Study: College Grads Lacking Verbal Communication Skills

According to a Job Outlook 2011 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employment, employers agreed new college graduates are entering the workforce with poor verbal communication skills. Experts believe the increased use of text messages and emails have taken a toll on the new generation’s conversational skills. “One of the biggest issues in the last five years is employees e-mailing instead of going to talk to or at the very least picking up the phone to call the person they need to communicate with,” says Patti Wood, professional speaker and trainer. As a businessperson, I encourage my team of employees and interns – who exist on a wide age scale – to leave the comfort of their email and to call people.
College graduates need verbal communication skills not only to conduct business and successfully interact with colleagues once in their career, they also need to be able to present themselves in a professional manner to land the job in the first place. If students feel their skills are inadequate and won’t impress an employer in an interview, they should conduct mock interviews with a family or friend. Teachers can use this exercise in class and have students get interviewed by an intimidating panel or just one-on-one. Students should give each other feedback on what worked, what didn’t work, and if they would hire those they interview.
Experts are also saying, the only way to learn verbal communication skills is to use them, especially in situation that takes you out of your comfort zone. All of LifeBound’s books for students in grades 5 – 12 include oral test and review prompts to hone these sought after communication skills at an early age. At the college level, Keys to Business Communication – the newest addition to the Keys to Success Series —  emphasizes the need for students to be able to communicate in all modes with the end of chapter exercise framework: Know it, Write it, Speak it, Do it.
Referenced article: “Um, Like, Whatever: College Grads Lack Verbal Skills” -
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