Effective communication will increase productivity in business meetings. It is the oil that greases the business machinery. When one cannot communicate effectively, business meetings are unsuccessful. The competitive environment demands that communication should be prompt and more informal than ever before. Communication methods are among those that workers find most vital, and they play a major role in each functional field of business.
Strong verbal communication skills are just as necessary as writing skills to help a person to contribute to the success of a company. Many people have an inborn fear of speaking in the presence of others. By practicing and using several simple rules, one can overcome such fears and present effective verbal presentations.
The simple recommendations describe how to obtain organizational objectives with particular focus on communication rules for effective meetings. People call meetings for a common goal. A clear process will make a meeting efficient and useful for the benefit of everyone.
Be an attentive listener, show people that you are really interested in the topic. Listening to the interviewer is an activity; it is not a passive process. Show your interviewer that you fully understand his or her point of view, that you are filled with his or her feelings, thoughts and the reasons of his or her actions. When your interviewer sees that you fully understand his point of view, he starts trusting you. Good listeners are people who can communicate successfully and who know how to show their respect and understanding for others. Owing to this, a person becomes friendly and frank. Consequently, if one wishes to communicate successfully, he or she should stick to this rule: take an interest in other people.
Communicating in business
Communication plays a great role in making advantageous or disadvantageous impressions. If one were to recall a positive or negative experience that he or she has encountered in a business – one would see that someone’s methods in communicating or lack of them helped create that experience.
Communication is of primary importance since the earliest times. Nowadays effective communication is significant in everyday life and in business meetings in particular. Therefore, the problem arouses: how to make the communication in business effective enough that it would help to achieve professional goals? What methods and techniques should be used in solving this problem?
The purpose of this research paper is in applying all the recommended communication techniques that are examined in the given paper when considering this problem. The considered effective skills and techniques in this paper are naturally based on the knowledge of psychology.
Many researchers and psychologists have dealt with the problem of effective communication in business. When writing the paper such works have been used as: “Communicating in Business: an action-oriented Approach” by F. Wayne and Dauwalder; “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by D. Carnegie; “International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior” by Adler and others (Adler and Gundersen, 2008).
As the success of business meetings is in effective communication, the paper forecasts the development of the given problem and includes the following points: communication in business in general, effective communication techniques, skills and methods, practical recommendations in particular.
From a business outlook, “communication is the oil that greases the organizational machine and makes it run easily” (Wayne and Dauwalder 1994, p. 4). Effective communication in business meetings keeps the potential partner coming back. When we associate with people in business, or they associate with us, all parties desire to gain some objective.
The skills achieved in studying communication methods will help people do their job well. Effective communication skills will help a speaker effectively deliver his or her point of view to others. Carrying out verbal presentations well will expand a person’s opportunities. Knowing how to communicate to encourage productive action is important.
The definition of an organization is “a group of people with a special purpose, such as business” (Active Study Dictionary of English 1983, p. 420). Communication techniques, consequently, are necessary to make an organization work well.
A person will have to apply strong communication techniques in any job he or she holds. Survey results conclude that communication techniques – written, verbal, and nonverbal – are among those that employers find most necessary in potential employees. By improving these techniques, one will learn how to organize his or her thoughts, and effectively communicate with people. A speaker will conduct his or her presentations with confidence, and the intended message will be communicated.
Communication in management. Almost every individual in a business institution is a part of management in one way or another, whether it is by leading people, guiding projects, or directing activities. Managers at all levels scheme, organize, guide, and control institutional activities. Each of these functions rests heavily on communication to achieve desired goals.
Planning requires good communication. Planning, whether for the strategic instructions of a company or for good communication, contains the same activities: collecting information, interpreting information, drawing conclusions, and defining what communication actions to undertake.
Effective communication skills
Verbal communication skills are significant in effectively contributing to your firm and gaining profit. Verbal reporting includes everything from formal meetings with different types of exhibits, to informal, unprepared question-and-answer presentations.
The value of obtaining strong verbal skills. Many presentations that take place in business include oral reports. Those who listen to speeches may remember the successful speeches, but most likely will never forget the unsuccessful speeches.
In presenting a good speech or presentation, it is necessary to apply the same techniques as applied for other types of communication. Nevertheless, a person needs to know and practice additional techniques if he or she wishes to excel in presenting a good speech or presentation.
