Last week I had the opportunity to be a part of a panel at the inaugural Intercollegiate Women Leadership Development Conference hosted by the Financial Women’s Association. As a panel member, I collaborated with a range of other pioneering women professionals and spoke with graduate students on how to “shatter the glass ceiling” as they launch their careers.
As a professional communication specialist, I focused on how women can strengthen their communication skills to convey confidence and professionalism and climb the corporate ladder. Here are just a few of the strategies I shared with the crowd:
1. Power up your voice: I constantly hear concerns that when female professionals present ideas in meetings, they’re often overlooked while their male counterparts are given far more attention. Although a complicated range of factors may go into this, one way to make sure your ideas are given the attention they deserve is to speak in an authoritative, engaging tone of voice. Breathe deeply from your abdomen before speaking, and practice good breath support throughout longer statements. Want to learn more? Check out this video!
2. Cut out upspeak: Upspeak is the habit of continually raising your tone at the end of a sentence, making statements sound like questions. In a professional situation, upspeak can give an impression of immaturity, low-confidence, and lack of professionalism. Take care to monitor your tone when you speak to sound professional and authoritative.
3. Eliminate fillers: Words like um, uh, like, and you know pepper people’s speech far more than they realize. Filler words like this can undermine your message, making you appear unsure of yourself. In order to be taken seriously and sound like a confident professional, keep your filler words to two or fewer within each two minutes of speech. Want to learn more about how to cut out fillers? Check out our 4-step system!
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 email@example.com to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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