Professional speech is important because it is what shows recruiters, interviewers, managers, and other professionals that you are able to communicate effectively. When you are speaking with potential employers it is vital that you are assertive, confident, and appropriate in the way you speak. Your communication skills can make or break an interview or even determine whether you are asked to interview!
Don’ts of Professional Speech
Upspeak (aka Uptalk or High Rising Terminal) is increasingly common, especially in the younger generation. It is best described as a speech pattern in which an individual ends his or her sentences with a higher pitch similar to how they would if they were asking a question. Can you imagine what that sounds like? There’s probably someone you know that seems to always be asking a question when they speak. Can you hear it now? If not, make sure to pay extra attention to the conversations that you have in the next few days and see if you can pick it up! If you’re still unsure take a few minutes to watch this video!
So now that you know what Upspeak is, let’s focus on how it can be detrimental to your career:
- Upspeak has the tendency to show listeners that you are unsure of yourself, feel inferior to them, or are somehow seeking approval. This is not something that you want to convey to a recruiter, interviewer, or potential employer. They need to see that you can express yourself confidently in the statements that you make.
- Managers find Upspeak annoying. According to a survey conducted by UK Publisher Pearson, bosses do not look favorably on employers that Upspeak. From the survey responses they found that it is possible for Upspeak to hinder prospects for promotion.
Strive to be a better communicator – watch out for Upspeak! Make sure that you’re ending your statements with a leveled tone and only using raised pitch for questions.
Thanks to the alums and staff on the Rice University OWL Career Mentor Network on LinkedIn for this topic. This group is a great resource for career and professional advice – the alumni in this group are eager to help students and would love to hear from you. Join the group today if you’re not already part of it!
Adeola Adegabi, Wiess PCA