Nervous or Tongue-Tied When Speaking at Work?

Nervous or Tongue-Tied When Speaking at Work?
August 21, 2015 Polished.
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Communicating clearly and effectively is a core leadership competency. It’s fundamental for achieving business goals. No business, no organization can exist without good communicators. Studies report when communication is effective, it encourages better engagement, performance and job satisfaction. Communicating effectively also leads to job advancement.

Unfortunately, many talented professionals fly under the radar, working hard but unable to get to the next level. They attend business meetings and functions with key company stakeholders but aren’t able to effectively communicate, either because of lack of confidence or experience (or both).

We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve sounded less intelligent speaking at work. It’s natural to display a little nervousness. Even the best communicators have gotten tongue-tied, spoken with a shaky voice or spoken too softly.

The good news is communicating effectively and speaking on the spot can be learned. There are lots of organizations that can help you become a better communicator. It takes commitment and practice, just like anything else. The more you speak in front of others, the better you’ll become. Once you’re comfortable speaking, you’ll gain the confidence to speak with more authority – and maybe get the recognition you deserve.

Some tips I offer clients who are nervous speaking in front of others is to smile to convey friendliness and warmth and, most importantly, make eye contact. Your colleagues will likely recognize you’re nervous, and they’ll want you to succeed in delivering your message.

Be prepared and know what you want to say. Project your voice and focus on the information you’re sharing, conveying it with interest, using gestures for emphasis on important points. Prepare examples, share data, research or tell a relevant story. These strategies will help you feel more in control and calm the nerves.

Communicating clearly is one of the most important life skills we can learn. Bottom line, effective communicators become effective leaders. Don’t let fear stand in your way from becoming more successful. Clear communication is the means by which behavior is modified, change is effected and goals are achieved.

Your technical skills alone don’t guarantee success. Developing your soft skills is the most valuable investment you can make. There is no other investment that creates a greater return. Contact Polished today to get started.