Why Professionals Should Invest in
Improving Their English Speaking Skills
English Speaking Skills : According to a report from Reuters, English is the preferred language for business. In a poll which involved employees from 26 countries, over 25% said that their jobs entailed speaking with people from other countries. Of that number, 75 percent reported that English is their most commonly used language.
Interestingly, the survey indicates that workers with higher education and income are more likely to use English in a professional setting.
But what exactly does that mean for you, especially if your job description does not necessarily involve communicating with other people?
Why speaking well matters
As you move forward with your career, communication skills become even more important. And if you have set your sights on a more important position in your company, you cannot reach your goal without honing your communication skills.
And speaking is a vital component of effective communication.
Speaking face to face with people is vastly different from written communication. For one, there’s an interplay between you and your audience. There’s a wide margin for error, from your choice of words to how you deliver your message. There’s a sense of immediacy that’s lacking from written communication.
If you are eyeing a leadership role in your team, your speaking skills can spell the difference in how your co-workers view you. Are you authentic or fake? Confident or inconsistent? Capable or incompetent?
English in the workplace
Why should you bother improving your English speaking skills?
If you are not a native speaker of the language or if your job is not front-facing, you might be wondering why polishing your speaking skills would matter.
Apart from being the preferred business language, English is spoken worldwide by over a billion people. Go online, and you will immediately notice that it is one of the most used languages. Furthermore, it is the most commonly used language in pop culture.
Professionally, there are several benefits that you can reap if you invest time and effort in mastering English :
You meet a requirement in the modern workplace
A few decades ago, English communication skills were considered as skills that were merely nice to have in a job applicant. But after globalization, fluency in English has become a necessary skill in the modern workplace.
You engage in better collaboration
Communicating with your co-workers is a task that you have to deal with, regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Even if your job description does not include communicating with clients, you will still need to speak and interact with other members of your team.
By enhancing your speaking and communication skills, you can boost both your interpersonal and leadership skills. Experts consider communication as a vital soft skill that correlates to empathy, interpersonal relationships, and leadership.
And of course, if your job description involves dealing with clients face to face, improving your speaking skills is non-negotiable.
Doors for new opportunities are opened to you
Mastery of English speaking skills, especially in a multicultural workplace, can translate to improved efficiency and productivity, as well as minimize misunderstandings.
If you are seeking an international posting within your company or outside, proficiency in speaking English is a significant advantage that can put you ahead of other candidates for the same position.
Improving your speaking skills
Most people who have difficulty in speaking English fluently often have a firm grasp of the grammar. Their problem often lies in talking to people with a higher proficiency. Like any other skills, your English speaking skills can be developed.
The simplest way to get better is to practice at every available opportunity. If you can, enlist the help of someone who speaks English fluently, like a colleague perhaps, or even your neighbor.
Listening is an invaluable communication skill that can help you improve your speaking fluency. When practicing with a good English speaker, practice listening as much as speaking. This can help you find a good rhythm when conversing.
You might also want to record your conversations and listen to these when you are on your own. This can help you identify mistakes you often make.
Become a voracious consumer of media made for English speakers. By doing so, you familiarize yourself with proper intonation and the rhythms of the language. Watch TV shows, movies, and even tutorials on YouTube. Read aloud books or even short articles that you find online.
If you want a more structured approach to improving your English speaking skills, why not consider enrolling in a course? The advantage of taking a spoken English course is that it is specifically designed to meet the needs of professionals both for work and in real life. Furthermore, a structured approach will facilitate faster progress and will cover everything that you will need to improve as a speaker.
Whether you simply want to boost your confidence or move up the corporate ladder faster, it is not too late to polish your English speaking skills.
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.