• Course Introduction

        • Time: 42 hours
        • Free Certificate
        According to our course textbook, "Effective communication takes preparation, practice, and persistence. There are many ways to learn communication skills; the school of experience, or 'hard knocks,' is one of them. But in the business environment, a 'knock' (or lesson learned) may come at the expense of your credibility through a blown presentation to a client."

        Effective communication skills are a prerequisite for succeeding in business. Communication tools and activities connect people within and beyond the organization in order to establish the business' place in the corporate community and the social community, and as a result, that communication needs to be consistent, effective, and customized for the business to prosper.

        First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me in this course". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

      • Unit 1: Introduction to Business Communication

        Communication is an important part of your self-concept. This unit will help you solve problems by understanding yourself and others and recognizing the role you play as communicator. You will learn about different models of the communication process, as well as the most widely-recognized elements of those processes. You will also learn to recognize the audience-based contexts of communication and discover the challenges of framing business communication in an ethical and effective manner.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

      • Unit 2: Delivering Your Message

        This unit focuses on importance of delivering your message, and examines how language can improve and diminish the effectiveness of business communications. Language plays a significant role in how you perceive and interact with the world as well as how culture, language, education, gender, race, and ethnicity all influence this dynamic process. Throughout this unit, you will discover ways to avoid miscommunication and also identify constructive ways to deliver an accurate message to a targeted audience.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

      • Unit 3: Understanding Your Audience

        Your self-awareness influences your effectiveness as a communicator, as does how others  view you. Since people select, organize, and interpret words and ideas in many different ways, audience analysis is a vital part of crafting meaningful messages. In this unit, you will learn how to analyze yourself and your audience to maximize your communication effectiveness.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

      • Unit 4: Effective Business Writing

        This unit will discuss writing in business context, and how effective writing compares with effective speaking. Successful writing develops from good habits like reading, targeted writing practice, and critical thinking, and is characterized by the use of rhetorical and cognitive strategies. In this unit, you will learn how to apply appropriate styles and ethical principles in business writing contexts while recognizing the kinds of barriers that can challenge communication objectives and outcomes. You will also explore the different ways that writing skills are applied and how to write effective documents.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

      • Unit 5: Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

        This unit will teach you how to create effective, ethical, and persuasive speeches. You will examine potential obstacles that can impede communication, and explore the ways you can use your presentation skills in business situations.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 9 hours.

      • Unit 6: Negative News and Crisis Communication

        Clear and concise communication takes on increased importance in times of crisis. This unit will cover effective ways to deliver negative messages, including the standard process of presenting a buffer or cushion statement, an explanation, the negative news itself, and then a redirecting statement, and you will appreciate how eliciting negative news through feedback is an important way to avoid problems. Every organization should have a crisis communication plan, and this unit will teach you the elements of a crisis plan and how to manage press conferences.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 7: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication

        This unit will ask you to examine your self-concept – how you communicate with yourself. You will also examine how you communicate with others – your interpersonal communication habits – and learn how those characteristics can be explained by social penetration theory and predicted by rituals associated with human interaction and conversation. Effective communication can improve how individuals handle disagreements and misunderstandings.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 8: Intercultural and International Communication

        Because business is now truly international, you need to be prepared for when your role as a business communicator crosses cultures, languages, value and legal systems, and borders. This unit will explain the cultural characteristics that typify the business world, and review the effects of intercultural communication on management styles and the global marketplace.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

      • Unit 9: Group Communication, Teamwork, and Leadership

        This unit will examine the differences between a group and a team, and cover the lifecycles, member roles, and problem-solving characteristics of both units. It will also discuss the standard practices associated with business meetings, and how leadership styles impact teamwork and group outcomes.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Study Guides

        These study guides will help you get ready for the final exam. They discuss the key topics in each unit, walk through the learning outcomes, and list important vocabulary terms. They are not meant to replace the course materials!

      • Course Feedback Survey

        Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

        If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org or post in our discussion forum.