Business Communication Training
The industry of business communication training covers many different areas, but can, perhaps, be placed under two very broad categories: intra-business and extra-business communications. Intra-business includes communications within a company, for example, management to employees. Extra-business communications refers to those messages delivered from a company to its potential and current customers or clients. Within these two broad categories are a wide variety of interactions that can benefit from the utilization of specific techniques and strategies that increase the ability for people to effectively communicate with one another. These techniques and strategies can be learned either through taking workshops and seminars or by majoring in business communication training. Several colleges and universities offer bachelor and master degree programs in this specialized field. King Solomon wrote that: "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels" (Proverbs 1:5). A college education can be beneficial to anyone who wants a career in business communications.
The psychology of business communications is fascinating to many people. Major corporations spend a great deal of money conducting focus groups and other kinds of tests to determine such branding information as what colors or combination of colors are most appealing to shoppers. Similar efforts are often used to test the effectiveness of logos, brand names, taglines, and company slogans. Most marketers are well aware of how the word "free" generates interest when used in an advertisement or television commercial. Even the placement of products on grocery store shelves or on retail store racks is a science. Wholesalers or distributors sometimes pay more to have their products placed on certain shelves or on the endcap at the end of an aisle. Grocery stores are often designed so that the milk and the bread are placed in far corners of the building. This positioning forces customers to walk past a myriad of other items just to get these basics. It's very likely that a shopper that stops in a store just for milk and bread will put several more items in their shopping cart. All these examples are very subtle forms of communicating messages to the consumer. A consumer doesn't need a master's degree in business communication training to understand why items like candy, batteries, film, magazines, and other sundry items are placed near the registers. But understanding the psychology doesn't keep him from adding one or two of these items to the checkout conveyor belt.
Within a company, business communication training may include such basic instruction as how telephone calls should be answered to convey professionalism and friendliness. More complex training may involve workshops for supervisors on how to better communicate the company's goals and objectives to their teams. Or perhaps the training will involve specifics on operating certain machinery or on proper safety procedures. The human relations (HR) department needs to effectively communicate such complex issues as health and retirement benefits to employees. Especially during open enrollment periods, employees need to be able to assess the different health plans being offered so that they can select the best one for their personal needs. If the information is confusing or poorly presented, the employee will have a difficult time making a decision. Meanwhile, the information technology (IT) department needs to effectively communicate solutions to employees who are having computer problems. It's frustrating to have a computer glitch occur just when an important deadline is looming and aggravating when a major project suddenly disappears into cyberspace. The IT staff, especially when providing assistance over the phone, needs to know how to patiently and clearly provide directions to the coworker so the problem can be fixed or the lost file can be recovered. Employees in both these departments, as well as others, can benefit from business communication training that may be offered by the employer.
No company can survive very long without communicating with potential and current customers through public relations and marketing strategies. These, of course, will vary depending on the size and type of the business. International corporations will devote a tremendous amount of resources in effective business communication training for their employees while a sole proprietor may operate on a shoestring budget. Smaller businesses may need to find innovative and imaginative low-cost ways to promote their products and services. The internet has opened up opportunities for even very small companies to reach a niche target audience through an appropriately designed and promoted website. Many of these online businesses succeed by utilizing internet marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword techniques, emailing regular newsletters to a permission-based distribution list, and contributing to online forums and social networks.
Companies that operate globally will no doubt emphasize cross-cultural communicating skills to employees who interact with international clients. This is a specialized and increasingly popular type of business communication training. After all, no one wants to accidentally insult someone from another country just because of cultural ignorance. Many workshops and seminars are available that provide effective cross-cultural skills to professionals who travel on behalf of their companies to other countries. These courses provide specifics on certain cultural expectations, but should also provide strategies to help the professionals pick up on subtle cultural cues that will help them communicate with ease and confidence. Employees who want to increase their skills and knowledge will find it beneficial to attend workshops or seminars on business communication strategies. Busy professionals can sign up for online courses that allow them to complete the material on a schedule that suits them best. For college students, a degree in business communication training can open the door to many exciting employment opportunities.
