Have you been wondering how to compose an e-mail that captures your strategies and goals effectively?
It is time you did something about it.
As a young professional in today's global business world, it is imperative that you are competent in both oral as well as written communication.
Important forms of oral communication at the workplace include:
- Building interpersonal relationships.
- Giving presentations and debating viewpoints effectively.
You need to master oral skills for both in-person and over-the-phone interactions.
Similarly, important written communication includes:
- Writing professional e-mails (sans SMS slang).
- Putting together concise reports.
- Creating visually powerful Powerpoint presentations.
And the key to acing oral and written communication is to spruce up your communication skills. And it is a lot easier than you think.
Here are some easy tips to do it on your own:
1. Improve pronunciation and diction
There are a few tricks to making a vernacular accent more globally understandable.
~ Try making sure that 'air' comes out of your mouth when saying the letters, 'T, P, K' and the sound 'Ch'.
~ Focus on elongating your vowel sounds. This will also automatically slow down your rate of speech.
~ Sing English songs out loud!
~ Watch news shows on channels like CNN and BBC.
~ The web site www.m-w.com is great for pronunciation help.
A good book that I found really useful was Better English Pronunciation by J D O'Connor. It is part of the Cambridge series, and some of those books come with cassettes.
2. Spruce up your writing skills
~ Believe it or not, you have to Read More!
~ Well-written magazines, like The Economist and India Today, are great to read not only to improve language skills but also to learn more about the world.
~ In terms of books, read what interests you. The basic goal is to read as much as you can.
There are a plethora of good authors who are popular today. Some good writers whose language is easy to follow include Vikram Seth, Jhumpa Lahiri, Paulo Coelho, J D Salinger, Albert Camus and Roald Dahl.
~ People tend to forget basic grammar when writing e-mails. An e-mail is nothing more than a letter which is sent electronically.
Make sure salutations and content are professional. Use special phrases when attaching documents. For example, "Please find attached with this e-mail a report on..." This helps you sound professional.
3. Five exercises to practise every day!
i. Pretend you are a newscaster and read out the newspaper to your mirror.
ii. Do not read local newspapers. Focus on national newspapers.
iii. While reading a book, underline all the words you do not know. Look them up in the dictionary.
iv. Make a list of these words, and make sure you use at least five of them in a conversation during the day.
v. Most important, make an effort to speak in English to your friends and family.