Practical Proven Guide to Speaking Professionally
A profession is a person who has dedicated himself or herself to a career regardless of the field. It’s the opposite of an amateur. However, the professional is not only driven by money but by the meaning of the need to empower the client.
We all make a living by selling something and in selling situations, and in life, how you present yourself plays a big role in how people think of you and how much attention people are going to pay to what you say. A dedicated professional commands more respect than a casual amateur – always.
- Start with Your Attitude. Are you a professional?
If so, why not let everyone know it. You cannot talk yourself out of something you behaved yourself into.
- Personal Appearance.
Are you really satisfied with your appearance? “The way you dress is the way you are addressed” Grooming is important, good clothing is a must, and how about your health? Shape up in your body and it will shape up your attitude.
- Business Appearance
Your customers and clients relate financial success with competence. Does your car communicate financial success? How about your briefcase? Laptop and other tools of the trade? Are they well organised or stuffed to the gills with miscellany?
Customers relate being organised to being competent. Organisation is recognised as being on time, having a neat desk, being ready with your answers, and diligent follow-up. Always carry a pen and writing pad to take briefs, numbers and useful details. All these tell people that you are a person worthy of their confidence and the confidence of their friends.
- Talk Like a Pro. Avoid shop talk.
Some people think that using all kinds of fancy terms means that they’re experts. A real expert can explain a complex, technological process in plain English. So ask questions. Choose your words carefully. And plan your meeting or presentation from the prospect’s point of view.
- Stay in Tune.
This is a changing profession. Pushy, obnoxious speakers are gone along with the less competent. People demand excellence and reward that excellence with referral after referral. Devote a regular part of your week to learning new skills and sharpening existing ones. Knowledge in every field doubles every five years. If you do not ‘sharpen the saw’, you’ll be an expert in a field that doesn’t exist anymore.
- Respect Your Colleagues
They have the same challenges as you do. They deserve the same credit and recognition when successful, the same help and encouragement when faltering. Everyone wins when the team gets stronger. Be loyal to those not present.
- Remember Your Family and Friends
They want a high-quality relationship, too. Plan time for family and social needs. This will assure you of their understanding and support when business takes you away in the evenings and at weekends. Private victory precedes public victory.
- See The People
There are literally thousands of people in your area who need and deserve the professional services that you provide. Make them aware of what you do. Be vocal about your abilities and qualifications. If you don’t take it to them, they may get short-changed by someone not as good as you. However, eschew arrogance and maintain confidence and humility.
- Integrity Keeps You There
Nearly every day an opportunity arises to take unfair advantage of someone. Professionals know that today’s dissatisfied clients may prevent them from making transactions in the future.
Professionals know the value of honesty, integrity and respect for authority. Integrity is the most valuable currency you hold. Model it!
Stretching the truth, omitting information and avoiding present challenges by stalling or blaming someone else is for the juvenile. Being professional means you’ve grown.
You have my best wishes.
Richie Dayo Johnson is an experiential specialist and consultant in communication and human behaviour. He works with aspiring leaders, high net-worth individuals and multinational organisations in Europe and Africa. He presently oscillates between the two continents depending on work and family commitments.
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