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RATING YOUR BUSINESS COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Speak from your notes without reading them?

• Sound natural, and not canned or memorized?

• Gauge your audience’s interest and engagement and adjust your speech accordingly?

• Handle unexpected comments or questions without losing your way?

• Close with a flourish?

• Learn from your mistakes afterward by doing a self-critique? When communicating nonverbally, do you:

• Dress appropriately for each occasion?

• Make frequent eye contact with the client, interviewer, or audience?

• Monitor your hands, posture, and speech so your nervousness is not noticeable?

• Adjust your style and tone to that of the client or interviewer?

• Note the speaker’s body language, which may be in opposition to the spoken message? • Maintain your poise during unexpected questions, silences, or interruptions?

• Take into account when you are communicating with someone from another culture and adjust your communication style accordingly? When listening, can you:

• Put aside your preconceptions and be objective?

• Focus on what the speaker is saying?

• Identify key points?

• Analyze the speaker’s message for logic and accuracy?

• Distinguish between fact and opinion?

• Ask questions or comment without losing your train of thought?

• Respond with constructive feedback?

Did you do as well as you expected?

What areas do you find that you need to develop further?

What surprised you in this assessment? Remember, you can always develop new skills when you set your mind to it. Many people find that the areas they work hardest to develop actually end up stronger than those in which they had innate abilities. The remainder of this section is sure to increase your knowledge about communication and provide you with some easy-to-follow tips for increasing your effectiveness immediately.