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Tips for Business Communicators

Nine Handy Tips for Business Communicators

  1. When putting together a slide show, hold each slide at arm's length and try to read it. If you have trouble seeing the text, so will the people at the back of the room.
  2. Use visuals to illustrate your point. People remember only 10 percent of what they hear or read, but 30 percent of what they see.
  3. When proofreading a document to catch spelling errors, read it backwards. This forces you to stop on each individual word, so you'll be less likely to miss typos.
  4. Prevent yourself from putting run-on sentences in your writing by using the breath test. Without taking a breath, read the sentence. If you run out of breath before the end, the sentence is too long.
  5. When you call someone on the phone, immediately ask: "Am I catching you at a bad time?" It gives them the option of rescheduling and impresses them with your respect for their time.
  6. Use the 80/20 rule. You should be listening art least 80 percent of the time and talking only 20 percent of the time or less. As Dr. Stephen Covey says, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
  7. Be humble. The more you tell the customer you are not a rainmaker, guru, or miracle worker, the more credible you become.
  8. If you are going to criticize someone, say what you like and what's good before you get into what you don't like and what needs to be redone. Start with a positive before brining up negatives.
  9. Write and proofread e-mail as thoroughly as you would a typewritten letter.

Source: AMI's How-To Book High Impact Presentations