• Communication anxiety affects men and women differently, according to new research from RADA in Business. The research emphasised that men are 45% more likely than women to feel anxious when networking or socialising with work colleagues, whilst women are 39% more likely to experience workplace anxiety in a job interview. By drawing upon techniques used for training actors at RADA, communication skills can be maximised, and anxiety can be faced. Here are 11 ways to help you to communicate better, and fight that panic.

    Communication anxiety affects men and women differently, according to new research from RADA in Business. The research emphasised that men are 45% more likely than women to feel anxious when networking or socialising with work colleagues, whilst women are 39% more likely to experience workplace anxiety in a job interview. By drawing upon techniques used for training actors at RADA, communication skills can be maximised, and anxiety can be faced. Here are 11 ways to help you to communicate better, and fight that panic.

  • RECOGNISE THE TRIGGERS OF PANIC:  To be able to manage anxiety about communicating in the workplace, it is important to recognise the signs and understand the triggers that cause it. This will help you to understand the challenge and enable you to  make positive choices about the situation and how you respond.

    RECOGNISE THE TRIGGERS OF PANIC: To be able to manage anxiety about communicating in the workplace, it is important to recognise the signs and understand the triggers that cause it. This will help you to understand the challenge and enable you to make positive choices about the situation and how you respond.

  • VISUALISE YOUR BEST SELF:  Think about the version of yourself that you want to bring to the situation – how do you look and sound when you know you’re communicating well? Try to convey that version of yourself when facing stressful workplace situations to build long-lasting confidence.

    VISUALISE YOUR BEST SELF: Think about the version of yourself that you want to bring to the situation – how do you look and sound when you know you’re communicating well? Try to convey that version of yourself when facing stressful workplace situations to build long-lasting confidence.

  • TAKE UP SPACE:  If you minimise your space, this will portray a lower status to others. Make sure to plant both feet firmly on the floor, stand tall and hold your space effectively to convey authority and confidence.

    TAKE UP SPACE: If you minimise your space, this will portray a lower status to others. Make sure to plant both feet firmly on the floor, stand tall and hold your space effectively to convey authority and confidence.

  • KEEP BREATHING:  When we are overcome with anxiety, our breathing can become more rapid and shallow which affects our vocal power. It is important to breathe out slowly and take time before taking your next breath, allowing the breath to flood your torso.

    KEEP BREATHING: When we are overcome with anxiety, our breathing can become more rapid and shallow which affects our vocal power. It is important to breathe out slowly and take time before taking your next breath, allowing the breath to flood your torso.

  • EYE CONTACT:  Keep strong eye contact and don’t look down. It’s important to connect with people in the room to portray your authority and communicate your message.

    EYE CONTACT: Keep strong eye contact and don’t look down. It’s important to connect with people in the room to portray your authority and communicate your message.

  • USE GESTURE:  Make positive choices about gesture to add emphasis to your words and help tell your story. Be careful not to overdo it, as this can display you are uncomfortable with the situation.

    USE GESTURE: Make positive choices about gesture to add emphasis to your words and help tell your story. Be careful not to overdo it, as this can display you are uncomfortable with the situation.

  • DON'T TILT YOUR HEAD:  Whilst tilting your head can portray empathy in the right circumstances, it can also reduce your power and appear passive when overused.

    DON'T TILT YOUR HEAD: Whilst tilting your head can portray empathy in the right circumstances, it can also reduce your power and appear passive when overused.

  • PAUSE EFFECTIVELY:  When we are nervous, we tend to speak quicker so the message is lost and our audience loses interest. Remembering to pause for a moment not only gives you time to think, but also allows the point to land with greater impact.

    PAUSE EFFECTIVELY: When we are nervous, we tend to speak quicker so the message is lost and our audience loses interest. Remembering to pause for a moment not only gives you time to think, but also allows the point to land with greater impact.

  • THINK BEFORE SPEAKING:  If there is somebody you would like to talk to in a networking situation, think of your common interest and your objective for the conversation. Approach him or her, don’t forget to breathe, and wait for your moment to introduce yourself confidently and warmly.

    THINK BEFORE SPEAKING: If there is somebody you would like to talk to in a networking situation, think of your common interest and your objective for the conversation. Approach him or her, don’t forget to breathe, and wait for your moment to introduce yourself confidently and warmly.

  • STRONG LANGUAGE:  Convey what is important. Using words such as ‘just’, ‘like’ or too many apologies can reduce the conviction of your message.

    STRONG LANGUAGE: Convey what is important. Using words such as ‘just’, ‘like’ or too many apologies can reduce the conviction of your message.

  • STRONG LANGUAGE:  Practise the structure of your talking points beforehand, so that keywords can trigger a flowing narrative that sounds conversational, and not robotic.

    STRONG LANGUAGE: Practise the structure of your talking points beforehand, so that keywords can trigger a flowing narrative that sounds conversational, and not robotic.

of

Tongue-tied? 11 ways to become a better communicator

by Sue Meadows, RADA in Business tutor
Last Updated: 06 Apr 2018

Images: Shutterstock

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime