7 Tips On How To Communicate More Effectively At Work, From A Professional Speaker
It’s no secret that successful people tend to be compelling speakers with excellent communication skills. After all, good communication allows people to get their points across effectively, making them properly understood or even relatable.
Want to go far in your career? Be an effective communicator. We got Kim Underhill, a management consultant, professional speaker, and executive coach to share seven tips on how you can excel in communication across different platforms at the workplace.
More from CLEO:
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Being Vulnerable At Work
5 Career Skills To Hone Right Now If You’re Gunning For A Promotion
Does OT-ing A Lot Necessarily Mean That You’re Hardworking?
Text: Chia Sihan
1. Attend networking events to boost your confidence
Kim has noticed through her line of work that women tend to shy away from acknowledging their achievements. When praised for the good work they have done, they typically attribute the achievement to someone else instead of openly accepting the credit.
She has also noticed that many women are uncomfortable with sharing their opinion for something which they disagree with. This lack of self-worth is often the reason why many women do not project confidence.
To grow your confidence, the former regional head at an MNC recommends attending networking events.
“Talk to people standing alone as they probably would want to meet new friends, but are too shy to make the first move. Say ‘hi’ and make a short self-introduction. You don’t have to tell the stranger your life story, just something about you and why you are at the event,” says Kim.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Want to be learn to become a leader? It takes conscious effort.
“Joining Toastmasters is one way to practice your presentation. Also learn to work on your visual and audio presentation. Ask yourself, ‘What is the first impression I want my audience to have of me?'” says Kim.
The president of social enterprise Daughters of Tomorrow and professional network Singapore Business Professional Women Association shares that these organisations empower underprivileged women through confidence training programmes and practical support so that they can attain gainful employment and build a better futures.
3. Do your homework
Got a pitch coming up at work? Prepare a solid business plan that addresses the following points:
- Roadmap: What do you hope to achieve with this idea?
- Reasons: Why do you wish to embark on it?
- Route: How do you plan to make it work?
- Roadblock: Where are the potential challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
- Resource: What do you need to make the idea a success ie. people/cost/time?
- Results: When will the ideal be materialised?
4. Walk the talk
To influence your peers, embody your values and be ready to support them when necessary. Coach, mentor or even sponsor someone if you can. Your personal branding is what your peers will be attracted to, so you need to know what you stand for.
5. Show that you actually care
Communication is a two-way process. Mutual respect only happens when people know you truly care for their well-being (like their work and personal lives) and you willing to listen and help.
Similarly, when you’re presenting to an audience, you need to be observant. You need to observe visual and audio cues so you are able to adjust your message to meet them emotionally.
6. Go beyond “winging it”
To build confidence is to build knowledge. Through knowledge and sharing, you will slowly and surely gain confidence in communication and presentation to anyone, anywhere and anytime.
Kim emphasises the importance of making a good first impression the minute you walk into a room, so you should be mindful of your gestures, facial expression and body language.
“When your audience is comfortable with your visual and audio cues, they’ll welcome your message with open arms. Self-awareness is key to ensuring the appropriateness of your communication style,” she points out.
7. Handle conflict in person
If you’re mediating between two parties in conflict, you should be mindful of the emotional state of each party. Make it known that you are here to understand and resolve the matter on hand objectively. Once emotion is removed, the subject matter can be handled systematically i.e., what happened, what needs fixing, actions to be taken and how to move on from here.