Improve your entire communication package. By mastering the techniques of effective oral presentations, a speaker can diminish the anxiety that surrounds presenting a speech. When a speech is presented, the words used and the way in which they are used influence information the listener receives. For instance, the precision of a speaker’s pronunciation affects the information the listeners receive. When what a person says contradicts what he or she does, people generally perceive that person’s nonverbal signs to be more accurate. Actions speak louder than words, and presenting a speech effectively depends upon the speaker’s actions accompanying the speech.
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Overcome the fear of public speaking. Many people have physical symptoms of anxiety when they are informed that they must present a speech. Remember that when presenting a formal speech, the audience hopes for the speaker to succeed. Nevertheless, many people are afraid something awful will happen when they are giving a presentation. The secret to conquering the nervousness and fear of presenting speeches is to be prepared and to practice.
By brainstorming all the possible cases that could occur, one can create a plan for how to deal with them.
Ten methods for successful speeches
When people present speeches, they “wish to report information in which in their opinion the audience is interested” (Sweeney 2004). The following methods can help a speaker better communicate with an audience:
1) Restrict the objectives. The objective in a speech is to discuss one or two main ideas in which the audience will be interested.
2) Retell in simple words. When addressing a miscellaneous audience, it is wise to remember that rarely can a speaker know what people are not familiar with. Make your speech understandable for a Doctor of Philosophy as well as for a seller. Use simple phrases and sentences. Do not use jargon.
3) Tell a story from your own experience. After a speaker states all of the necessary points in his or her presentation, the audience will recall the story used as a sample.
4) Generalize. As a specialist, a speaker would like to talk about what he knows. Nevertheless, by relating the specific information to the general world a speaker can overcome the gap between the audience the speaker.
5) Add spice to the speech. Spice up the speech with slides or video materials. Keep the speech varied to maintain the audience’s interest.
6) Reduce the gap. A speaker should not only stay in front of the audience, being at a distance from them. Instead, the speaker should move closer or even go out into the audience and engage people personally.
7) Have a good time. If a speaker enjoys presenting his or her speech and projects with enthusiasm and energy, he or she is more likely to arouse interest and enthusiasm in the audience.
8) Take a risk. Take a risk by telling a personal story to make a point more vivid. This will make the speech memorable.
9) Be concise. A good speaker will give the audience enough information and at the same time leave them wanting more. The speaker should know when enough information has been given, and stop. “The brevity is the main feature of good speech” (Brown 2004, p. 126).
10) Know the expectations of the audience. The speaker and the person planning the presentation are to know what the audience expects from the speech. This will decrease the likelihood of disappointment among the speaker, planner, and audience.
Hold effective meetings
Meetings permit teams to work together to share data and determine solutions for the plans in which they are mutually committed to (Argryis 2008). Meetings should only be held when deemed the best way for a group to fulfill a task at hand.
Work out an agenda. An agenda is an abstract or a plan of points that those attending the meeting regard. A well-prepared agenda presents a meeting with a focus, lists the members, and gives the subjects and time limits for presentation. Usually, the agenda contains main topics of discussion with short summary of their importance. It may also include the names of people who are responsible for each task and who will present each agenda subject to the members. A precise, allotted amount of time should be spent presenting each agenda subject and an allotted amount of time for the entire meeting should be adhered to.
Start the meeting on time. An effective meeting will begin on time and follow the agenda. At the commencement of the meeting, the members should be aware of how they will discuss and solve various problems.
Listen to yourself when you speak. As a speaker delivers oral presentation, he is to listen to himself. When he speaks in front of others, he is to put himself in his listener’s position and ask himself if he understands what he is saying.
Follow your plan. It is easy to get off-topic in a speech as a person tries to explain a point; do not allow this happen. Unless it is absolutely necessary to deviate from the topic, a speaker should follow his or her plan. Additional information can be useful to aid listeners in understanding the points being made (Gibson 2005).
Ensure that your nonverbal cues correspond with your oral messages. Realize that the way a word or phrase is orally stressed, transmits meaning. Apply this to help stress your points. The application of vocal emphasis gives meaning not inserted in the wording. Pause at major points, transmitting at varying rates of pace and at various volumes. “The silence can be very eloquent. A pause made in time is effective” (Wayne and Dauwalder 1994, p. 605).
Follow-up after the meeting. After the meeting, an abstract of what was discussed should be developed and distributed to all team members and others who may require knowledge of this data. This helps the members determine what should be addressed during future meetings.
