So you want to build your business communications skills, but don’t know where to turn? Are Google searches barraging you with links to courses that promise you everything under the sun? Are you not even sure what to look for? Never fear.
Here are the four areas an effective business communications skills course must cover to be considered worth your while.
Any communication skills course worth its salt will devote a significant chunk of its time to teaching the intricacies of effective public speaking. Lessons on how to speak, where to look, keeping a good oratorical pace and projecting confidence are essential here. If a prospective business communications course does not address at least these topics, look elsewhere.
Any reputable preparatory course walks you through the ins and outs of delivering information through presentation. The focus of any such section must center on preparation of a presentation, effective and efficient use of visual aides (ideally with an entire subsection discussing the uses and abuses of PowerPoint), how to consider your audience when preparing your business presentation and coupling all of these with lessons learned from the public speaking program.
BUSINESS PROPOSAL/REPORT/EMAIL WRITING
Time is money in the business world, and effective communication starts with the written word. It is essential for a communications skills course to address the do’s and don’ts of writing email to clients and coworkers alike, how to distill what you need to communicate in a concise way, how to document negotiations and projects in timely reports, and how to pitch effective proposals with clarity. Business writing must be short, direct and clear.
If a business communications course doesn’t devote significant time to teaching you the nuts and bolts of business writing, find one that does. Nearly every client, every employer, and every prospect will come to know you first through your written words, and it’s imperative you learn to make use of this skill.
PURSUATION AND NEGOTIATION
Most of your career in business will boil down to persuading clients to trust you and your company, and negotiating the details of deals once you have successfully persuaded them. Though some of this skill tends to come naturally to many, it can easily be learned by anyone with the proper training.
When searching for business communication skills course, it is also important to evaluate any areas of weakness you may have in addition to these and look for a course that addresses those needs as well.