Verbal Dexterity


Verbal dexterity is an ability to use verbal devices creatively. It helps to put ideas into words accurately and improve the effectiveness of communication.

Developing this skill is grand for every presenter because

  • it makes a speech look more natural and copious,
  • ideas get understood right, and
  • improvisation abilities grow dramatically.

How to Increase Verbal Dexterity

No prize for guessing that verbal dexterity is the result of erudition and speaking experience. These tips will help to improve it.

  • Read a lot.
  • Write down unknown words and use them AMAP.
  • Attend speaking clubs.
  • Communicate with intelligent people.
  • Watch intellectual TV shows.
  • Learn a thesaurus while writing.

These methods are most common to advise because of their efficiency, while they have one fatal flaw: they are passive, hence efficient for developing a passive vocabulary mostly.

Verbal dexterity, however, is about active vocabulary, not passive one. That’s why one can easily understand speeches while only a few can freely express their thoughts. This exercise will help you enrich your active vocabulary:

Topical Associations

  1. Take a random word. (Ask someone to suggest one or find it in a book.)
  2. Time 60 seconds.
  3. Try to remember as many relevant words to a given one as possible.

Choose different words each time and try to remember more and more associations. When able to remember 50 relevant words in a minute, you can raise the bar for choosing less general words.

This exercise is widespread though it’s highly effective: it makes you come up with as many synonyms as possible, as well as find logical connections between different words.