As a result of rapid technology, young professionals have a plethora of methods they can utilize to communicate with others. They have e-mail, instant messenger, social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and other applications they use that are internal to their industry or workplace environment. On many occasions, young careerists teach their older colleagues how to make use of these various communication tools.
While these applications are cool, fun, quick, and trendy, there’s no replacement for old-fashioned, basic interpersonal skills. In these days of shorthand articulation (ie. LOL, LMBO, BRB, HRU, #TBT, #TMI) it’s rather easy for one to dismiss the significance of fundamental communication skills.
This topic is so important to me that I interviewed one the communication industry’s young leaders, Lawrence Watkins, to glean some quick tips on how you can become a better communicator, practically overnight.
Watkins is founder of the Great Black Speakers Bureau (GBS), with one of the goals of his agency being to “assist African-American speakers with the opportunity to increase their exposure by offering services to help them advance, promote, and manage their speaking career to achieve future success.” Many GBS speakers are celebrities including actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, actor Hill Harper (actor), hip-hop artist Common and journalist Roland Martin (national journalist).
To become dynamic communicators, Watkins says young professionals should:
- Speak with confidence: You want people to believe that you know your stuff. A book that can help you cultivate confidence is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
- Articulate and enunciate your words: Speak slower so the receiving person can easily follow what you’re saying.
- Be mindful of your body language: Some experts say 93% of communication is nonverbal (e.g., gestures, posture, eye movement) so you have to consciously ensure that your words match your body language.
- Be likable: Professionals conduct business with people they like. Smile often, speak in a mild tone, demonstrate cheerful manners and compliment others regularly.
- Practice: Practice your skills with people every day so when you interact with executives and high-profile professionals, your interpersonal skills will naturally emerge.
Applying these quick tips will help you stand out from other professionals as you’re making boss moves in your industry. Comment below or connect with me on Twitter (@2PositiveTweets) and let me know which tip helped you the most.
Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.