Effective speech can be one of your most powerful business tools.
How confident are you that you just aced the interview? Did the recruiter or interviewer ask you to repeat what you just said more than one time? Many people prepare for an interview by researching the company, buying a new suit and showing up on time, but they forget to focus on communication skills. At Corporate Speech Solutions, we conducted a poll in 2009 that revealed that 90 percent of the 100 people polled viewed communication skills in the workplace as very important. Similarly, recruiters were interviewed for a Wall Street Journal article and were asked to rate the importance of ten different attributes of interview candidates. Results of that research revealed 89% of the recruiters rated communication skills as the most important attribute during interviews. Clearly there is a strong correlation between these two.
Do you communicate with clarity, and confidence, when you pick up the telephone to call a recruiter or a client? Many individuals lack the confidence necessary to excel in today’s competitive market. Many people are unable to communicate with clarity and confidence and although their business skills may stand out among the competition, they are unable to communicate well on an interview or with business prospects. With proper training anyone can learn to walk into any meeting in person or on the telephone, and exude the confidence that is necessary to ace the interview and land the job! You can learn the skills to turn your communication opportunities into powerful business tools. It is time to learn how to communicate with clarity, and confidence.
Five tips to turn your communication skills into powerful business tools:
- Power up your voice. It is said, that people with strong, dynamic voices are perceived as having greater self-confidence than people with softer voices. Are you powering up your voice when you return those important calls? People often think that individuals with softer voices are less qualified for certain positions. Become aware of the importance of proper breathing as it relates to powering up your voice. A strong, powerful voice will exude self-confidence even when you may not be feeling that way.
- Slow down your rate of speech. How often are you asked to repeat what you just said? Learning to use strategic pausing will help you to slow down your rate of speech, add impact to your spoken message and improve your overall speech quality. Speak with determination. Own your words and deliver them with the importance they deserve. When you learn to use strategic pausing effectively, it shows you are in control of what you are saying, and, it gives the listener time to process what you are saying.
- Watch your filler words. Fillers are sounds, words and phrases that contain no real meaning, but are often used to keep one’s speech flowing. Some of the most commonly used fillers are sounds like “um” and “uh”; single words such as “like”, “right?”, “well” and “maybe”; and phrases such as “you know” and “I mean”. Using too many fillers can create the impression that you are unsure of yourself, or not knowledgeable about the topic on which you are speaking. Taking the time to recognize and reduce the number of filler words you use is a simple, but important step in improving your speech. Old habits are hard to break, and it may take time to eliminate filler words from your vocabulary completely, but the more professional, confident speech you will produce is well worth the effort.
- Watch your nonverbal communication style. Professor Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the understanding of communication skills since the 1960s. When communicating, it was noted that 55% of our communication is nonverbal. Although that is a simplification of his research, it is important to note that one conveys confidence with their posture, smile, good eye contact and a solid handshake. Be sure to focus attention on the speaker and nod if they are giving you information that they want you to have. Nodding shows that you are paying attention to what is being said. These non-verbal actions will significantly contribute to the development of a positive relationship during the interview.
- Learn to speak clearly on the telephone. Today, most of our daily business is conducted over the telephone. Learn to power up your voice and communicate in a clear and articulate manner. Clear speech will communicate confidence and purpose. Visit our website at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com to sign up for our newsletter and you will immediately receive our tips for speaking on the telephone and leaving a voice mail message.