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The Professional Communications Toolkit

The Professional Communications Toolkit

December 2006 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc


The Professional Communications Toolkit presents a compelling new vision of communication that offers little-known and amazingly effective techniques for the novice speaker and stage-savvy pro. Author D. Joel Whalen provides practical, research-based tools that apply to all professional communication, including engaging in one-on-one conversations, speaking at small staff meetings, and delivering a keynote address to a ballroom full of people.

Key Features

• Provides a dynamic modern approach: Includes a vivid conceptualization of the exact nature of business communication-what it is and how to do it well in the 21st Century.

• Avoids academic tone and jargon: Written to be accessible and make the material come alive for students.

• Offers a chapter on visual tools for communication: Step-by-step instructions are given for building high-impact PowerPoint slides, mastering e-mail communication, and leaving clear voice mail messages.

• Enhances discussion of managing speech anxiety: The causes, symptoms, and methods for managing anxiety, including mind-body techniques, are thoroughly examined.

• Includes a special article on performance anxiety: A contribution from Corey Goldstein, M.D., a nationally recognized expert on performance anxiety, offers additional help and techniques for managing debilitating anxiety.

Intended Audience

Designed for professional communicators or anyone looking to communicate professionally, this book is also an excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as Business Communication, Speech, Presentations, and Principles of Communication in the departments of management, marketing, communications, social work-administration, and public administration.

