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Professional Communication

Learn to communicate more effectively and confidently at work and in social situations

You don’t need to have a diagnosed problem with speech or language to benefit from working with a speech therapist. Speech therapy can also help adults communicate more effectively and confidently at work and in social situations. Whether you have a fear of public speaking or simply want to improve your social skills, an experienced speech therapist can teach you the strategies and techniques you need for success. Your speech therapist will help you determine your goals, understand your challenges, and shift your mindset, all to achieve more confidence when interacting with others.

1What is professional communication?

2How do strong professional communication skills help your career?

3How can speech therapy help improve your professional communication skills?

4How does speech therapy work for professional communication?

5How can speech therapy help improve your public speaking skills?

6How can speech therapy help you gain social and interpersonal skills?

7The benefits of Expressable online speech therapy for professional communication

What is professional communication?

Professional communication is all about clear and confident communication. It refers to the communication skills we need in order to interact effectively with other people and succeed in the workplace.

Professional communication isn’t limited to office jobs. Anyone who interacts with other people–whether they’re your coworkers, peers, leaders, customers, or clients–can benefit from having strong communication skills. Knowing how to confidently share your opinion, navigate tough situations, educate and persuade others, and form relationships with new people is all part of professional communication. 

Professional communication also isn’t limited to speaking. The way we communicate through writing, the way we listen (or don’t listen) to other people, our ability to receive feedback, and the nonverbal signals we give to others all send a message. If not handled appropriately, this message may convey the opposite of what we intended, impact our ability to be taken seriously, or even result in loss of customers.

How do strong professional communication skills help your career?

Communication skills are important for workplace success. These skills are often a big factor in hiring and promotion. That’s true in many kinds of jobs, whether you’re in an office, a manufacturing plant, a classroom, a restaurant, a store–the list goes on.

It’s well documented that employers consistently rank communication and interpersonal skills as some of the most important skills they look for in new hires. Similarly, research has shown that most of a person’s professional success comes from their personality and their negotiation, leadership, and communication skills–not their technical knowledge. This means that simply knowing the job isn’t enough. Being able to clearly convey information and enlist others to agree and support your efforts is the key to success. 

Research conducted by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman revealed that consumers would rather do business with people they like and trust, even if the product is more expensive. This same pattern has been reflected in management. Employees thrive under a trusted leader. Learning to communicate in an appropriate and authentic manner increases your ability to be promoted. 

Professional communication skills may include the following:

  • Interpersonal communication skills

  • Sharing feedback in an effective way

  • Speech volume

  • Speech clarity

  • Public speaking skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Interviewing skills

  • Nonverbal cues

  • Active listening

  • Responsiveness

  • Expressing empathy

  • Conveying trust

  • Communicating with confidence and positive attitude

When someone struggles in any of these areas, it may become a barrier to growing in their career. One example: Studies conducted at Columbia University revealed that fear of public speaking decreases an employee’s wage potential by 10%. That fear also reduces a person’s ability to obtain managerial and leadership positions by 15%. The good news is that professional communication skills can be strengthened, giving you more confidence and leading to more success in the workplace.

How can speech therapy help improve your professional communication skills?

You probably know that speech therapy can help people who want to manage a stutter or those who would like to correct a lisp. In addition, there are several ways a speech therapist can help you strengthen your communication in the workplace:

Public speaking: Whether it’s preparing and giving a presentation, meeting with clients or customers, or simply explaining your opinion in a group, millions of people share a fear of public speaking. A speech therapist can teach you how to improve your public speaking skills, giving you the tools to stand in front of an audience with assurance and poise.

Interview skills: As HR employees will tell you, the most qualified person doesn’t always get the job. The winner might be the person who interviewed the best. Getting past the interview phase is often tough for people with speech difficulties. They may feel self-conscious about the way they sound, impacting their ability to answer questions effectively. A speech therapist can help you improve the clarity of your speech and prepare for your interviews. We want you to bring your best, most confident self to this opportunity!

Accent modification: While it’s not a speech disorder, an accent can sometimes make it difficult to speak with other people or be understood. The clarity of your speech should not detract from the content of your message. And studies have shown that people who speak English as a second language are generally passed over for top managerial jobs. If you feel your accent is interfering with your ability to communicate, consider accent modification therapy. A speech therapist can help you target specific pronunciation goals to reduce communication breakdowns at work.

Interpersonal communication: Being a valued member of a team, making and keeping relationships, or attracting the best talent all depend on how well you communicate with others. People who can actively listen and reflect back with thoughtful understanding will often find themselves as team leaders and trusted friends. 

How does speech therapy work for professional communication?

Speech therapy sessions are tailored for each individual person and what they want to accomplish.

During the first session, your speech therapist will work with you to develop goals that are personalized to your needs. Then, in each session, you’ll take specific steps toward those goals. Your speech therapist will help you practice functional speech skills that you can easily adapt and carry over to your job or social settings.

