Word Tips: How to Sound Like an Administrative Professional

April 18, 2023


An administrative professional reads on her work laptop about word tips to use in the workplace.
Cut out the fluff when speaking.

Communication is key as an administrative professional. Effective and efficient communication is important in any professional role, but especially for admins and executive assistants.

If you work in an administrative role, you must excel at communication and be an expert at customer service. Read on for some helpful word tips to impress your executives, clients, and colleagues with your professionalism. 

Word Tips 101

Clear communication is paramount in an administrative role. You need to respond quickly and professionally to questions and assigned tasks. Additionally, you need to master verbal, written, and visual communication. 

This means exuding professionalism during in-person interactions, over email and through memos, and also with body language. All three of these components confer respect and elevate your reputation as a valued administrative professional. 

Take the following word tips into account to improve your interpersonal communication skills in the workplace.

Take it Slow 

Talking fast and over people does not make you sound more professional or superior. If you are in a meeting or a one-on-one interaction with a colleague or a client, slow down! Do not interrupt others. Allow them to finish what they have to say and take it in. Really listen to what others are saying before chiming in yourself as to why something won’t work or isn’t the best solution. 

Be Direct 

Be as direct as possible in your communication. Whether it’s a deadline that needs to be met, a task you don’t understand, or a request you aren’t familiar with – be clear and succinct with your responses. However, do not confuse being direct with being rude or abrasive. Communicate upfront about any confusion or queries you have, while maintaining a professional attitude and tone. 

Intonation Matters 

What is intonation? Intonation is the rise or fall of the voice when speaking. We all recognize different intonations on a daily basis. For example, saying a phrase with an elongated last syllable of the final word makes it sound like a question. Meanwhile, saying it directly without emphasized syllables makes it sound like a statement. 

Be aware of the intonation you use when speaking to executives, colleagues, and clients. This will help to ensure that you don’t sound annoyed, frustrated, or questioning something with which you verbally agree.

Cut Out the Fluff 

Filler words have no place in the professional world. Phrases and words such as “like,” “ummm,” “so basically,” and “literally” should be avoided in an administrative role. This goes back to being direct in your communication. Think about what it is you want to communicate and do so without any fluff. 

Avoid Abrasive and Unhelpful Language 

Often, our language can come off as abrasive or unhelpful, even with the best intentions. Phrases such as, “I thought I explained this already,” or “As I said before” can seem passive-aggressive.

Be careful to consider your words before you speak. If you need to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts before responding, that’s okay. 

Word Tip of The Day 

Keep your tone, body language, and actual words in mind. Ask questions when there is something you are unclear about, but be respectful and truly inquisitive when doing so. Practicing these helpful word tips will elevate your career in no time. 

The best word tip we can offer at ASAP is to communicate what you mean while maintaining professionalism and confidence. 

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