Practical recommendations in business communication
One of the keys for gaining success in any job is the ability to have sincere, warm relations with people. If a person attempts to recall what he was taught at school or a university, he or she will rarely remember a course of lectures that would help to communicate successfully in business. Usually we have warm and sincere relations with our relatives, spouses, close friends, and even with our neighbors. Then why is it that we cannot build such relationships with everyone? The answer is simple, yet complicated at the same time: we cannot build such relationships with everyone, because such relationships require commitment, strenuous work and concentration that is not easy to achieve (Hellriegel and Slocum 2007).
We all can master the art of communication. There are several rules regarding how to maintain sincere and warm relations:
1. Look in the face of your interviewer. Eye contact is very important. Look in the face of your interviewer with confidence. This will help to create the atmosphere of trust.
2. Be a good listener. “Be good listeners. Make others speak about themselves” (Carnegie 2009, p. 70). Active listening is the best proof of approval.
Dale Carnegie, the author of a well-known book in the world “How to Win Friends and Influence People: Simon and Schuster” that was republished 111 times in the USA, was once invited to play bridge. Among the guests was a woman who, having found out about Carnegie’s trip across Europe, asked him to tell her more about it. The woman told Carnegie that she had recently come back from a trip to Africa. Carnegie showed his interest to her trip. He began asking her about it and the woman told him about it with pleasure. Her speech lasted 45 minutes. Subsequently, the woman did not ask about Carnegie’s trip. She appreciated having an attentive listener because everyone likes to be listened to. To be a good listener will help a person to achieve his professional goals. The secret of success in business conversation is paying attention to your interviewer.
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3. Ask questions that require complex answers. Remember, people are not interested in how much you know until they find out how much you are interested in them. “Make your interviewer talk much more than you do it by yourself” (Carnegie 2009, p. 116). A person who asks questions is showing the other person that he or she is interested in him or her.
Once I had a business meeting with a lawyer, Anthony, concerning my project. Anthony was very serious and began discussing the project at once. Surely I could accept such style of behavior. Figuring that during the work over the project I would need the help of the lawyer, I decided to have good relations which would contribute to our successful work. I asked questions which displayed my interest in Anthony’s personality. I asked how long Anthony had been working as a lawyer, where he had studied, what he liked most in his profession, and so on. While listening to me, Anthony noticed my interest to his personality and he began asking questions. As soon as our relations became friendly, the work became more pleasant and the lawyer desired to finish his work in the best way though the time of our meeting had finished.
4. Be confident in yourself. People want to communicate with those who believe in themselves. “The true belief starts from the belief in yourself” (Spiegel 2000, p. 145).
5. Show others that you have a sense of humor. We all feel well with people who can laugh about themselves and the whole world.
6. Be honest and sincere. A person should keep his word and show up on-time. One should also acknowledge his or her faults. One should respect other people, so that he or she in-turn, will be respected.
7. Love and respect people. “Captiousness closes the doors. Goodwill opens them” (Spiegel 2000, p. 144).
8. Maintain a positive mood. “You represent what you think about yourself. Think about yourself only good” (Spiegel 2000, p. 145).
9. Show interest towards other people. “We are interested in others when they are interested in us” (Carnegie 2009, p. 70). Listen as much as possible, show your interest in the topic and in people you are communicating with (Allen 1977). Even in business negotiations a person will keep an interest and kindly attitude of his or her partner, having shown the partner that he or she fully understands his point of view. A famous psychologist, wrote: “People who do not show any interest to their relatives and other people have many problems in life” (Adler and Gundersen 2008). People should understand all the importance of true relations with each other. Consequently, if one wishes to communicate successfully, he or she should stick to this rule: take an interest in other people (Hybels and Weaver 2008).
Knowing how to present effective oral reports in business will greatly enhance a person’s presentation. Using these techniques will help an individual to overcome their fear of public speaking. One will be self-confident as he or she verbally presents his or her messages in the best possible way.
A person will likely be a member of some kind of a team that will help in decision making or problem solving. Being a good speaker will allow an individual to actively take part in the meetings that directly influence him or her in the company. Knowing how to form, take part in, and manage any situation, including presenting effective speeches, can aid in working with others. Knowing how to communicate effectively, and how to have warm and sincere relations with people will help a person become successful in business.
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