Talent and skill have often been used interchangeably. They often say that talent is the same as skill. The truth is they are not. Talent and skill are totally different. They are worlds away. When a person asks another person “What is your talent?", then you say "I play the guitar well", he has just responded inappropriately. Here is why.
Guitar playing is not a talent, it is a skill. Singing is not a skill, it's a talent. So, what is the difference between the two, anyway? It's simple. Talent is something that is already in you. Just like instincts, it is innate in a person that has it. It is like you already have the raw ingredients for something revolutionary or very great.
The person who has it just has to find a way to utilize those raw materials well. As great as it may sound, not everyone has it. It is unique. Opposite to talent is skill. Skill is something that you can acquire through the use of external help. It is not innate in a person. It is learned and can be practiced to perfection. And unlike talent, skill can be in every person.
Knowing the difference between the two, it is now easy to rationalize the first statement of the second paragraph. Guitar playing is not a talent, it is a skill. In contrast, singing is not a skill, it is a talent. Why? As mentioned earlier, talent is a unique thing that is already innate in a person. He or she is born with it. Playing the guitar does not require special characteristics for a person to learn it.
Hand dexterity is the minimum requirement which is not something you acquire at birth. It can be trained. With proper practice, a person could just manipulate his hand with dexterity enough to play the guitar satisfactorily. The point here is that guitar can be learned. This thought marries well with the definition of skill which is something that is acquired through training. Singing is talent in a sense that it is something you are born with. Singing requires proper configuration of the organs that are involved in singing.
This talks about the anatomy of a person which is a something a person is born with. This thought is in accordance to the definition of talent. Therefore, singing is a talent. There are times at which these two are present in a person at the same time. This is when we call a person truly ‘gifted’. This happens very rarely and person who is blessed with this gift will surely go far in the field he or she invested his or her energy on.
With these thought in mind, it is now easy for an individual to distinguish which is talent and which is skill. There would be no more interchanging use of these words.