Introduction To succeed in the professional world, professionals have to take care of lots of things. They need to dress up in professional attire in the way their profession or business demands. They need to behave strictly like professionals and get rid of casual attitude. The emails they send and the letters they write should also have that professional touch in it. Not just that, every employee should also sound like a professional. An employee can never become a professional if does not concentrate on the words and tone. Communication plays an important role to succeed in any field. If an employee wants to reach new heights early in the career, he/she should know not just to behave as professionals but also to speak and sound like one.
Why do many employees not sound like professionals? Many employees just concentrate on the presentation. For example, before meetings or seminars, they concentrate on the words they would be speaking. This thought hardly cross their minds that mere words will not impress their interviewees or seniors. The accent or tonal quality in which they speak matters a lot. What if the words they have chosen are sounding professional but the modulation they are speaking in is very casual. Also, many do not concentrate on the volume. This attitude of theirs makes them sound highly unprofessional.
Concentrate on the volume of voice Voice quality, accent, the tone are essential for a professional to communicate efficiently. If they want to ace in an interview, impress their seniours and build a good reputation among co-workers, they must keep all these things in mind. How much volume is the right volume of the voice? A professional should never speak in a low tone. What is the use of speaking if no one can hear what they are speaking? Too low volume can also be a sign of under confidence. On the other hand, speaking too loudly is a direct sign of being egoistic and overconfident. Shouting and yelling at the professional environment is total unprofessionalism and is neither liked by colleagues nor liked by mentors or seniors. Thus, one should neither speak too loudly nor very slowly.
The volume of the voice should be altered depending on the circumstances. For example, when speaking to one or more person sitting nearby, voice volume should be loud enough that it can be heard. While presenting the case study or in seminars, an employee is representing his company and thus, he/she should be loud enough to be heard by all those who are attending that meeting. Raising the volume of the voice does not mean yelling. Thus, neither yell nor whisper. Keep the volume of the voice loud enough to be heard.
How should be the tonal quality?Those who are working in the professional world since a long time know how to speak but those who have just joined feel it a little weird to change their tonal quality in the workplace. As a result, they continue to sound the way they sound in their home or outside office which makes them look so unprofessional. In whatever way they choose to speak or sound in their personal lives is their own lookout. While in the business world, they have to put up a voice which is appropriate for the business environment. We all have the ability to change our tonal quality. Thus, we all can sound professional as well as unprofessional as per our needs. All that is needed is to work a little on the tonal quality and choose the right words to sound more appropriate. Either one can observe and learn or else take help from friends, family and colleagues. From time to time, ask others to evaluate how the voice sounds. Sometimes, it is difficult for us to judge our voice and tonal quality. Thus, time to time evaluation done by others helps us to know how we are sounding. Others will give an honest opinion about whether we speak too slowly or loudly, whether we fumble frequently or speak fluently, whether we speak softly or is their harshness in our voices.
Choose professional wordsTo sound professional, words coming out should also be strictly professional. In such cases, it is very important to avoid casual interaction and thus, avoid using slang words. Every word should be strictly professional in a professional environment. Two colleagues can be best friends, but it does not mean that while they are in the office, they can behave casually with each other. It is because their casual behaviour will get noticed and soon they both will be remarked as unprofessional. Thus, it is important to choose words carefully. Always use words such as hello, pleasure meeting you instead of hi and bye.
Many of us use repeated words in our conversation. They become part of the vocabulary, and soon we start using them so repeatedly that they can be heard in our every sentence. All we have to do is try to find those words and eliminate them. To sound professional we should sound fresh. Who wants to listen to an employee whose vocabulary is comprised of only a few words which he/she keeps repeating in every sentence?
Pause and resumeThe most meaningful conversation or a presentation can go unnoticed if the speaker does no variation in his tone. It no way means that the presenter has to raise voice and lower it now and then. It simply means that the presentation should not sound boring. Whether it is an interview, an important meeting, a presentation or simply discussing the issue over the phone or face to face, there should be some degree of variation in the voice to keep the listeners engaged. Otherwise, soon the words get lost, and the listener's attention gets deviated. To achieve that, pause wherever necessary.
One important thing to keep in mind is that pausing does not mean filling the pauses with strange sounds. Those sounds are okay for casual conversations but while in a working environment, it is important to keep the pauses blank. Meaningful pauses grab the listener's attention who wants to learn and listen more to what the speaker has to say. On the other hand, those sounds which fill-up the gaps make listeners lose their attention.
Become a confident speakerSometimes an employee has everything required to sound professional but still isn't able to speak up confidently in front of everyone because of his nervousness. Lack of confidence makes him mumble and fumble. In his head, he might have a clear cut idea of what he has to say or how he has to present but isn't able to express the same through the words coming out of his mouth. Thus, he should get rid of all that anxiety and nervousness and become a confident speaker.
How does a professional sound?Professionals are calm and confident. Thus, the same reflects in their attitude and speech. They neither yell nor speak quietly. They speak with the right volume and the right tone. In short, they speak naturally which is what more important for excelling in the professional world. As described earlier, there should be some highs and lows in speech, and professionals know how to not fall into the monotonous category. They make sure that their speech is neither long nor short. They use the right words and speak or answer to the point. Too long speeches bore the audience, and too short answers do not let audience seek the answers or solutions for their problems. Thus, they make sure that they are specific and direct with straight forward answers.
Why is it essential?Communication is essential to succeed anywhere. When it comes to excelling in the professional world, no employee can reach the highest position by remaining in the back seat. If the aim is to climb the ladder of success early in life, they must present their excellent ideas in front of everyone. To do that, they need to be good in communication skills. Thus, it is essential that every employee sounds professional and become a confident speaker by learning the art of communication required for the business world.
Conclusion Communicating in the professional environment is very different from communication that takes place casually between friends or family in the outside world. Thus, every employee should learn to communicate professionally. While doing that, they will learn a lot about themselves. They will realize what sort of words they frequently use, and how they sound. Either they can record themselves speaking and hear the recording for self-evaluation or ask close family members or friends to evaluate them. Soon they will have to work on their volume, tonal quality, accent and words they choose. They have to work on how to speak with confidence by getting rid of nervousness. Within a short time, they will learn to easily modulate their voice. While in the business world, they will be able to speak in a professional tone, and while enjoying their personal time, they can talk casually with their close ones.
A good article from the author. More than the subject knowledge one should have good communication skills. The body language, the way he presents himself and the way he behaves with his co-workers play a very important role. A professional may talk softly but he is firm, he is confident and he is fully aware of what he is talking. The words chosen will be selective and suits exactly the requirement. He knows where to start and where to stop. He knows well the borders in all the directions. In no situation, he will show a casual approach and his approach will be a guide to others.
Communication is the most important activity in our lives and also equally important in our professional lives. Good communication is the key to success and progress in one's career.
Any professional will come across many occasions when he has to present some plan or appraise the status of a project, that he is managing. In such situations, good communication will not only make his reputation good but increase the confidence factor in the management about him.