Successful career: These ways of speaking radiate competence in everyday working life

If you want to look professional, you don’t just have to pay attention to the content of your words. The correct presentation and presentation of one’s own ideas and skills are also important. But what should you really pay attention to in everyday professional life, especially in meetings?

Slides are for illustrative purposes only

Anyone giving an important presentation at a meeting should not just stubbornly read the text from the slides. Rather, a free presentation style and slides that primarily contain images, illustrations and graphics are the right approach, writes However, the slides should only be seen as a supplement that underpins and visualizes what the speaker describes. When creating a presentation, the focus should be on conveying relevant content.

Maintain professionalism

Many people use metaphors to lighten the atmosphere in a meeting and to illustrate what has been said. However, it is important not to speak too figuratively so as not to lose sight of the essential aspects. In addition, jokes and funny sayings should not be included too much, as they can quickly lead to a loss of professionalism. A factual manner of presentation as well as direct and neutral answers are more appropriate here.

Fluent language exudes self-confidence

In addition to long pauses in speech, filler words are often used. While it’s completely normal to need time to reconnect with your thoughts every now and then, this shouldn’t happen too often. If filler words are used (very) often, it can give the impression that you have not prepared properly or are unsure. Fluent speech appears focused, eloquent and self-confident.

Self-confidence is also often linked to competence. A study published in 1982 by psychologists Barry Schlenker and Mark Leary found that people who give a positive and confident answer to questions about their skills are also perceived as more competent. However, people who give a negative answer are perceived as less competent – regardless of their actual performance.

Use anglicisms correctly

While it is completely normal in some professions and industries to work with English terms and anglicisms, they should only be used within an appropriate framework. If you work in areas where the use of anglicisms is not common, you should avoid this. Here, too, it goes without saying that avoiding filler words or empty phrases radiates more professionalism and self-confidence.

Above all, the correct English terms should be named. So be careful of words that sound English but actually aren’t. We often use the term “mobile phone” for smartphone – but in English “mobile phone” means “handy” or “practical”. The popular “home office” also doesn’t exist in the English language. This term is only used in Great Britain, but for the British Home Office.

Represent your own opinion

Working together in a team means making compromises. However, anyone who only argues in the interests of the majority and weakens their own opinion quickly loses authenticity and assertiveness. Here too, objective but direct statements should be made. Because only through critical discussion of topics can they be developed further.

For example, an experimental study by Jessica Huisi Li and her colleagues in 2018 examined, among other things, whether the active participation of a test subject in a group discussion has a positive effect on a team’s perception of competence. It found that the performance of a team member who was more willing to speak up was perceived more positively.

Editorial team