Success in the workplace often depends upon effective communication. In his review of “The Power of Speech,” published in the Business Communication Quarterly March 2013 issue, Ephraim Okoro of Howard University writes:
In recent years, a number of colleges and universities both in developed and developing countries have expanded their academic curricula to include critical skills that will increase their students’ competitive advantage in the workplace. More emphasis is being placed on the ability to communicate effectively in writing, as well as verbally and nonverbally, in view of the global and multicultural nature of business organizations. A review of some academic programs indicates that undergraduate students are now required to take a speech or oral presentation course in their sophomore or junior year. This requirement was necessitated by the need to develop students’ oratory knowledge, presentation skills, and ability to communicate across cultures. Furthermore, current workforce trends suggest that employers are keenly interested in hiring and promoting people who possess communication skills.
In The Power of Speech, Gabrielsen and Christiansen stress that while it is more important to listen on some occasions than to talk, there are increasing dividends in the ability to express oneself clearly and concisely, especially at meetings and public places. Individuals who are eloquent, articulate, and expressive have had the unique advantage of positioning themselves for leadership opportunities in their places of work. Evidently, the ability to persuade people, including one’s colleagues, to support an objective or a cause is an important skill that differentiates people in organizations. As the authors note, conveying one’s ideas and thoughts strategically and skillfully is a key factor in attaining leadership and managerial positions. To succeed as a manager in large and complex corporations, professional credentials and experience should be complemented with effective oral communication.