RADA in Business recently conducted some research into the views and experiences of business people across the UK, and discovered revealing insights around how women feel they are perceived in the workplace. The research highlighted that women in business face several challenges to communicate as confidently as men, with just 8% of women admitting they find it easy to make their voice heard at work in comparison to 15% of men.
Despite many businesses introducing gender quality statements or initiatives, the research clearly shows that many women still struggle to have their voice heard. Having a gender-balanced workforce is one step, but it’s important to equip women at all stages of their career with the skills and techniques to communicate with authority, authenticity and impact in their professional roles.
By applying some of the practices RADA uses to train its actors, business women can make the most of their communication skills and have their desired impact. Here are RADA in Business’ top five tips to get you started:
- Own your space. When in meetings or giving presentations, take up space and learn to hold your space. Avoid looking down or contracting to physically minimise your size as this can lower your status in a business environment. What we do with our bodies will show up in our voices.
- Keep breathing. When we are worried about something, this can have a profound effect on our breath, making it harder to think clearly. Take a moment and slowly breathe in and out to control your heart rate and nervous energy.
- Make a connection. Look at people directly and maintain eye contact to ensure you are engaging with others as this signifies trust. Eye contact is key to truly connecting with others.
- Speak up. State your intentions with confidence, and don’t always wait your turn to speak. Avoid raising your voice at the end of a sentence when you are not asking a question, as this can signal that you are seeking approval while experimenting with a lower pitch can give you more gravitas.
- Use a pause. Allow time for your message to land. Once you have made a point, leave some time for others to think about it. This can be difficult as nerves make us rush, but pausing will let people know that what you have to say is important enough to take a bit of time to consider it.
These simple techniques can help women to build resilience, be heard and achieve their goals more effectively in the workplace.
To learn more about RADA in Business including courses for women at different stages of their career compiling graduate, manager and senior level, please visit www.radainbusiness.com.
RADA in Business’ research has been published in an online report called ‘all the workplace is a stage’.
RADA in Business is the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, transferring the unrivalled actor training disciplines taught at the Academy to the workplace.
RADA in Business offers the unique skills, assets and experience of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to train and inspire individual and corporate clients. All profits from RADA in Business are gifted to RADA to support the next generation of actors and technicians.