Felicity H. Barber
I’m a speechwriter, executive communications specialist and coach. I write speeches, advise business leaders on messaging and coach people to deliver perfect presentations, pitches and speeches.
Earlier this year, General Motors published a press release entirely in Emoji. The result? A mix of media intrigue—and confusion.
But it got me thinking: Are Emojis ever appropriate in the office? If they are, in what context? Here are both sides of the argument and a few tips for using them in the workplace.
In one of my last jobs in corporate finance, I sat right next to my boss’ boss’ boss. Every now and then I’d hear him cry out in frustration. The problem? Someone had sent him an email with a smiley face in it—the precursor to today’s Emoji. From early on I was clear that, in that environment, emoticons were frowned up. So, to make the best impression, I made sure that every email I sent had a particularly professional and formal tone.
The problem with new kinds of communication like Emojis is that you just don’t know how the other person will receive them. You don’t want to risk getting on the nerves of a superior, simply because you’re “on trend.” Do you remember when older generations were constantly bemoaning the use of text speak? In one particularly scathing takedown a critic described texting as “penmanship for illiterates.”
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Love your article in Toastmasters Magazine.
Thank you very much.
Ashok Varma MD.