Communication Skills TrainingCommunication skills training include effective speaking, business writing, presentation skills, negotiation skills, and knowing how to make an impact on those who are privy to the communication. Individuals who want to develop the abilities necessary to communicate effectively need to have the knowledge and the skills to convey their message. Business communication training will prepare a person to become an effective speaker and writer. The common areas of training include conquering a fear of public speaking, writing effecting presentations, voice coaching, conducting an effective business meeting, and learning how to talk with clients and customers effectively by using good interpersonal skills. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." (Joshua 1:8)
Presentation skills involve more than just handling visual aids and reading speaker notes. Body language can help to make the delivery more believable. Communication skills training can help to teach the importance of eye contact, facial expressions, and voice projection. The information presented should be very well organized so that it makes sense to the audience. The speaker should appear confident and in control. The speaker may need to practice their presentation in front of an impartial party before actually giving it to become more knowledgeable about the subject and to get some constructive feedback.
Writing an effective presentation includes doing some research on the subject and on the audience. A sales manager giving a presentation to new sales personnel would need to keep in mind that they are probably not going to be familiar with the language practiced by an experienced sales person. Keeping this in mind would mean writing and presenting a presentation that starts on a beginner's level. Business communication training includes a strong introduction to gain the attention of everyone and to end the presentation with a question and answer session. An effective presentation should include good and professional writing abilities with no spelling errors and visual aids that help to bring the main point's home.
Voice coaching can help a speaker to develop confidence as his or her abilities increase. Voice coaching normally includes learning breathing techniques, increasing vocal power, commanding the attention of the audience by portraying self-confidence and self-assuredness, minimizing slang, and using good pronunciation skills. Communication skills training teach a speaker to decrease negative tones and develop positive tones. Successful outcomes on voice coaching will become evident after much practice and will come when the speaker is confident and knows the material to be presented.
A successful business meeting is dependent upon the effectiveness of the presenter or speaker. Business communication training will teach a person how to create an effective presentation for a business meeting. The person in charge of the meeting should be able to resolve conflicts between participants, troubleshoot problems, lead creatively by allowing others to voice their opinions or concerns, and should be able to get the main point of the meeting across to everyone present at the beginning of the meeting. An effective meeting is often dependent upon allowing others to have their say to a certain degree but not to the point that the meeting gets off subject. A presenter or manager of a business meeting needs to remain in control of the subject without causing conflict with others.
A good conversationalist knows how to make others feel comfortable. Communication skills training helps to make conversations with clients and customers productive by avoiding uncomfortable moments, eliminating boring talk, exhibiting politeness and consideration, by using humor, and giving the client or customer an opportunity to talk without interruption. A good conversationalist will learn how to make the customer feel at ease and satisfied. Most of the time a client or customer just wants to know that they have had an opportunity to voice his or her opinion, whether it is because of a complaint or for some other reason.
Eliminating the fear of public speaking is possible with business communication training. Tips that help to show the audience that the speaker has no fear is to practice appropriate body language, presenting a credible image, overcoming self-consciousness, using humor to downplay mistakes, being organized, and learning how to project the voice. In addition, the speaker should practice his or her speech enough times that he or she feels confident that the material is learned. Being able to conduct a practice speech in front of someone who can give constructive criticism can be very productive as well. Obtaining some constructive criticism can tell the speaker where there needs to be some changes or where more practice may be needed. The more a person speaks in front of others the more he or she will become accustomed to it and the less fear will be experienced.
Interpersonal skills can help to develop a person's listening and speaking style of communication. Developing interpersonal skills can be done by evaluating one's own personal strengths and personality style. Websites that offer communication skills training may emphasize that listening abilities are just as important as speaking abilities. A person choosing to enhance his or her own interpersonal skills should understand the importance of being sensitive to the needs of others. To develop interpersonal abilities a person will want to set goals for personal development especially in the areas where skills of communicating effectively with others may be lacking.