business speaking principles to improve the effectiveness of your communication at work

Speaking Professionally 10 Rules: How To Speak Effectively At Work

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About this micro-class

Communication is the backbone of every successful business. Whether it’s a sales pitch, a customer support call, or an office presentation, how you articulate your thoughts is crucial. Here are the essential practices to elevate your speaking skills, ensuring clear, impactful communication across all levels.

General factors to consider

1. Audience Understanding

Know Your Audience: Tailor your language and approach based on who you’re addressing.

Empathy: Understanding their needs and perspectives is crucial for effective communication.

2. Content Structuring

Clarity: Organize your ideas logically, ensuring a coherent flow.

Frameworks: Utilize tools like STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for concise storytelling and problem-solving.

3. Delivery Techniques

Body Language: Maintain an open and confident posture, making eye contact and using gestures judiciously.

Voice Modulation: Vary your tone and pace to emphasize key points and maintain engagement.

4. Active Listening

Engagement: Acknowledge and respond to the audience’s input, ensuring a two-way conversation.

Clarification: Ask questions to ensure mutual understanding.

Business speaking practices

5. Preparation

Research: Gather information about the topic or audience you’ll address.

Outline: Structure your content, ensuring a clear beginning, middle, and end.

6. Adding Value

The W.A.I.T. framework: W.A.I.T. stands for “Why Am I Talking?” Before speaking, ask yourself whether your message adds value to the conversation or helps you advance toward your goal.

7. Storytelling with STAR

STAR is a popular framework for structuring business communication.

Situation: Set the context, outlining the circumstances or challenge.

Task: Define what needs to be done or addressed.

Action: Explain the steps to take to resolve the situation.

Result: Share the (expected) outcomes and lessons learned.

8. Engaging Delivery

Body Language: Maintain an open posture, use hand gestures to emphasize points, and make eye contact.

Voice Modulation: Vary pitch and pace to maintain interest and emphasize key ideas.

9. Active Listening and Adaptation

Respond: Acknowledge feedback or questions and adapt your responses accordingly.

Ask Questions: Ensure clarity and engagement by inviting questions or participation.

10. Building Trust

Simple Language: Use simple, short words and sentences.

8-Year-Old Rule: Assume your audience does not know the topic.

Gravity: Take small breaks between sentences to look more confident and authoritative.

Data: Share data and factual evidence to establish trust and gain credibility.

Test your knowledge with a quick test and earn a free micro-certificate

Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

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