Internal Auditors Get ‘Happy' While Building Communication Skills

May is Internal Audit Awareness Month, and according to The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), audit professionals are using social media to create some buzz, using the hashtag #IIAMay to advocate for auditing on Facebook and Twitter.

The idea behind the awareness push, says The IIA, is to promote the profession to audit customers, executives, boards, students and others in the business community to show the value of internal auditing.

Have you posted anything yet for your office? For inspiration, check out this flash mob Facebook video by a division of P.J. Lhuillier, a multi-industry business owner and operator based in the Philippines.

If you need more ideas, The IIA offers more than a dozen awareness building resources in its online toolkit, which includes PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and media templates.

While a flash mob dance to the tune of Pharrell Williams' smash hit song “Happy” is a great morale booster and attention grabber, it also demonstrates some proficiency in a sorely lacking soft skill among professionals in the internal audit industry.

In the recently released Protiviti 2014 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Surveycommunication was named as a core weakness among audit executives, particularly presentation and public speaking skills.

Certainly staging a flash mob performance is one way to stretch your public communication comfort zone, but what else can you do to improve these skills? Here are a few suggestions:

Take an improv class. There’s a reason some business schools started including improvisation classes as a way to teach corporate communication skills. The core  of improv – listening to a suggestion, accepting it and improving upon it – are what collaboration in the workplace is all about.

Train yourself. Check out Lisa B. Marshall’s Public Speaker blog, where you can watch videos and download podcasts of her tips.

Record yourself. You know that little camera at the top of your laptop? Use it. Record yourself giving a pitch and after a few takes your delivery will improve immensely.

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Photo credit: Screenshot of  P.J. Lhuillier video