Say you’d like to improve your public speaking. A typical session may cover techniques such as grounding, breathing, speaking rate, volume, outlining ideas, and confidence building. The session would include functional practice, such as giving a speech in front of the speech therapist, with feedback and guidance provided.

Maybe you’d like to strengthen your interviewing skills. Your session may focus on introducing yourself with clarity and confidence, practicing your mission statement, and answering common interview questions or ones specific to your industry. The speech therapist may conduct a mock interview with you in a supportive environment so that you feel comfortable and prepared for the real thing.

You may have a job that requires customer interaction. Perhaps you haven’t been hitting your sales quota. Working with a speech therapist, you can practice your delivery and receive detailed feedback on your word choice, volume, or nonverbal presentation. The therapist will teach you strategies that will improve your style of communication. 

If you’re a manager, it’s vital that your team respects your role and each other. Leadership can’t be dictated; it must be earned. A speech therapist will work with you to identify roadblocks that might be affecting your interaction with your employees. They will help you understand how staff members communicate individually and how to foster group discussions. Building rapport through use of storytelling will increase retention among your staff. You might even become the “favorite boss.”

No matter what your goals, your speech therapist will give you home exercises to complete between sessions so you learn to use your new skills in everyday life. This is an essential part of the speech therapy process! You’ll see results more quickly the more you practice.

How can speech therapy help improve your public speaking skills?

Fear of public speaking, also called glossophobia, is very common. But it’s important to know that fear of public or professional speaking can be overcome–you don’t have to let it hold you back. A qualified speech therapist can help you get over your fear and improve your confidence when communicating. 

If you have a fear of public speaking, you may feel insecure, nervous, or embarrassed by the idea of speaking in front of others. You may experience these feelings and symptoms:

  • Increased heart rate and breathing, which affects the ability to speak with a calm and controlled voice

  • Stuttering, dry mouth, or trembling voice

  • Avoiding situations where you’ll have to present or speak in front of others

  • Mentally fixating on all the things that could go wrong; worrying about sounding stupid or being judged

Many people simply have trouble managing their nerves and are convinced that they’re not good at speaking. Speech pathologists help clients demystify their “beliefs” and use strategies to increase confidence and communication skills in situations of greater difficulty. These strategies might include

  • Breathing more effectively

  • Improving your ability to formulate ideas in the moment and answer open-ended questions

  • Improving your articulation, or how you form words

  • Projecting confidence nonverbally, such as with proper eye contact and gestures

Your speech therapist will help you determine your goals, understand your challenges, and change your mindset, all to achieve more confidence and get over your fear of public speaking.

How can speech therapy help you gain social and interpersonal skills?

Many people experience social anxiety. Others simply have difficulty making conversation. How you interact with other people can affect your success at work, but strong social and interpersonal skills are also helpful in your community, at school, and in lots of other settings. There are many benefits to having effective social skills, including: 

  • Building relationships with coworkers

  • Successfully interviewing for a new job

  • Earning a promotion at work 

  • Increasing your value in the workplace

  • Enhancing your professional image

  • Speaking more concisely

  • Sharing convincing and compelling messages

  • Making new friends and maintaining current friendships

  • Improving your overall mental health and self-esteem, and decreasing the negative effects of stress

The goal is to be your authentic self and have confidence when interacting with other people. To achieve this, you can work with a speech therapist on conversation techniques, storytelling skills, nonverbal communication like body language, or simply how to introduce yourself to new people. 

The benefits of Expressable online speech therapy for professional communication

Speech therapists can teach clients a number of strategies to improve their confidence when speaking. The key is to work with a licensed, certified speech pathologist who has experience in this area. Expressable works with clients on both the physiological elements of speech (voice, articulation, stuttering, accent, and language) as well as the psychological elements, such as lack of confidence and fear of talking. Your speech therapist will work with you to determine which elements to address, set goals, and develop an individualized plan of care.

Online speech therapy for professional communication is an effective alternative to more traditional, in-person settings. Instead of meeting with your speech therapist in person, you connect with them virtually through video chat. While you’ll receive the same quality of care, online speech therapy is often more affordable than in-person therapy.

Online speech therapy is also more convenient. Many people who choose to improve their professional communication have busy working or academic lives, not to mention family responsibilities. This can make weekly commuting to a speech therapist inconvenient. With online speech therapy, not only can you meet with a qualified speech therapist from the comfort of your home, you're not beholden to the limited business hours of many clinics. You can schedule sessions around your busy life--mornings, evenings, or weekends.

In addition, all Expressable clients have access to our client portal, which features educational Learning Paths covering the strategies taught in therapy sessions. You can access examples, tips, demo videos, quizzes, and more. Plus, through the portal, you'll receive weekly home practice activities tailored to your needs. The more you practice speech therapy techniques at home, between sessions, the faster you'll make progress! What you have to say is important. If you’re experiencing a fear of speaking or would like to improve your professional communication, consider contacting a speech therapist with experience in this area. Let us help you make the most of your voice today.

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