Er, um, like… we all say them without even thinking. But they can make you seem less confident, and drag a conversation on longer than it needs to. Try to speak slower in order to give your brain time to think of the next work without having to fill the gap. The more you do it, the more naturally it’ll happen.
Nobody likes being ignored, so if you’re drifting off while a person is talking to you you’re only going to frustrate them. Pay close attention, make eye contact, and repeat back to them to make sure they know you understood them.
If the person you’re talking to doesn’t need entire life-story in order to understand your point, then don’t give it to them. It’s a waste of their time and yours, so just stick to the key points, and only elaborate if they ask you to. And don’t ramble. Stick to one or two sentences and give your audience a chance to respond before moving on to your next point.
When you’re having a conversation with someone it’s not a good idea to have your phone or computer nearby, as you are much more likely to become distracted. And for long chats, try to move to a neutral space such as a meeting room, in order to give your full attention, and only discuss the point at hand. Staying at your desk will just encourage you to check your computer screen and make you seem disinterested in the conversation.
When discussing particularly complicated subjects or trying to teach someone something, it can often make it easier to digest when told in a format the audience can follow. Using a story format would involve point A leading to point B and then to point C and so on. Otherwise, we tend to go around in circles, repeating ourselves, making it difficult to understand.
You can’t expect someone to trust what you’re saying if you don’t trust it yourself. If you come across as uncertain, you’ll undermine your own argument, making it easier for the other party to counter your point.
When going into any conversation, whether it’s an argument or a friendly chat, you should consider the way you portray yourself to others. If you stand or sit with crossed arms, you seem defensive and unapproachable. And if you sit while the other person stands, you make it seem like you’re not on the same level or you require special treatment. Furthermore, turning away from your audience, especially with your feet, implies you’d rather be elsewhere. Try to keep your arms open and welcoming, with your feet and body positioned towards your audience. Don't look at your phone or watch, as this indicates you're watching the time. And try to avoid any ticks, such as rubbing your neck or biting your nails, as this just makes you look uncomfortable.
Do you work with someone who, every day, goes above and beyond in their job role?
Have they implemented changes to the business that improve productivity, delighted customers, or improved profitability?
Have they solved a big business problem or lots of little problems to make a big difference?
Have they achieved all this in the face of professional or even personal adversity?
If so we want to hear from you. We want to recognise them as individuals, reward them for their hard work, and continue to keep them feeling proud and motivated in their job with you. In turn, your organisation will be recognised for supporting and developing exceptional talent, something that you should be proud of.
The process is simple; to give your colleague the chance to win our Top 30 Under 30 award, all you need to do is explain to us why they deserve to win.
If they are successfully shortlisted, an invitation to our prestigious awards evening will arrive for your acceptance. Should you choose to attend, your company may be the proud winner of a Top 30 Under 30s award and the success story of your team recognised before a room of your colleagues, competitors and clients.