What is communication?

Skilled communicators are able to

  • convey information effectively
  • express ideas and thoughts clearly, confidently and concisely
  • tailor content and style to their audience

Communication skills are among the key attributes sought by potential employers. They are generally essential in the workplace, particularly in roles that involve teamwork, the sharing of information or working with clients. Communication skills can be evidenced verbally, in written form and non-verbally through body language and voice, and all of these may be tested by recruiters when assessing potential employees. Initial written skills will be tested at application stage, and may be further tested at assessment centres in the form of written exercises. Verbal skills and non-verbal behaviours will be assessed at interviews, in various group and individual exercises and during any social/networking sessions that happen during the process. You may also be asked to give a presentation, which will test particular skills in organising your information and presenting it clearly and effectively.

Communication 'behaviours'

  • Understanding the perspective of your audience and using language and content they will understand
  • Keeping written and verbal communications clear and simple and not overloaded with information
  • Looking and sounding comfortable with what you are saying
  • Listening to what your listener/audience is telling you and responding appropriately
  • In presentation situations, speaking more slowly than in conversational speech, keeping slides simple so the audience can concentrate on what you are saying, 'topping and tailing' your presentation by telling the audience at the start what you will be talking about and ending with a summary of what you said

Communication skills development: examples and evidence

Communication examples and evidence
Academic related  

Delivering individual or team-based presentations

Working in or leading a study/project group

Writing up projects/long essays/dissertations

Taking on a role as a class representative

Participating in LSE100 presentations

Attending Teaching and Learning Centre events such as

  • Communicating assertively
  • Presentation skills and confidence
  • Good writing psychology
  • Introduction to essay writing
  • Participating and presenting in classes and seminars

Attending Language Centre seminars focusing on written and spoken communication

Taking part in Maximise Your Potential fortnight, which includes many opportunities for developing communication skills


Taking part in the Debating Society or similar

Joining the Drama Society or other amateur dramatics group to develop confidence and project/articulation skills

Helping/mentoring other students with their studies

Taking part in LSE's Widening Participation activities, by talking to school students interested in pursuing university study

Getting involved in your Hall of Residence social committee

Joining an international society to gain experience of communicating with people from a range of backgrounds and cultures

Working in Student Union media (The Beaver, Pulse radio, LooSE TV)

Work experience/volunteering

Doing customer focused work experience where communication skills are vital, eg call centre, retail or service sector work involving client/customer contact

Getting industry related experience that requires you to produce and report on written documents/information

Working with children to develop the ability to tailor communication to an audience in an engaging way

Volunteering with Debate Mate or other community/school project

Volunteering to work with people of differing communication abilities

Registering for employer led skills seminars covering topics such as networking, negotiation and report writing


Signing up for presentation and group exercise skills sessions with LSE Careers

Booking a practice interview with an LSE Careers Consultant

Attending LSE Careers seminars on a range of job search topics such as

  • Performing well at interview
  • Writing effective application forms
  • Writing winning CVs

Seeking feedback from people you have communicated with/presented to

Attending LSE Careers 'half-day assessment centre' events