RADA Business, the commercial arm of world-renowned drama school RADA, is helping women to communicate with greater confidence in the workplace. Its doors are open to professional women looking to discover and practise the skills needed to perform and communicate with authority, authenticity and impact.
RADA Business recently conducted research into the views and experiences of business people across the UK and discovered revealing insights around how women feel they are performing 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.
Alison Sutherland, Client Director of the women’s portfolio at RADA Business provides some insight:
“Despite many businesses introducing gender quality statements and initiatives, our research clearly shows that many women still struggle to find their voice in certain environments. Having a gender-balanced workforce is a positive step, but this alone doesn’t necessarily give women the confidence to put themselves forward for senior positions. It’s important that women can not only get a place at the table, but feel equipped with the tools and techniques to communicate with authority, authenticity and impact in their roles. This is why we have designed a three-tier programme for aspiring managers, developing senior managers, and senior executives.
“Our women’s programme helps business women to thrive in their chosen field – supporting them to develop their leadership style. The insights below will give you an initial taste of the fundamental body, breath and voice work that our training encompasses.
- Hold your space. When in meetings or giving presentations, take up space. We tend to contract to physically minimise, yet this can lower your status in a business environment. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, approximately a hip width apart and give yourself a solid base to operate from.
- Breathe. This may sound obvious but often, when we are nervous, we forget to breathe, making it harder to think clearly. Take a moment and slowly breathe out and in to centre yourself.
- Connect. Communicating is not solely about the words we speak: body language is a strong tool we can employ. Eye contact is essential to connect with your colleagues, peers or audience. Look directly at people when addressing them and maintain eye contact – this will make you appear more engaging and signifies trust.
- Be heard. Experiment with pitch and tone: we know that the ‘chest voice’ can carry greater gravitas than the higher-pitched, ‘head voice’. 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.
- Take your time. 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 in challenging situations, 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 begin to help women to build resilience and achieve their agenda more effectively in the workplace.”
To learn more about RADA Business including courses for women at different stages of their career – Stepping up with Confidence, Impact and Influence, and Executive Presence for Women – please visit www.radabusiness.com/