It is extremely important to speak with clarity, especially in business. People are busy and do not have the time or the inclination to work out what you might be trying to say. You need to say it yourself, and say it clearly.
A common habit, especially in young people, is to pepper their speech with “um” and “erm “, “you know” and” like”, or the equivalent, in their language.
This conveys an impression to the listener that you are nervous, unsure, or even hesitant, when in fact it is more likely a habit, or laziness or both!
Maybe you need a couple of seconds to collect your thoughts? In that case a silence is much more powerful than any of the above “fillers”
It is far better to pause for a moment. Consider this;-
“I think we need to erm , you know, um, test and measure the results “
You appear hesitant.
“I think we need to ……………………..test and measure the results “
A pause is fine, it is powerful, attracts the audience’s attention, keeps them on their toes, makes them listen to what you are about to say. You appear thoughtful.
Another tip is to speak a little more slowly than normal, which gives your brain a chance to catch up, or get ahead of your mouth.
And control your breathing. Be conscious of it, breathe deeply.
Remember to Listen Actively. Focus on what is being said. A conversation is an exchange of ideas. You should be considering what is being said, not constructing the next thing you are going to say. Listen to and comment on ideas put forward to you.
Remember good manners are important. Use “please” and “thank you “where appropriate and don’t use confrontational, offensive or derogatory language or swear. Be respectful at all times.
Take a cue from those around you as to how to address others. In some businesses and cultures it is normal to give people their titles, Mr, Mrs, and Doctor. In other less formal settings everyone may be on first name terms. “Read” the culture and fit in.
If you asked to speak to a group of people, plan what you are going to say, at least in outline. You only have a few seconds to capture the audience’s attention.
It is a good idea to;-
Tell them what you are going to tell them
tell them what you told them
or put another way
introduce your topic
give your speech
Summarise what you’ve said.
This is effective because it gives people a chance to prepare for what you will tell them, process the information and remember it.
Speaking Clearly and Well, Quick Facts
- In business, you need to communicate effectively.
- Don’t use “fillers” in your speech, it makes you sound nervous and hesitant.
- Do use pauses, they are very powerful and make you appear thoughtful.
- Control your breathing
- Listen Actively.
- Remember good manners
- “Read” the culture and fit in.
- If speaking to a group of people, plan what you are going to say, at least in outline. You only have a few seconds to capture the audience’s attention.
Introduce your topic, give your speech, summarise what you’ve said.