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A CPA’s Guide to Mastering Speaking and Writing Skills: 3 Easy Tips

By Jayne Latz and Jack Appleman

When you chose your career as a CPA, you might not have thought about how well you communicate with others. But poor communication can hurt the bottom line and short-circuit your career. That’s why the accounting profession has identified oral and written communications as two critical skills that CPAs lack most often. But if you can master these skills, you can become more confident, increase productivity and achieve greater financial success.

Below are some key writing and speaking skills to master.

Tap the power of simplicity. Sometimes it’s hard to be simple – as crazy as that sounds! Using jargon that’s specific to your profession can alienate others and make your message harder to understand. Apply the simplicity principle when writing documents, such as responses to IRS notices, replies to clients’ inquiries, audit reports and anything else requiring clearly expressed language.

Be clear and articulate. People form impressions from your speaking style, whether in presentations, phone conversation or meetings. If you mumble and swallow your words, others may not value what you’re saying, even if you’re an expert on the subject. And if listeners continuously ask you to repeat yourself because of your accent-regional or foreign-they may not be focusing on your message. So speak in a clear and articulate manner to boost your confidence.

Master nonverbal communication. More than 90 percent of communication is nonverbal. Think about your tone during that last meeting. Did you convey trust and authority, or uncertainty? Did you greet someone with a warm smile, good eye contact and a firm handshake? When you greet someone, stretch out your hand with a warm smile and maintain good eye contact. If you shake someone’s hand and give a warm smile, but look out the window, he or she may question your sincerity.

Want more great strategies for communication success? Register for Jayne and Jack’s upcoming workshop, Speak Well…Write Well…Succeed! this December in NYC. Not able to make it out to New York? Join us for our special preview webinar on November 2!

Would you or a colleague benefit from communication training or accent reduction services? Give us a call and see how Corporate Speech Solutions can improve your professional life! Call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at info@corporatespeechsolutions.com to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

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