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Improve your communication skills
November 28, 2005
How do I improve my communication skills?
Every person with his/ her eye on the BPO pie, is asking this question today.
BPO training expert, Nasha Fitter, guides you on how to brush up your spoken and written communication skills.
As an under-graduate student, this will be my first ever encounter for an interview, looking for a job in a call centre and I am clueless as to what I would come across for the interview.
Every call centre has individual interviewing techniques. In general though, most tend to have three to four rounds.
The first round is usually extempore, where you are asked to talk about a topic. In this round, your interviewer decides if your spoken English (grammar) and voice clarity are acceptable.
The second round tends to be a personal interview. Here, you will be asked about your work background and experience. It is important that you speak positively about what you have done in the past, what you have learnt and why you want to work in a call centre. Also, the way in which you present yourself and speak to your interviewer will be crucial.
In many call centres, the third round will be conducted by someone from Operations. You must convey to them that, if hired, you will not leave the job quickly; Operations is concerned with attrition. Also, in this round, it is good to highlight past experiences that you believe will fit the process of your choice.
Many call centres also have psychometric testing. Additionally, you may be asked to participate in other computer based testing to judge how proficient your typing and written grammar skills are.
I am a BCom graduate and am looking for a job in a call centre. But my level of confidence is not so good.
How can I improve my level of confidence and the level of fluency in English? Please give me some tips.
-- Kousik Dutta
Your level of confidence is probably tied to your level of English fluency. My guess is that you become too conscious of the way you speak and this lowers your confidence. Tackle this problem first. Look for a book that will help your grammar.
Start reading business magazines such as the Economist and BusinessWeek. Watch news shows in English.
Practise reading passages from magazines and books in front of the mirror. Ask others whose opinions you trust how they think you are speaking and how you can improve.
Also, this may not seem so important, but keep do a good posture: keep your shoulders back, your back straight and your head high. You will not only look more confident during interviews but will feel more confident as well.
I am working as a Technical Support Executive in a BPO. I am a BTech graduate in Computer Science And Engineering, but I have chosen BPO as my career. Is it wrong step in my career. Many of my friends are critcising me in this regard.
They are telling that this is not a safe career which may collapse anytime. Is it true? Some times I would feel very depressed in this regard. Is it like I should not do this job? Please justify my career choice. I need some supportive points in this regard.
The BPO industry is not going to collapse anytime soon, rest assured. If it is job security you are worried about, stop. If you are instead worried that this job will not help you in your future career, I am not sure. Do you know what you want to do in five years? In 10 years? Where do you see your career going? Will your current job get you off-track?
If you want to stay in the BPO industry, there are many options for you. You could rise within your company to take on a management position or you could find other companies that do more advanced technical work for offshore clients.
I believe you will learn quite a bit from being a technical support executive: dealing with tough customer requests, speaking concisely and professionally, and explaining complicated technical information simply. I would set a deadline for yourself as to how long you want to stay in your current position and then work on the next step in your career.
I have done BCA and might say I am proficient in English. I have am confident in writing but have some doubts in speaking.
Please do suggest some book, good free coaching website or e-paper/pdf doc on English training too.
~ What skills do I need to get a BPO job?
~ How can I learn to communicate more effectively?
I want to grow really fast, but I don't know how!
-- Sunil Verma
I get lots of questions asking for quick secrets to improve communication. The truth is, improving one's language skills takes time and lots of personal effort. Even in the classes I conduct, I tell my students that they must practise on their own and learn from their mistakes.
Grammar books and communication guides are helpful, more so if they are accompanied by an audio component. But, most importantly, read more and watch English television shows.
You mentioned that you are confident in writing, yet the message you sent me is filled with grammar, pronunciation and spelling mistakes.
I am a big believer that if you write well, you will most probably speak well. So begin with improving your writing skills. In order to do this, read professional business magazines. Then, practise writing passages and compare your writing with articles in the magazines you read. Reading good books is also very helpful.
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Do you have a question for Nasha? Write to us!
Nasha Fitter operates Fitter Solutions, a communication and training organisation with expertise in public and interpersonal communication.