For warehouse and distribution center managers, verbal communication is a critical part of the job—whether it's conveying information to colleagues and warehouse associates or making presentations to superiors. But speaking up—and speaking well—is not something that comes naturally to everyone. That's why Kenco, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based third-party logistics company, makes training in public speaking available to supervisors and managers.
"Public speaking is very important; it helps [people] do their jobs better," says Jeff Tanner, Kenco's vice president, risk management. "You have to give [employees] the tools they need to accomplish what you expect of them."
Kenco teaches supervisors and managers how to make effective presentations and gives them opportunities to speak during monthly management calls and other in-house meetings. The company also encourages employees who want to move up in the organization to take outside classes or join groups like Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization that helps people develop public speaking skills.
As for the types of employees who might benefit significantly from coaching on public speaking, Tanner cites the example of staffers whose job responsibilities include training. Combine public speaking skills with deep knowledge of the subject matter at hand, and managers and supervisors become much more effective trainers, he contends. "If you're comfortable speaking in front of a group, ... you understand what you're presenting on, and you're energetic, you'll keep the audience's attention."