Communicating in the business world may seem a daunting task, but never fear. The essence of business communication can easily be boiled down to seven simple c’s. Heed these lessons and watch your communication skills soar!
Strive for accuracy in speech and in writing and always double check your facts. Measure twice, cut once. Effective communication fails if you’re always revising your facts and figures through a lack of diligence in your preparation.
Be direct in your communication, write and speak to the level of your audience, and never be afraid to edit, edit, edit. The key to effective communication is grabbing your audience’s attention quickly, delivering the messages you need to and leaving them feeling as though their time has been put to good use.
Be clear. This cannot be stressed enough. When writing a proposal or discussing an issue with a client or coworker, address the issue as plainly as possible. Clarity and concision go hand and hand. If you’re having difficulty explaining something through speech, write it down. If you’re having difficulty putting it down into words, draw it out and see if you can make a visual aide to explain the idea.
Give all of the relevant data, analyze it as thoroughly as possible, and give as complete a picture as you can regarding any given topic. Never leave it to someone else to fill in the blanks for you.
Avoid generalities in speech or in writing. Be specific, cite your sources thoroughly, and never dither. If your audience doesn’t think you believe in a given proposal, neither will they.
Effective business communication is not all about you. In fact, it is rarely about you. It is about explaining your ideas and your research to others, so keep your audience in mind. Try to anticipate their concerns beforehand and address those in your speech or writing, or at least mull them over and plan ahead for effective answers to their concerns.
Be pleasant to your audience, treat them with respect both directly and indirectly. For example, use honorifics wherever possible (i.e. Dr., Mr., Mrs., etc.) but also show respect for other’s time and effort. Be prompt when replying to emails and phone messages; be respectful when disagreeing with another’s idea. Never disparage them personally, and be sure to deliver any criticism as clearly and thoughtfully as possible.