Do you want to know how to improve oral communication skills in the workplace?
There are different forms of communication which include verbal communication, written communication, and non-written communication.
Verbal communication also known as oral communication is considered to be an important form of communication both in personal and professional settings.
If oral communication is lacking between people or in an organization, it can cause unnecessary setbacks and difficulties.
Hence, oral communication should not be taken lightly in your business and workplace.
We are here to help as usual.
To begin, we will be looking at what oral communication is…
What is Oral Communication? – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Oral communication is the means of communicating via spoken words.
It is a form of communication that allows people to share ideas and information, and communicate their thoughts.
Oral communication can occur directly while conversing with someone one-on-one, or through electronic devices such as phones, and video platforms.
It serves as the most efficient and effective means of conducting business transactions.
Verbal communication is another term used for oral communication.
Oral Communication Skills – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
When it comes to oral communication different skills are needed.
However, all these skills are classified under two major skills, and they are:
Effective Speaking – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Effective speaking is all about speaking in a way that your listeners will understand.
It involves three core parts which are word choice, words delivery, and non-verbal communication reinforcement.
These factors affect your message transmission and the way it is understood and received by your listeners.
Let us quickly look at them one at a time.
Word Choice – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
The term “word choice” simply means the words you choose to speak when communicating with people.
Those words determine what your listeners get from your message.
It is what they receive from you that determines how they will understand the message.
You most likely will need to make use of different words for different people or situations, even if you are discussing a similar subject.
For instance, the words you make use of while discussing a subject with your business partner will be different from the words you use when speaking at major conferences.
So, you have to be careful with the words you choose when communicating orally.
Your words delivery is all about how you present your message to people; it is the way you speak.
It involves your voice tone and pace.
While speaking your tone can come off as angry, sad, excited, and other emotions, depending on how you deliver your words.
Your speaking pace can either be fast or slow.
This too can affect your communication.
For example, if you are too fast, you might confuse your listeners, or if you are too slow, you might bore your listeners.
So, you have to ensure that your pace is not too fast or too slow.
If you do not want to pass across the wrong message, you have to be careful with your tone and your pace
Non-verbal Communication Reinforcement – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Yes, while communicating verbally, you need to make use of non-verbal communication to reinforce your message.
When we say non-verbal communication we mean your body language and eyes contact.
Your body language can be read and understood by people.
So, if your words are saying one thing and your body language is not in sync with your words, it can cause misinterpretation of your message.
Your body language should reinforce your words and not negate them.
Active Listening – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Active listening is an important skill when communicating orally.
While effective speaking enables you to pass your message effectively, active listening helps you to effectively understand a speaker.
You should know that communication is not a one-way street.
So, as you work to speak effectively, you also need to listen effectively.
Active Listening entails:
For you to get what a speaker is saying, you need to pay attention to them.
When we say “pay attention” we mean that you should give the speaker your undivided attention.
Concentrate on them and what they are saying.
This will help you to hear and remember every little detail, and fully understand the message.
Showing That You are Listening – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Now, it is one thing to pay attention and another thing to show that you are listening.
You might be paying attention to a speaker and not show that you are listening.
So, do not assume that once you are paying attention to a speaker, it is showing them that you are listening.
This is mostly because showing that you are listening entails making use of your body language and some verbal comments.
The listeners’ role during communication is to listen and understand what the speaker is saying.
To do this, you would need to reflect on the words being spoken and ask questions.
When you do this, you are providing feedback to the speaker, showing that you are following them, and getting a better understanding of the speaker’s message.
Check here to discover 16 strategies that can help you get honest feedback from your employees.
Deferring Judgment – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
While listening to others, there is a tendency that you might agree with what they are saying.
However, you have to keep your judgment, assumptions, and beliefs to yourself and listen.
Do not interrupt while the speaker is still speaking.
Doing that will only waste time, as the speaker will get frustrated, and you might not get the full meaning of the message.
If you have any counter-argument, keep them to yourself and wait till the speaker finishes speaking.
After the speaker finishes speaking, you might find out that your counter-argument is not needed.
It is after you have listened to the speaker, and understood their message that you will be able to respond appropriately.
At that point, you have heard everything they had to say and weighed it with what you know.
Hence, you will not jump to a wrong conclusion, or base your judgment on your perspective alone.
If you have an opinion to share, then you will do so respectfully and honestly.
Importance of Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
We just discussed the major skills needed for oral communication.
Now, we will be looking at the importance of oral communication skills in the workplace.
As we earlier said, you should not take oral communication lightly in your business and workplace.
This is because:
It is Needed To Effectively Give Instructions
Oral communication skills are important in a workplace because it ensures that instructions are perfectly given.
Yes, written communication can do the trick, but for a smooth and perfect understanding of instructions, oral communication is needed.
For instance, you can give instructions to your employees via email, they might understand and they might not.
If they do not understand, they might need to ask you some questions.
Doing this via email might take quite some time for the message to be delivered, read, reflected on, and understood.
However, with effective oral communication skills, you will effectively give instructions to your employees without delay.
Then, if they do not understand, you will explain it better there and then.
It Promotes Better Relationships in The Workplace – How to Improve Oral Communication in The Workplace
The foremost means of communication is oral communication.
You speak and listen to people around you.
If people only communicate with their colleagues and employees at work via email or other platforms, it can create a tense working environment.
Why wait to draft a message, when you can easily walk up to your colleagues or employees and speak to them?
When you possess effective oral communication and communicate orally with your worker, you will build a better relationship with them.
They will trust you more and open up to sharing their work challenges and doing better.
If all your employees effectively communicate orally with one another, the work environment will be good and they will work better as a team and individually.
Orally communicating with your employee does not make you less professional, it only makes you human.
