Glance through any job portal and you will find that "excellent written and oral communication skills" are one of the vital attributes that all employers look for in their prospective employees. Oral communication is the art of using speech to convey information, thoughts and feelings to others and it is the key to improve interpersonal and professional relationships.
Importance of Oral Communication Skills in the Workplace
Human beings are blessed with the faculty of speech and that is an incredible gift, to say the least. As the 21st century has been adjudged to be an era of communication, innovative technologies have revolutionized the business world. This is the 'instant world', that epitomizes dynamism. The way we convey our thoughts plays a major role in building relationships. If you're impolite, terse and reckless in speaking, your words, no matter how meaningful, won't achieve their purpose.
Moreover, experts in body language and communication related studies point out a fact that the tone, diction, pronunciation and speed of our talking matters a lot in daily dealings with people. In work place, there are employees of diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. This makes team working a difficult task but guided by the ability to work coherently and with a clear understanding of the task to be achieved, all members work towards the same objective. Misunderstandings, conflicts and differences in opinions are easily managed when there is a lucid flow of communication between team members.
With proper communication, a bonding and trust builds amongst the employees thereby promoting excellent working conditions. An atmosphere of support and cooperation is fostered by properly conveying expectations of the management team to the employees and vice-versa. If employees are given the opportunity to express their suggestions, viewpoints and ideas, they feel engaged in shaping the future of the company.
Oral communication also plays a major role in negotiations, mergers & acquisitions and meetings. In almost every business set up, individuals are required to make presentations and address them in front of CEOs and management officers. All this requires a sharp and accurate understanding of the way to talk and present our thoughts. Both forms of oral communication - listening and speaking are important for learning things around us.
Improving Oral Communication
How to improve oral communication? Well, there is no one fixed method to develop communication skills. A combination of variety of methods work best in helping people to get more command on their oral communication skills. In the business world, individuals are expected to be confident about their beliefs, ideas and convictions. Hence, they must include words like 'In my opinion', 'as far as I know', I believe that' so that their words are more emphatic and reflect self analysis. While improving skills on oral communication skills, people in a workplace must learn the art of listening. It is said that to speak well, one must be a great listener. In the professional world, poor listening skills can cost an individual a fortune as some major pointers from the other person's perspective can be missed. This is true even in management meetings and seminars.
Employees who're active listeners can grasp the main points being discussed in a meeting or a seminar, in a more profound way. Similarly, active listening helps individuals to understand the other person in a more enhanced way. Besides being a good listener, one must also have a positive body language during conversations. A person with a smiling face and positive attitude is able to raise the spirits of everyone around him. On the other hand, an individual with a negative attitude makes the conversation dull and depressing. When we're talking to someone, we must give the other person an opportunity to talk to as it improves our listening ability. Many people talk too fast during conversations that makes it a difficult task to figure out about what the person is saying.
Communication is an art and it can be improved by working on it consistently. Since it is not an overnight work, one needs to learn it by observing people who're good at it. It is a misconception that effective oral communication skills is about being verbose or to use scholarly language while talking. Oral communication skills, in fact, are representation of simplicity and detail!