CPD tips - How to improve your speaking skills

CPD tips - How to improve your speaking skills

17 Apr 2023

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Communication skills are strong predictors of success in the workplace and ensuring good relationships. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in speaking and how to further develop the necessary skills can have a whole host of benefits in a person’s daily life and professional career. This CPD article will explain why good speaking skills are so important in the workplace, as well as the causes of poor speaking skills, and tips on how to improve them.

What are speaking skills?

Speaking skills can be defined as the ability to vocally communicate effectively. Speaking is something that everyone does to some extent or other. The average person might expect to converse thousands of words on any given day. At the very least, you need to find the right words, put them in the proper order, and pronounce them correctly so that you can be understood. Effective speaking means bringing together a range of different skills to communicate and make an impact. Other aspects like emphasis, cadence, and delivery are vital, too when it comes to your speaking skills.

Why are speaking skills important from a work perspective?

If you are applying for jobs or looking for a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate good communication skills. Oral and written communication proficiencies are consistently ranked in the top ten desirable skills by employer surveys and research year after year.

It is clear that good communication skills are important in a job. They can enable you do your role more effectively, and they can help you work well with your co-workers. As an element of any professional career you will need to request information, discuss problems, give instructions, work and collaborate in teams, and interact with colleagues and clients. To achieve co-operation and effective teamwork, good human relations skills, such as speaking well, are essential.

Good speaking skills from an employer perspective can also create better relationships between departments, between colleagues and between staff and management. This can build a better business reputation, both for high-quality services, and as a place that’s great to work for.

Benefits of speaking skills in the workplace

What causes poor speaking skills?

There are a few things of varying impact that can cause poor or weak speaking skills and for obvious reasons, these weaknesses may be more evident in certain speaking conditions than others. For example, you may be confident and fluent when speaking to friends and family, but struck by stage fright or stuttering when faced with a large audience. Below are some of the key causes of poor speaking skills:

  • Nervousness and fear of criticism: Stuttering, long pauses, repetition are just some of the effects on your speaking skills that being overly nervous can cause.
  • Shyness: Being shy and unable to enunciate what you wish to communicate can severely impact your communication ability.
  • Lack of speaking practice: Not practicing will perpetuate these problems and prevent you from identifying the weaker areas in your speaking skills and what needs improvement.
  • Lack of general knowledge: Not knowing enough about your subject matter, whether this is in a business meeting, a social interaction or a public speech may cause poor speaking skills as you will lack the confidence in what you are saying. This could lead to, or exacerbate any of the above flaws and even if delivered succinctly, may cause criticism and pushback which can throw you off in future.

Best ways and useful tips on how to improve speaking

With the importance of speaking effectively, there are an increasing number of ways and some useful tips to learn how to improve your communication and speaking skills. These can include:

Practice

The old saying practice makes perfect is entirely true in this respect. Whether speaking aloud to a rehearsed speech until you can say it clearly and confidently or chatting with friends and colleagues, speaking as often as possible will improve your fundamental skills. 

Socialising

Less formal and more varied, speaking while socialising is good for confidence, tone and receiving direct feedback. Use this as building blocks to speaking in other scenarios.

Simple tips on improving your speaking abilities

Take a speaking CPD course

Learning speech on a formal structured CPD training course will teach you many types of speaking skills from an experienced tutor or instructor. This could include debating, speechmaking, sales etc.

Learning from great public speakers

Watching footage of Martin Luther Kings “I have a dream” speech, reading Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony’s “Friends, countrymen” speech or attending a large seminar, learning from recognised talented public speakers real or fictional can provide great lessons on how to refine and structure your speaking to really make an impression on your target audience.

Can I improve my speaking by myself?

In short, yes you can. Speaking in the mirror, rehearsing and refining speeches, analysing well received or famous speeches from great speakers or whomever you may choose, and identifying their successful techniques can all be done at home or by yourself. Having said that, speaking ultimately requires an audience and therefore socialising, or attending courses and practicing with real people will always be an essential element of improving your speaking skills as there is only so much you can do alone.

Are there CPD courses to improve my speaking skills?

If you wish to continue your education into speaking skills, there is an ever-growing amount of relevant CPD courses, training and learning options available online. A key selection of these can be found at The CPD Certification Service within our CPD Courses Catalogue.

All of the certified providers, courses and training listed on our website has been reviewed and recognised as meeting the required learning quality standards. To find out more about a particular CPD speaking course you can click on each course and there is an enquiry form that will be sent directly to the relevant CPD provider.

We hope this article was helpful and informative. If you are interested in improving your speaking skills, you may want to read our previous articles:

How to Improve Your Communication Skills in the Workplace

CPD tips - Speaking with confidence how to find your voice

What can a CPD Public Speaking Course offer you?

How to become a CPD accredited training provider

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. If you provide training courses or events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please contact our team to discuss in more detail.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing learning, as well as store your training records and attendance certificates in one simple place, go to the myCPD Portal page.

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