However, ensure that when you are orally communicating with people at work ensure that you keep things balanced.
It Promotes Better Conduction of Business
From time to time, you will need to communicate effectively with other parties outside of your business.
These are people who do not work for you but do business with you such as your customers and clients, suppliers, investors, etc.
Most times, you will need to communicate orally with them.
If you do not possess effective oral skills, you most likely will find a hard time conducting business.
However, when you do, you will come off as someone worth doing business with, and this will help to promote your business.
It Promotes Accurate Delivery and Understanding of Messages – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Another importance of oral communication skills in the workplace is that it promotes accurate delivery and understanding of messages.
In other words, when you possess effective oral communication skills you will find it easy to deliver your message and understand other people’s messages.
This will help you to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpreting people.
As a result, you hardly get into conflict with people in your workplace.
Tips on How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Everybody can communicate orally, but it is how well you can communicate orally that matters.
In other words, if you do not possess effective oral communication skills, you will communicate with people in the workplace, but struggle while doing this.
Meanwhile, when you possess effective oral communication skills, you will easily and effectively communicate orally in your workplace.
So, what matters is the oral skills that you possess.
As we promised, we are here to help you better your oral communication skills.
This is why we have prepared the following amazing tips for you:
1. Before Speaking, Think!
You should see this more like a rule than a tip if you want to improve your oral communication skills.
As we earlier said, when communicating orally, you should consider your word choices.
Do not be so quick to speak without gauging a situation, and considering the words that are about to come out of your mouth.
Take your time to think, reflect, and collect your thoughts, then arrange them into words that will effectively pass across your message to others.
Do not feel rushed or pushed to answer because it could make you deliver your message wrongly.
So, calm down, pause, think, and then speak.
When you pause to think, it demonstrates thoughtfulness.
Your listeners or audience will get the notion that you are considering your best reply before speaking.
Furthermore, when you are the listener, do not rush the speaker to speak.
When they pause to consider their thoughts, be patient with them.
This way the speaker’s thought process will not be interrupted, and they will appreciate you for being patient.
2. Be Careful With Your Tone– How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
As we earlier said, your tone is very important when communicating orally.
Your tone can engage your listeners or bore your listeners.
Making use of a warm and friendly tone can create a positive impression.
Meanwhile, using a monotone or flat tone can create a bad impression of you to the listeners.
Now, communication aims to pass and receive information.
So, if you cannot engage your listeners, you cannot effectively pass information to them.
Hence, you need to work on your tone.
Learn to make use of a warm tone instead of a flat tone.
You should also learn how to make use of inflections when stating important points in your message.
When you make use of inflections and good tone, you will capture your listener’s attention.
Furthermore, you can learn to copy people’s tones when speaking to them.
For instance, when communicating with someone and they are speaking softly, then speak softly.
When they are excited, ensure that you match their excitement.
Doing this will increase your listeners’ engagement.
3. Be Concise
When speaking to people, you have to ensure that you make your message easy to understand.
Do not waste time talking about things that are not relevant to your message.
Rather, get to your core point in time.
When you make communication too long, you will bore your listeners, and they will not get your message.
Being concise ensure that this is avoided.
So, before speaking to anyone, think of how to deliver your message clearly and in a few words.
Furthermore, being concise will help you when you are giving instructions to your employees, as there will be directness and little room for confusion.
4. Know/Understand Your Listeners – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
For you to effectively communicate with people, you need to know and understand them.
Understand that everybody has different backgrounds and experiences.
So, you have to ensure that when you are speaking to people, you do so in a way that everyone will easily understand.
This is especially true when discussing technical or complex topics.
Furthermore, when communicating orally ensure that you consider your audience’s personality and culture.
Try to craft your message in a manner that they will not only understand but relate with.
Get to know your audience’s knowledge base, and what they need and want to know.
This way, you will find it easy to make your message meet their needs, keep them engaged, and most likely get them to understand you.
5. Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a major skill for oral communication.
It allows you to listen, retain, and understand a speaker’s message.
When you can actively listen, it will be easier for you to build strong relationships and rapport.
Also, it will make other people more interested and engaged in listening to you when you are speaking.
To improve your active listening skills, you can do the following:
- Remove distractions
- Focus on the speaker and what they are saying
- Avoid having judgmental or stereotypical thoughts
- Ask questions to clarify and understand the message or information
- Do not respond until the speaker finishes speaking
6. Watch Your Body Signs – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
As we earlier said, although body language is non-verbal communication, it serves a vital role while communicating orally.
It can give off the wrong message and negate the message you are trying to communicate orally.
So, you need to watch your body signs.
Ensure that you avoid conveying the wrong body signs.
Stay relaxed, do not stiff your body or cross your arms.
When your body is relaxed, you demonstrate the confidence that makes others more inclined to listen to you.
Also, it will make you seem more open and willing to listen to others.
7. Be Authentic
People are more attracted to genuine and transparent speakers.
It improves their willingness to participate in the conversation.
Also, it will make people trust your words.
So, do not hide behind lies.
8. Speak Confidently – How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
If you are not confident while speaking, people will tell, and this will make it difficult for them to believe you.
You should demonstrate confidence while speaking because it will make you credible, and trustworthy.
These two qualities will help you capture the interest of your listeners.
When you have a planned conversation, speech, or presentation, you can build your confidence by making physical and mental notes about your topic.
You do not need to script your notes word for word, you just need to state the major points that will direct your oral interaction.
Developing your plan will help you prepare, and boost your confidence.
Conclusion on How to Improve Oral Communication Skills in The Workplace
Oral communication is important in the workplace and should not be taken lightly.
We have shared amazing tips that will help you improve your oral communication skills.
So, ensure that you continuously practice them.
Also, as you practice do not hesitate to ask for feedback from friends and family.