Multiple business people having a conversation.

4 Ways to Improve your Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills

by Makenzee R. Taylor, on May 29, 2023
Knowing how to improve your verbal communication skills can make a big difference in your success as a job seeker, but it’s not always about what words you say. Nonverbal communication, like facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language, are just as important. The way we communicate can have a significant impact on how our messages are received. 

Ways to improve verbal and nonverbal communication skills include pausing to reflect before speaking, maintaining eye contact, respecting personal space, and using concise language. Focusing on these tips can help job seekers attract and secure more job opportunities.

The blog below covers the details of our four tips for improving your verbal and nonverbal communication skills as a job seeker!

Verbal Communication

1. Consider your words before speaking out loud. 

It might seem like a “no-brainer”, but taking a moment to pause and think before you speak is an extremely valuable tool. Listen to what the other person is saying and consider the consequences of your words. After you have reflected on what was said, you can now make a concise, clear statement. 

If you’re worried about the amount of time you need to reflect before speaking, you can say something to indicate you need a moment to think. Phrases like “That’s a really good question” or “I need a moment to think on that” can show that you’re focused on giving a thoughtful response. If possible, try not to repeat the same phrase more than once in a conversation.

It’s completely normal to be nervous when speaking to someone new. If you need to take a second before answering and pause, it’s ok. Pausing to reflect before answering is a sign of thoughtfulness and will nearly always be appreciated over blurting out an abrupt, unplanned response.

2. Use Concise Language When Speaking

When conversing or writing an email, it’s best not to overcomplicate your words and sentences with  irrelevant information. There will be moments when you are deep in a conversation and tend to over-explain a topic rather than get your point across. Think about how you may present the information more clearly and in fewer words. 

Some  exercises that can help you speak more concisely include: 
  • Practice and record yourself. An excellent way for you to improve both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. You’ll be able to listen to how you speak and articulate your words. Also, you can study your body language. Are you using your hands too much? Do you appear relaxed or tense when speaking? 
Here are some practice interview questions to ask yourself:
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What prompted you to apply for the role when you read the job description?
  • Give me an example of a time you faced a challenge and how did you overcome it?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
Go through these questions and write out your answers. Try to limit it to 2-3 sentences.

Nonverbal Communication

3. Maintain Eye Contact 

Keeping eye contact with someone you are conversing with shows them you are engaged and interested. Avoiding eye contact can be seen as rude and disrespectful. Where possible, eliminate potential distractions that could cause you to lose  focus.

Distractions include:
- Phone calls
- Smartwatch notifications 
- Scanning the room 

Focusing on the person’s face while speaking and continuing to look at them while replying is an effective practice. 

4. Respect Personal Space

Respect others the way you want to be respected. When it comes to your personal space, make actions that you would want others to follow. You are communicating through your body by not intruding. Learn to read body language. If you find yourself too close to someone and can tell their behavior has changed, take a couple of steps back to gain back their attention and trust.
Are You Looking For New Opportunities? LandrumHR Has Your Next One! 

Now that you have read what to look out for and how to improve your verbal and nonverbal communication skills, don’t be afraid to try them out. If you notice someone struggling with their communication skills, gladly share what you have learned or refer them to this blog! 

If you’re looking for your next job opportunity, we can help!

For over 50 years, LandrumHR has connected job seekers with great jobs at excellent companies. We have the best staff and recruiters to work by your side step-by-step through your entire job-hunting process. Check out our available positions and apply 24/7 at
Makenzee R. Taylor

Makenzee is an HR Assistant with LandrumHR Workforce Solutions. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in marketing. Born and raised in Northern California, Makenzee enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the beach, traveling and binge-watching TV shows in her free time.

View more blogs by Makenzee R. Taylor