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10 Speaking Habits Millennials Should Kick To Sound More Professional At Work

10 Speaking Habits Millennials Should Kick To Sound More Professional At Work

Are you a millennial, or do you work alongside millennials? Many millennials are extremely hardworking, intelligent individuals who will improve and advance the companies they work for. Yet, there can be differences between the older professionals and the millennials.

Check out 10 speaking habits that millennials should kick so that they can sound more professional while they are at work.

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1. Using slang instead of writing ‘yes’

It is important to remain professional at work, whether the communication is in person or via email. Many millennials would never consider spelling a word incorrectly normally, but use other versions of the word ‘yes’ regularly, such as ‘yep’, ‘yup’ and ‘ya’. All of these abbreviations come across as lazy, unprofessional and over familiar – and it doesn’t take long to type the correct word.

2. Overusing the word ‘like’

‘Like’ has become an extremely popular slang word with millennials, used in virtually every sentence to replace ‘err’ or ‘umm’. In a work environment it is important to sound professional and interested, and using ‘like’ unnecessarily and repeatedly will make millennials seem unfocused and unprofessional. If you cannot get rid of like that easily, try cutting it out of your vocabulary completely first.

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3. Putting their own preferences in front of the company’s goals

Outside of work it is normal to have personal goals and dreams, but when someone is at work it is important for them to focus on goals of the company. Saying things like “I think my time would be spent better if I did this” will make it seem like they have prioritized their own preferences over the goals of the company.

4. Overusing the word ‘literally’

Literally has become an increasingly popular word with millennials in recent years. Often the word adds nothing to the sentence, so many people try to avoid over-using it at work as it may make it seem like they have a poor vocabulary. Saying literally means “this actually happened” so adding this word to your speech should only occur when you are relaying the events of something that actually occurred.

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5. Non-committedly agreeing with peers

No one wants to sound disinterested at work, but many millennials do so without even realizing. If you and are peer are talking, the best way to seem interested is to ask follow-up questions about what they were saying. Agreeing is also totally fine, but saying ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ often seems like you are trying to hurry the other person up so you can start speaking, which makes it seem like they are not interested in what the other person is saying.

6. Using unprofessional slang

Many millennials refer to their boss as ‘dude’ or ‘man’, which is extremely unprofessional and over-familiar. While it is totally fine to use it in informal settings it should never be used at work. There are many other ways you can create a bond with your boss – this is more likely to push them away.

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7. Oversharing with your work colleagues

Millennials are often hardworking and accomplished individuals but they often share stories at work that put them in a bad light, thinking it will help them to bond with their co-workers. Swapping oversharing for telling work-friendly stories that highlight their best traits is often a great career move.

8. Using poor excuses

There are bad excuses and good excuses in the world of work. If someone tried to do everything they could to make it on time to work and they were still late, it isn’t their fault – but if they prioritized other things over work, it is their fault. For instance, if someone is late to work because their apartment flooded, then it is very unlikely that they will be reprimanded. However, if they are late to work because their spin class ran over, then they could end up getting in serious trouble at work.

9. Raising their voice at the end of a statement

Raising your voice at the end of end of a sentence makes it sound like you are unsure if you are right or not. At work, it is useful for people to focus on lowering their voice at the end of sentences, as that makes them sound more professional and it solidifies their points.

10. Talking too quickly

Just like anyone who is young at a company, millennials want to prove themselves. They often speak very quickly so they can say everything they want to without speaking for too long, but it would be beneficial to slow down. The more status someone allows themselves, the more respect people will give to them.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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