Business communications comprises two main forms – oral and written. However, a great deal of business communications takes place in the written form. Sooner or later, you will have to write reports, press releases, brochures, proposals etc. If that day has arrived, don’t go running to a brochure printing company with your written work just yet. Take the time to learn and acquire good business communication skills because these are skills that will set you apart as a rising corporate star.
Why is business communications important?
The success of any business lies in effective communication. The more effective the communication, the better the results. Effective communication produces desired action in the reader or audience and it is essential for the survival and progress of any business. Simply put, successful communication builds strong relationships between seniors and subordinates, colleagues and customers and sellers.
The ability to communicate effectively is a key quality of a businessman. The good news is, superior business communications skills can be learned.
1. Plan and organise
You should have clear objectives when composing an email or a letter. Remember that the aim is to transmit a clear and unambiguous message so think about the best way to do this before composing the letter. While you want to give the reader all the information necessary to obtain your objectives, try not to beat around the bush! Digressing frequently will lose your audience and give the impression that you are unsure of yourself.
2. Find a mentor
A good mentor is one who is able to communicate well. Tell him that you would like to learn from him and ask him to keep track of your progress and give you pointers on how you can improve. Once you become a good communicator, you can pay it forward by mentoring someone who has just been hired.
3. Know your audience
You must always know who you are writing for. Who is the target market? Why is this article or letter important? When you define your market, you can write about things that matter to your prospective clients, which in turn will encourage them to take favourable action.
4. Learn to listen
Do not underestimate the importance of listening. If you improve your ability to listen, you are halfway to being a good business communicator. Ask good questions and pay close attention to the answers. Remember that there is a difference between what someone says and the opinions he has.
5. Take courses
If you are an employer, offer training and continuing education classes to your staff. If you are an employee, seek out courses that will teach you effective communication skills.
6. Keep practicing
Take every opportunity to practice what you have learnt. The only way to improve is to practice. You can start by writing memos and emails. Look at posters or magazines printed and written by good communicators and see if you can emulate them but remember that you will not be able to create a perfect letter or memo the first time around. Just keep at it and you will get there.