While you certainly want to look good at work and dress professionally, what comes out of your mouth is what really defines you. When you slur words and drop endings, talk as if you have a bunch of marbles in your mouth, use profanity or poor language, you come off sounding as if you're not that bright. Good speech habits and communication skills set you apart from the herd.
Slang and Jargon
When you want to be considered a professional, avoid using slang, jargon or colloquial expressions in your speech. More than likely, there are people at your work from different cultures and age groups. Using slang puts people off, especially when they don't know the terminology. Using slang or offensive language marks you as unprofessional and can get you into trouble. When you are at work, practice good speech habits to communicate effectively.
When you use good speech in the workplace, you communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly. Oral and written communication skills are at the top of an employer's skill list for employees. Sticking to good speech habits and good vocabulary makes it easier for others to understand you. When you provide information to others, you don't have to worry about being misunderstood when you speak concisely and use the right words.
The other half of communication is listening. Good speech habits include being a good listener and not interrupting others when they are speaking. When you are busy planning what to say next, your mind is closed to what your co-worker or boss is saying. When you don't listen, you can miss important instructions or information. Listening skills allow you to comprehend and respond appropriately when someone speaks to you.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Bad grammar indicates a lazy person or someone who is uneducated. The workplace is the last place you want to sound as if you don't know how to speak. While sounding like a "Valley Girl," might be popular among your friends, at work it just unprofessional and makes you appear silly. Avoid using words that have ambiguous meanings or don't convey what you want to say. Use the correct tense of a word in a sentence and proper English. If you need to brush up on your English skills, consider taking a class at a community college or a personal development course. To increase your vocabulary, play word games or complete crossword puzzles.
Communication skills and good speech habits help you advance your career. A person who can be understood by people from multiple cultures and backgrounds stands apart as a leader. Leadership qualities are valued and equally important as credentials and certificates in the workplace. Good language skills are considered desirable social skills in candidates being considered for advancement.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.