Oral communication self-assessment

Oral communication is the ability to use speech to share thoughts and information. Strong oral communication skills are essential to being able to present your ideas clearly in a variety of situations such as: explaining procedures to a co-worker; giving directions to a friend; or dealing with customer service to discuss a problem with your phone bill. Complete this self-assessment to help you understand your oral communication strengths and areas for improvement.

Instructions:

  1. Read each statement in Section 1 and place a check mark in the column that best describes how well you can complete that task.

    Tip: Think about your work and life experiences as you consider each task.
  2. Review your responses for each task. If you have checked five or more in the “Somewhat” and/or “No” columns, you may want to consider upgrading your oral communication skills.
  3. Complete Section 2 to identify your training needs.

Section 1: Self-assessment

This table contains statements for the oral communication self-assessment.
I can... Yes Somewhat no
Ask routine questions to obtain information.
Leave brief phone messages.
Understand short messages and communicate the information to others.
Give simple instructions to others on a familiar topic.
Explain simple facts.
Follow simple oral instructions.
Listen to others without interrupting.
Use appropriate body language (e.g. smiling, nodding, making eye contact) while having a conversation.
Discuss work-related problems or issues in detail.
Ask complex questions to get the appropriate information.
Communicate with others to resolve minor conflicts, such as customer complaints.
Communicate with others to co-ordinate work or resolve problems.
Express my opinions and ideas clearly and concisely.
Restate information that is presented orally.
Train or give clear instructions to a co-worker.
Give a brief presentation to a small group.
Lead routine meetings (e.g. weekly team meetings).
Follow complex oral instructions to complete a task.
Explain difficult subject matter using detailed examples.
Give constructive feedback or advice.
Speak respectfully to clients or co-workers when dealing with complex issues or resolving conflicts.
Exchange ideas and opinions with clients, such as clarifying detailed work specifications, or negotiating contracts.
Persuade others to consider different options.
Give presentations to a large, unfamiliar group.
Total

Section 2: Personal development

Completing this section will help you make informed training decisions.

  • Look at the “Yes” column in Section 1 to identify your strengths, and record them below.
  • Look at the “Somewhat” and/or “No” columns in Section 1 to identify the areas that you need to develop or strengthen, and record them below.

Oral communication strengths:

I am confident that I can…

E.g. listen to others without interrupting.

Tip: Consider using your strengths to help a colleague, friend or family member improve their oral communication skills.

Areas for improvement:

I would like to improve my ability to…

E.g. give presentations to a large, unfamiliar group.

Tip: When developing your training plan, focus on improving one or two abilities at a time.

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