By Jayne Latz and Jack Appleman
Strong communication skills are becoming an increasingly in-demand skill for accountants. In addition to having top-notch financial expertise, the most successful CPAs are now expected to have professional speaking, writing, and overall communication skills as well. How can you take your communication and your career to the next level? Last week, we gave you three strategies to improve your professional communication skills. Today we’re continuing with part 2 with three more easy tips!
Be direct. Many people feel that using overly complicated language makes them seem educated and articulate. Unfortunately it usually just obscures your message and alienates your listener. For example, instead of saying, “Our capabilities revolve around incorporating a process that allows tax managers to enhance workplace efficiencies, resulting in maximum gains in the team’s overall productivity,” try saying, “We help tax managers work more efficiently so the team maximizes productivity.” Deleting unnecessary words and simplifying your language will help you get your point across and make your message more memorable.
Control your rate of speech. By speaking at a steady pace, you’ll convey your message without running out of breath. Listeners need time to process what’s being said. When you speak too quickly, people may not be able to absorb key information. Always take a breath. Speak in sound bites. And use strategic pausing to help you slow down and eliminate those unprofessional “filler words,” such as “um,” “uh,” “so” and “basically.”
Power up your voice. The volume of your voice speaks volumes about you. It can allow you to exude self-confidence, even if you don’t feel that way at that moment. To give your voice more power, exercise your vocal cords. First, take a deep breath, inhale and then exhale. That should feel good. If not, take another deep breath-making sure to breathe from your diaphragm-and exhale slowly. When you are able to easily count to 15 on the exhalation, go to 20. You can also warm up your voice by singing up the musical scale, even if you’re tone deaf!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!