

2. Organises complex ideas

As you work, you may have a lot of ideas about your tasks, deadlines and priorities. Communicating ideas aloud with a team member can help you simplify multiple thoughts into a clear message. Also, when you organise or lead a work project, your team members may appreciate your ability to express complex ideas well. You can also use this skill when explaining ideas to clients or business partners.

3. Helps you think

Verbal communication can also help you reason and make decisions for the future. Using your mind, you can recount your past job history, consider your present role and ponder about your future opportunities. This can benefit you in the workplace. For example, you can use verbal communication to reflect on the past to improve your performance in the future. You can discuss projects with your colleagues and team members to find good ideas.

4. Influences your mood

The way you communicate or use oral language may also impact your mood. How you or your supervisor communicate may influence your perspective and attitude toward your current job. For example, you may feel happy when a supervisor acknowledges your contribution to your team. What you say can also affect the attitudes of others in your team or workplace. For example, if you praise the work of others, they can feel happier and enjoy their work more.

5. Provides clarity

Verbal communication can also provide clarity, which may improve connection and drive engagement. People can remember information more easily when someone presents it directly to them or when they watch someone perform a task in front of them. During group meetings or training sessions, participants may ask questions and get immediate responses, which helps them to understand the task at hand or a situation.

6. Increases motivation

Words of acknowledgment or appreciation from a manager can boost the confidence levels of individual members and increase productivity. Hearing an encouraging speech usually seems more genuine than reading an impersonal email. Verbal communication can also make your team members feel valued and better understood. For example, an in-person meeting can provide workers with the opportunity to share their concerns with the management or colleagues. Such regular group meetings and discussions with workers can foster team spirit.

7. Saves time

When working in a team or group, the leader usually assigns tasks to the members and communicates the expectations. Giving instructions verbally, as opposed to writing a memo or email, can help you communicate the brief and objectives properly and clarify any issues before team members start their work. Everyone can understand what you are saying and agree, saving you all time.


  • How to Become an Effective Communicator

  • Understanding and Overcoming Common Communication Barriers With Examples

Tips for improving verbal communication skills

Strong verbal communications skills are essential in the workplace. Team members with superior communication skills can thrive in their careers. The tips below might help you develop your verbal communication skills at the workplace:

  • Think before you speak. You may take time to consider what you wish to say before you utter them.

  • Consider your tone. Be conscious of how you speak to ensure the person receives the message the right way. Your attitude towards the person you are addressing in your verbal communication matters.

  • Take deep breaths. You may take breaths between paragraphs when making longer speeches as you contemplate what you want to say next.

  • Learn from others. It's helpful to observe the speaking style of eminent speakers and personalities that you look up to. You can imitate some aspects of their style to improve your own.

  • Listen carefully. Talk less and pay attention to what a speaker says. It can help build a rapport and can show your interest in their issues or problems.

  • Be mindful. Make sure that your words, gestures, facial expression and body language match with your conversation or speech.

  • Consider other points of view. Think carefully about what you wish to say from the listener's perspective, then plan your responses.

  • Project your voice. Use a strong, confident voice when speaking to a large group so that everyone in the room can easily hear you.

  • Practise your presentation. Before giving a talk or even an interview, practice in front of a mirror or record your voice, then play it back.

  • Be clear in your speech. When you are going to speak publicly, practice beforehand to make sure you enunciate each word clearly.


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