Celebrated Irish author James Joyce’s magnum opus Ulysses remains one of the most difficult reads in modern literature. The book is packed with references to old and new literature, mythology and socio-economic developments—along with expert shifts in languages. This could only have been written by someone with the right acumen for words or linguistics, like Joyce.

Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory defines eight types of intelligence including verbal linguistic intelligence—the ability to comprehend language, both written and spoken. Authors like James Joyce possess this type of intelligence for their highly-developed language ability.

If you want to find out how linguistic intelligence can be enhanced and linguistic intelligence examples, stick around!

  1. Meaning Of Linguistic Intelligence

  2. How To Refine Your Verbal Linguistic Intelligence

Meaning Of Linguistic Intelligence

If you know someone who’s good with words—whether spoken or written, they likely have strong linguistic ability. Linguistic verbal intelligence means having complete knowledge of language, from words to phrases and sentences. People who have a strong sense of verbal intelligence make excellent orators, leaders, teachers, authors and lawyers.

Whether it’s Mark Antony or Barack Obama, there have been exemplary orators in history who have made a lasting impression on people. Good command of language comes from linguistic intelligence.

Although it comes naturally to most, verbal intelligence can be enhanced or developed with practice. Gardner’s theory was meant for educators or teachers to customize their teaching methods depending on the student. So, understanding linguistic intelligence in the right context can help you understand others and how to communicate with them.

How To Refine Your Verbal Linguistic Intelligence

Gardner cites English author T.S. Eliot to explain verbal linguistic abilities. It’s a natural ability for language that pushes you to convey ideas through stories with clarity, brevity and accuracy. If you want to become a good speaker or excellent writer, you can use any of the following ways to sharpen your verbal intelligence.

  1. Practice Speaking In Front Of A Mirror

When you have a job interview, a speech or even a presentation, try practicing in front of a mirror. Not only will you see yourself in action but also make note of areas that need improvement. You can even record yourself while speaking as it’ll give you some perspective about what to say and how to say it. It’s important to monitor yourself otherwise you’ll never really know just how you come across to the listener.

  1. Keep A Video Log

Another way to enhance your linguistic verbal intelligence is to keep a video log of your day. Just like writing in a journal but verbal, a video log is a great way to record how you’re doing and process your feelings. You can go back and watch some of these to see if your speech has improved or if there’s something you need to work on.

  1. Find Creative Outlets To Express Yourself

Teachers often use this practice to encourage their students to be themselves. You can find anything you like—be it painting, writing or even building blocks—as a way to discover your creativity. The more you push yourself to step out of your comfort zone, the better your chances to develop your linguistic intelligence. You can even write a page a day, just scribbling your thoughts, to make progress.

  1. Make New Friends

Talking to people you’ve never met before encourages you to make more effort. With strangers or acquaintances, we have to initiate conversations, speak clearly and be mindful of the other person. Making new friends will help you practice speaking and, in the process, build self-awareness.

  1. Speak At Public Events

However big or small, speaking at public events in front of a crowd is a great way to improve your communication skills. Linguistic intelligence directly relates to your understanding of language. Speaking to an audience will help you pace yourself, find the right words and even modify your speech to suit their needs. This teaches you control over language and how to play with words to serve your purpose.

Personalities who are excellent examples of linguistic intelligence include William Shakespeare, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. They’re linguistic maestros with complete control over their words. Their words have the ability to move, persuade and push people to action. They show exceptional linguistic intelligence characteristics.

Learn how to speak and write like them by enhancing your verbal intelligence. Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course will teach you how to be an effective speaker. With frameworks like the Three Appeals of reasoning, credibility and emotion, you’ll become equipped at persuading others. Learn the art of storytelling and crafting impactful messages with helpful tips and examples from our expert faculty.


Explore topics such as What are Interpersonal Skills, the Features of Effective Communication, the Importance of Interpersonal Communication How to Improve Communication Skills from Harappa Diaries and learn to communicate with impact & clarity.

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