Speech on communication in the workplace


Dear teachers and students, good afternoon.

Thank you for inviting me to share my working experience with all of you. I am Chris Wong, alumni from this school and graduated in 2008, and I joined a toy company after leaving university. I am now an intern salesperson. Today, I am going to talk about the importance of good communication skills in the workplace, some common reasons for miscommunication and how miscommunication can be avoided. These are three important things you would like to know before going to work.

Good communication skills are important in the workplace, no matter whether you are in a small company or a big business enterprise. Why? Because workplace communication means ‘precise information’. All the information shared in meetings, letters and phone calls have to be correct to ensure everything would go well. Good communication skills are therefore essential. Unlike chatting in daily life, you should learn to report things accurately. One of my senior co-workers – he was my instructor during my first few days in the company – once told me his unfortunate story in his early career. He had given a single wrong number to the company. His client wanted to order 4000 toys instead of 400 toys. This nearly turned into a disaster. Luckily, another colleague managed to find out the mistake in the last moment. My senior co-worker told me this story to tell me the importance of good communication skills in the workplace, and he is undoubtedly right. Besides precise information, good communication skills also mean pleasant manners. Being polite is also necessary: because this can show the sincere attitude of a company and give clients a positive impression. Greetings, thanks, apologies – they are equally important for a salesperson like me.

Good communication skills are very important. Without them, miscommunication will happen. What are the common reasons for miscommunication? There are, in my opinion, two main reasons. First, the message is changed after passing through different people. A simple message may have to pass through a complicated process, being checked and rewritten, in order to reach its final receiver. All sorts of medium would be used, like emails, phone calls, talking face-to-face, meetings, or even just a memo. When anyone of them causes a little change in the message by mistake, the message goes wrong. Second, miscommunication may also be caused by the wrong way of presenting ideas. Some businessmen tend to speak too politely – they refuse to say things explicitly, so as to avoid being definite about a certain issue, and at the same time to remain polite. However, their meaning could easily lead to misunderstandings. This is why I stressed the importance of giving information to you before.

So, how can miscommunication be avoided? First, after presenting or receiving information, make sure it is correct. Confirm it for a second time with the person or company you are in contact with. In the business world, rechecking is never a waste. It is a safe way to ensure miscommunication does not happen. Second, attach a copy of all the original information when you are giving to a third party. As miscommunication often takes place when ‘travelling’ from one person to another, the original document would be the best reference. It would be convenient to you and your client or business partner. In a letter, you can attach it and ask the recipient to refer to it. When you are using emails, it is even easier to do so. This way, miscommunication could be avoided.

In a nutshell, we need good communication to give precise information and good impression to our clients and business clients. Miscommunication should be avoided. These are what I learnt from my working experience. I hope my sharing will give you an overall picture of workplace communication and help you in the future. Thank you.