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BSS: Brilliant Communication

Book Description

Communication seems so simple, yet breakdowns in communication abound and serious misunderstandings can have you losing your temper, face or credibility and failing to achieve what you want. But both written and presentational business communication are career skills - affecting your current job and future prospects - in which you simply must excel. This book reviews the key factors that will help you prepare and communicate clearly, effectively, impressively and memorably. In five steps, the book will help you: avoid communications pitfalls; plan what to say, what not to say and how to put it across; set out a clear written message; prepare a formal presentation; overcome "nerves"; win attention and give a clear, calm and confident presentation; and use language to put over technical, financial and other details effectively. In every way it will help make sure that your communications achieve what you want and position you as effective and competent.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
    1. The pitfalls
    2. The opportunities
  6. Step 1 Overcoming Inherent Difficulties
    1. THE DIFFICULTIES
    2. Objective 1: To ensure people listen
    3. Objective 2: To ensure people understand clearly
    4. Objective 3: To ensure people give feedback
    5. Objective 4: To ensure people take action
    6. Key remedies: Watch and plan
    7. AIDS TO GOOD COMMUNICATION
    8. Factor 1: What about me?
    9. Factor 2: That’s logical
    10. Factor 3: I can relate to that
    11. Factor 4: Say it again
    12. POSITIONING YOUR COMMUNICATION
    13. Projecting the right impression
    14. LISTENING
    15. A QUESTION OF QUESTIONS
  7. Step 2 Preparing for Success
    1. THE ESSENTIALS
    2. OVERALL INTENTIONS
    3. SETTING OBJECTIVES
    4. CREATING THE MESSAGE
    5. PUTTING THE PRESENTATION TOGETHER
    6. Stage 1: Listing
    7. Stage 2: Sorting
    8. Stage 3: Arranging
    9. Stage 4: Reviewing
    10. Stage 5: Preparing the message
    11. Stage 6: Making a final check
    12. SUMMARY
  8. Step 3 Write Right
    1. THE NATURE OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
    2. A fragile process
    3. A major opportunity
    4. A hazardous business
    5. Serious, and very serious, errors
    6. Why are we writing?
    7. Readers’ expectations
    8. The readers’ perspective
    9. Powerful habits
    10. Earning a reading
    11. The rewards of excellence
    12. WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO SAY IT
    13. Readers’ likes
    14. UNDERSTANDABLE
    15. READABLE
    16. STRAIGHTFORWARD
    17. NATURAL
    18. Readers’ dislikes
    19. The writer’s approach
    20. THE USE OF LANGUAGE
    21. Making language work for you
    22. Mistakes to avoid
    23. BLANDNESS
    24. “OFFICE-SPEAK”
    25. LANGUAGE OF “FASHION”
    26. PET HATES
    27. CLICHÉS
    28. Following the rules
    29. Personal style
    30. SUMMARY
  9. Step 4 Some Different Forms of Written Communication
    1. BUSINESS LETTERS
    2. SALES LETTERS
    3. REPORTS
    4. PRESS RELEASES
    5. Horses for courses
    6. WRITING THAT DISPLAYS A CREATIVE TOUCH
    7. SUMMARY
  10. Step 5 On Your Feet
    1. UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM
    2. THE NATURE OF PRESENTATIONS
    3. Significant opportunities
    4. Precarious events
    5. The stuff of nightmares
    6. READY, SET, ...
    7. Trying not to read verbatim
    8. Taking account of your audience
    9. Having clear objectives
    10. Drafting your speaker’s notes
    11. Rehearsal
    12. Some final rules
    13. GO! MAKING THE PRESENTATION
    14. Signposting
    15. In the beginning
    16. GETTING THE AUDIENCE’S ATTENTION
    17. CREATING A RAPPORT WITH THE AUDIENCE
    18. THE END OF THE BEGINNING
    19. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
    20. The meat of the matter: The middle
    21. DEVISING A SOUND STRUCTURE
    22. PRESENTING THE MIDDLE: WHAT TO DO
    23. PRESENTING THE MIDDLE: WHAT NOT TO DO
    24. OBSERVING AND USING FEEDBACK
    25. A happy ending
    26. A SIGN-OFF PHRASE
    27. TIMING
    28. The unforeseen
    29. ADDING POWER AND PRECISION
    30. Feet and stance
    31. Eyes, and eye contact
    32. Hands and arms, and gestures with them
    33. Voice and sound
    34. Two final touches
    35. A LITTLE DRAMA
    36. SOME HUMOR
    37. A VISUAL ELEMENT
    38. General principles of using visual aids
    39. Using an overhead projector
    40. Using PowerPoint
    41. Automatic pilot
    42. Beware gremlins
    43. Anything and everything
    44. KEY ISSUES
    45. Consider the alternatives: Dangers or opportunities
    46. Deal with the negatives
    47. Study the skills
    48. Never neglect preparation
    49. Practice the skills
    50. FINALLY ...
  11. Afterword
  12. About the Author