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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

5 Keys to Powerful Communication

A key portion of having good executive presence is the ability to be a clear, effective communicator in the workplace. This ranges from sending good emails to leading good presentations, but either way, good communication skills lend you the gravitas that’s a crucial component of that professional “it factor” we all want.

With that in mind, here are my top tips for powerful communication in the workplace.

Be Clear

This one is up top for a reason. Direct, effective communication means using language that communicates your meaning with the least room for confusion or ambiguity. Organize your words, think before you speak, and take time to make sure you’re saying exactly what you want to say before you say it.

Be concise

Having a well-organized presentation is great, but if it takes two hours to get through, you’re going to lose the room. Don’t ramble on, don’t get side-tracked, and try and get to the point as quickly as possible. If public speaking doesn’t come naturally to you, the only thing that actually helps is to practice your presentation ahead of time. Even if you’re just going to present something directly to a boss or mentor, taking five minutes and sketching out the concept of what you want to present can make things a lot easier and clearer.

Don’t use $5 words

Compared to the first two, I admit this is minor, but don’t throw fancy words in your speech in an attempt to sound important or intelligent. Clear, well-presented information told in plain language will make you sound ten times more competent and smart than the same information told with flowery, ridiculous language that only obscures your meaning. Keep it simple!

Don’t try and fake it till you make it

Nobody is perfect, and trying to convince people that you are will only make you come across as inauthentic. It’s alright to not know how to do something, or to make a mistake. Actually, one of the most powerful things you can do is to admit you’ve made a mistake. It shows a profound sense of accountability and maturity. And anyway, most people can sense inauthentic self-assurance from a mile away. Be authentic with your mistakes, and people will give you even more credit for your successes.

Pay attention to body language

Even if you’re not talking, your posture is sending a message to the room. Part of having a strong executive presence is presenting an air of interest and respect even without your words, so things like slumped shoulders and crossed arms can really hurt you. Sitting up straight, making eye contact, not fiddling with your phone. Now in the era of remote video calls, even something as simple as ensuring your camera is on at all meetings can indicate a sense of gravitas and leadership without saying a word.

If you’d like to improve your communication skills and level up in your workplace, you might benefit from a one-on-one with me. Click here and sign up for a free consultation, and let's get started!

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