Your communication skills greatly influence your job performance, more so if you’re a non-English native speaker working with people who are fluent in English. It’s not enough to learn how to speak and write in the language, you have to make sure you can express yourself and accurately convey your thoughts.

You also need to be able to understand what other people are saying, which can be difficult if they’re using phrases and expressions that have no direct translation in your native language.

So, whether you’re based in an English-speaking country or dealing with international clients, you have to learn how to communicate effectively in their language so you can do your job more effectively.

In this blog post, ESL Tutoring Services shares some practical tips on how you can improve your English communication skills.

1. Be direct

Some organisations have an indirect communication style where people soften their language to be more likeable and perceived as non-confrontational. The good thing about this approach is that it helps prevent conflict and de-escalate tense situations.

However, the problem with this style of indirect communication is that the message can be lost in translation. It’s easy to misinterpret someone or be misunderstood if you don’t say what you mean. You don’t need that kind of problem on top of trying to converse in a language that isn’t in your native tongue.

An example of indirect communication would be: ‘If you have a minute, could you take a look at the files I emailed you? Sometime today would be great if that’s possible.’ Instead, you could just ask ‘Can you please review the files I emailed by close of business today?’ This second option is quicker, easier, eliminates any room for misinterpretation and also provides a deadline and some urgency for completion.

2. Practice public speaking

Seeking out public speaking opportunities is one of the most effective ways to improve your speaking skills. This doesn’t mean you have to speak at large functions; sharpening your skills can be as simple as joining a book club or enrolling in a class.

Through public speaking, you’ll learn to articulate your thoughts more eloquently and think on your feet. These are two skills that will help you grow into a more effective communicator.

Talking to big groups also helps to familiarise yourself with the lilts and natural flow of English and eventually develop a good speaking rhythm. A good speaking pace is comfortable for you and the listener. Paying attention to the pace of your speaking will ensure that your audience can hear you clearly because you will focus on making sure to enunciate properly and speaking without slurring or mumbling. This is also why practising your public speaking can improve your pronunciation.

Speaking at a comfortable pace can reduce your usage of fillers like ‘um’ and ‘ah’ as well. If you talk too fast, your speech might not keep pace with your thoughts, forcing you to take a filled pause to think about what you’re going to say next. These fillers can be distracting for your audience, causing them to miss parts of your speech.

3. Pay attention to non-verbal cues

Non-verbal cues are important for in-person (face-to-face) communication because they convey subtle nuances that may add or change the meaning of your conversation. They can also affect your authority or credibility as a speaker and a worker, depending on how you stand, sit or how you carry yourself when you talk.

For example, fidgeting with your fingers and not maintaining eye contact can indicate a lack of confidence. Developing an awareness of body language can help you look assertive and composed, encouraging people to also put their confidence in you. Your team will listen to you more attentively and your clients will believe in your abilities if you appear authoritative, which makes communicating a much smoother process.

4. Master effective emailing

Email is a primary mode of internal communication in most companies, so learning how to compose a concise and professional email is part of becoming an effective communicator. Your emails must be succinct – short and to the point – because people don’t have the time to read and comprehend long, roundabout messages.

Writing straightforward emails also leaves little room for misinterpretation. You’ll be able to get your point across much faster and avoid long exchanges for clarification that can cause delays.

To write a concise email, list the important details in bullet points to make them easier to read. If you’re talking about several deliverables or topics in one email, you can write them in a numbered list to present the information more clearly.

Even though you’re being straightforward, you still want to be warm and courteous in your emails. Also, try to respond as soon as you can, especially for urgent matters.

5. Learn to be an active listener

Communication is a two-way street, which means you need to learn how to listen actively to become an effective communicator. Listening attentively ensures that you fully understand what the other person is saying and won’t miss any important information. If you’re not good at remembering details, you can take notes during the conversation.

Active listening is also crucial when you’re managing your own team. It shows them that you’re genuinely concerned about their professional hurdles and encourages them to be honest with you. You can briefly summarise what they said at the end of the conversation to show that you understand, then provide your insight while still deferring to their feelings.

Practice is still the best way to improve your English communication skills. As you spend more time talking to native English speakers, you’ll grow more familiar with both the overt and unwritten rules of the language. Eventually      conversing in English will become second nature and you’ll be more confident in your communication skills.

If you’re the kind of person who benefits from one-on-one classroom-method learning, hiring a private tutor can greatly contribute to your improvement.

English Tutoring Services

ESL Tutoring is Australia’s premier tutoring service for adults and professionals. We offer language learning programs designed for varying levels, from general to corporate English.

Our business and corporate English tutoring programs build your confidence in your workplace communication skills, including email and report writing and professional speaking.

We cater to professionals in the following cities:

Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer. You can also email us on or call 1300 137 186



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