Peter Murphy asked:
To be able to communicate verbally, even if that “verbal” is with sign language for people who are hearing impaired, is vitally important. Without good verbal communication skill, getting by in life would be virtually impossible. Every day, in so many ways, we use those skills.
When you go into work, verbal skills are really needed. To talk on the phone with clients, to give orders to your subordinates, or to deal with your boss; you have to speak to them. And, just talking is not enough. If you are trying to get a raise from your boss, or to explain a mistake, you need to speak eloquently and convincingly. When dealing with your staff, sometime you have to give encouragement, and other times you have to give them a verbal kick to motivate them.
If you are trying to win a new client for the firm, you have to be able to show them what your company has to offer. Now, sometimes visual aids help, but what if you are on the phone? Then, it can be merely the strength of your voice and the power of your arguments that wins them over. Conversely, if you speak with a current client who is unhappy, then your voice, your tone, and your words are all that stands between them going or staying. Your verbal communication skill will really need to be at peak performance then.
In a crisis, often our words are all we have. If you should (perish the thought) find yourself on a wrecked train or plane, and people are screaming and upset; your words may be the only thing that can calm them enough for you all to escape. There is that old saying: “Freedom of speech does not mean you are free to scream ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater”. Well, think about it, even if the building really is on fire, should you scream that out? Carefully chosen words can help people to stay calm and get out safely.
Along those same lines, there are legal matters. Still today we have the tradition, coming down to us from the Middle Ages, of going to court for a hearing. We swear to tell the truth, and give testimony. If you should find yourself in court on a legal matter, whether it be a civil suit or a criminal trial, the power of your words alone will be all you have. Trying to convince a jury that you are innocent by merely screaming: “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!” over and over is not going to carry much weight. You must speak clearly and succinctly, and guide them to see the truth of your words. It was with good reason that public speaking and rhetoric were part of the classic education system.
In our personal lives, verbal communication skill is a vital means of sustaining relationships. You have to be able to talk to those you love and care about. Without that, your relationships will wither and die. How many times have you seen couple who seem to argue about everything: politics, religion, movies, you name it? Yet, they stay together. Agreeing on things is not the key to a strong relationship.
It is mutual respect and communication. So long as you can talk, so long as the lines of communication stay open, your relationship has a chance of staying alive. The same goes for family members. How many brothers / sisters / cousins etc. are you on good relations with? Odds are, it is the ones you talk to the most. Again, even if you do not agree on things, if you at least talk, the relationship will be all the stronger for it. You need good verbal communication skill for that.
In our everyday lives, we communicate all the time with the people we encounter. We talk to co-workers, we interact with our bosses and the people who hire us. We talk to our spouse and loved ones. So, it’s no wonder that verbal communication skill is important to us.