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CPAs: Sharpen Your Speaking Skills to Immediately Increase Your Worth

Posted by Dr. Phil Yaeger on Jul 18, 2018 4:32:09 PM

When people think about the CPA at their company they aren't likely to think of someone who leads through spoken word. As a CPA it is unlikely too that this is a requirement for your everyday job. Many CPA's can get by communicating through emails, powerpoint presentations, and handing the numbers off to whoever asked for them. However, in person communication can be something that sets you apart.
There are plenty of reasons to limit talking in person or public. From time constraints to fear of speaking in front of others, down to the simple necessity or lack thereof, it is easy to find an excuse to communicate as little as possible. But the truth is you can extremely bolster your value by simply learning to be a better communicator.

There are a few ways to immediately improve your value as a communicator

Know What Needs to be Said

This simply comes from learning how to think and speak at the same time but starts with listening. Read your audience, understand their needs, and understand the relay they need to make. People come to you with a problem or questions and don't always need a full explanation. They simply need a solution as it pertains to them, or need to know how to communicate the solution or options in a way the person they are reporting to will understand. Rather than letting dialogue drag out, break your communication down into three parts.

- State your message
- Give evidence to the how/why it is valid
- Give them the options moving forward

Creating a simple, concise, planned dialogue will help them do the same.

Translate the Numbers

If you need to communicate more than a cliff notes version of what is asked of you, learn how to take important aspects of the numbers and communicate their importance. You are literally a translator here, so learn to speak with a presence that shows confidence without it becoming a lecture. While you speak, read the person you are talking to. Their body language will tell you what they do and don't understand.

Take it Slow

Again, with the translating aspect of communication, you need to pace yourself to their level of understanding. The same with speaking a language you don't know too well, when someone who is fluent starts talking too fast it can be hard to keep up. Move from sentence to sentence and don't forget to backtrack when necessary. If what you have carries importance and the person you are talking to misses one important step it can take the whole project in the wrong direction.

Watch Your Body Language

While the person you are talking with might not understand exactly what you are talking about they will understand body language. This is especially true if you are trying to communicate and start getting frustrated. The danger here is not only offending them but causing them to be frustrated and move on before they fully understand. At that point, talking with them would have served no purpose.

Make Yourself an Available Resource

Letting everyone in the office know you're available to talk is letting them know they have a resource to learn and thus themselves become better communicators. All the while your job doesn't change too much, but company-wide communication will take a turn for the better. The best part is sending someone off who understands the information they've been given means they won't come back asking questions, thus saving you time and increasing efficiency in the long run.

Tags: CPA Leadership

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