Why Communication Is Import  
Little Help From Science  
So You Think You're Not Understood?  
Chapter 1: Effective Communication: 'It's Not About You'
What Kind of Communication Do You Need?  
'Checklist Communication'--Best Done Quickly  
'Convincing Communication'--Requires More Preparation  
Dominant and Subordinate Roles  
Simultaneous Feedback  
How the Message You Send Gets Meaning  
Leadership: Communicating Your Vision  
Seek to Share Understanding  
'Felt Sense': Your Body Knows  
Monkey See, Monkey Communicate--'Mirror Neurons'  
Chapter 1 Summary  
Key Ideas  
Chapter 2: Message Strategies - What to Speak and What to Write: 'Attitude in 90% of Speaking'
Power of Speaking: Oral Communication  
The Essence of Communication: Meaning  
Poor Communication Teaching  
Before You Speak, Set Your Attitude  
Speaking Delivers Less Content  
Nonverbal Communication  
When You Talk, You Show How You Feel  
During Great Communication, You Disappear  
Here's What Great Attitude Feels Like  
Most Motivating Emotion = Enthusiasm  
Communication Toolbox  
Telephone and Voicemail Techniques  
First Rule: You're Introducing--Ask for Permission to Speak  
Telephone: Your've Lost 55 Percent of Your Ability to Create Meaning  
Visualize Your Listener--Imagine Your Unseen Listener  
When to Leave Your Name and Number  
Chapter 2 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 3: The Power and Limitations of Speaking
Miscommunication Is Common  
What to Write/What to Say?  
The Power of Speaking  
What Was Rememered and What Was Forgotten  
Your "Self" Was Formed Over Time  
Some Brain Patterns Are On-Board at Birth  
Brain Programmed Through Sensory Information  
Secret Behind Using Sense Memory  
Sensory Preference--'Different Senses for Different People'  
The Basic Element of Communication: The Sign  
Theatre of the Mind  
Types of Symbols  
Denotative Symbols  
Connotative Symbols  
Persuasive Messages Contain Both Denotative and Connotative Symbols  
Contextual Meaning  
Subtle Symbols: Power and Confidence  
Emotions and Fear  
Persuading Angry People  
Handling Angry Supervisors and Customers  
Using Fear to Persuade  
Fear Messages Can Backfire--Watch Out: "Fear Appeals Must Be Handled Carefully'  
'Buyers' Four Big Fears'  
The Professional Loser  
Persuasion Ethics  
Chapter 3 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 4: When You're Afraid to Communicate: 'Understanding Anxiety and Fear'
Why Must You Manage Your Speech Anxiety?  
If You Never Get Communication Anxiety, You're a Rare Bird  
Communication Anxiety: Silent Enemy of Success  
Americans' Greatest Phopias  
When It's Your Turn to Speak, Do You Get These Symptoms?  
When You'll Get It  
Strategies When You're Not a 'Master of the Message'  
Communication Toolbox  
The Thinking Person's Approach: Understanding the Psychophysiology of Anxiety  
Anxiety Manufacturing Plant: Your Brain Stem  
Chapter 4 Summanry  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 5: Managing Communication Anxiety: 'Action Steps You Can Take'
Action Steps You Can Take  
Some Anxiety Is Good  
Decide: Is It Fear or Excitement?  
Don't Try to Be Cool--You Won't Look Confident  
Idle Your Engine  
Be Here Now  
'Square Breathing'  
'Calm Down Breathing'  
Stretch Away Your Tension  
How to Build a List of 'Personal Power Thoughts'  
Taking Control of Persistent Fears  
False Alarms Go Off in Your Head  
Your Brain Stem Is Obsessed With Fear  
The Deer-in-the-Headlights Look  
Communication Toolbox  
Dealing With Balnking Out  
Two Different Speed Zones--Yours and the Audience's  
Blanking Out Under Pressure  
Know More About How Your Mind Works: 'Attribution of Cause'  
How to Use the Power of Attribution Theory to Manage Speech Anxiety  
Seven Keys to Managing: Communication Anxiety  
Advanced Fear Management  
Getting More Help  
Medical Management by Corey Goldstein, M.D.  
What to Do When communication Anxiety is Overwhelming  
Non-pill Relief  
A Pill May Help  
Medications That Ease Communication Anxiety  
Help Is Available  
Chapter 5 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 6: Making People Believe You: 'Persuasive Communication'
First, People Must Believe You--Managing Your Credibility  
Source Credibility  
You've Got to Answer Your Listeners' Unasked Questions  
Credibility and the Team Player  
Ancient Greeks' Secrets of Credibility  
'Three Pillars of Credibility': Expertise, Trustworthiness, and Goodwill  
The Four Component of Credibility  
Fluid presentation--Another Type of Dynamism  
Credibility From the Audience's Eyes  
Attribution Theory and Credibility  
Put Your Credibility to Work  
Credibility Builders: Some Tricks of the Trade  
'Wingman' Technique  
'Wingman' in the Sales Call  
You're a Product  
'Wingman' in Job Interviews  
The Single Most Effective Political commercial  
Warning: High Credibility Can Backfire on the Professional  
When High Credibility Can Kill You  
Credibility and the Business Professional  
Chapter 6 summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 7: Message Packaging - Strategies for Formatting Presentations: 'How You Say It'
Opening the Presentation  
The 'Question Opening'  
'Einstein's Time Shift'  
The Power of Brainwashing  
How to Structure Your Presentation With Questions  
A Classic Presentation Format--'Tell'Em'  
The 'Cold Closing'  
No 'Thank You' Allowed  
Warning: Don't Ask for Questions  
A Perfect Strategy: The 'Nichols's Two-Things' Presentation  
Write Your Presentation in Five Minutes  
The Final Format--Presenting as a Tem Member  
Benefits of Team Presentations  
Specialty Roles  
The 'Hand-Off'  
'Wingman' in Team Presentations  
Communication Toolbox  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Opening the Presentation  
The 'Question Opening'--Four Steps  
Checklist for Successfully Executing the 'Question Opening'  
'Cold Closing' Checklist  
Specialist Checklist  
Chapter 7 Summary  
Key Ideas  
Chapter 8: Message Delivery - 'Performing the Presentation'
You're in Showbiz--Entertain 'Em  
Power of Selective Attention  
Fight Back--Work to Refresh Their Attention Frequently  
Before You Are Introduced, See If Your Audience Has a Pulse  
Prepare for the Disaster That Will Never Come  
Let Your Body Speak for You  
Projecting Your Attitude to Your Audience  
Take Charge of the Room  
Business Presentations Are Not Storytelling  
Business Presentations Versus Social Presentations  
Presenting PowerPoint Slides  
'Turn, Touch, & Tell'  
Presenting Graphs  
Communication Toolbox  
Ten Tips and Rules for Persuasive Presentations  
Handling the Audience's Questions  
Voice Control  
Chapter 8 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 9: Writing E-mails and Memos With High Communication Factor
Busy People Scan  
Stop Sending Out Rough Drafts  
Advantage to Written Communication  
Three Ideas to Get Your E-mails and Memos Read  
Idea One--Use Typeface and White Space  
Why People Like Sans Serif  
Pick Proportional Type  
Don't Use Reverse Typeface  
White Space Directs the Eye  
Idea Two-Prep Your Reader's Brain  
Bullets--When Should You Use Bullets?  
Bullet FAQs  
Communication Toolbox  
E-mail Techniques  
Starting Your E-mail--What to Write First  
Subject Lines  
Essential Elements  
Idea Three--Motivate Your Reader to Read  
Memo Writing Rules  
Writing With High Communication Factor  
Common Grammatical Errors  
Editing Tips  
Writing of Motivation Sentence  
Chapter 9 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 10: Communicating With Tables, Graphs, and Charts: 'Your Visual Toolbox'
Graphs--Pictures, Not Words  
How to Make Tables and Graphs  
Making Pretty Pie Charts  
Making Highly Readable Graphs  
Graph Building Techniques  
To 3-D or Not to 3-D? That Is the Question  
Graphs That Deceive  
Models--Perceptual Maps  
Choose Your Software Carefully  
Chapter 10 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Chapter 11: Maximum PowerPoint
Type Size  
Kepp Punctuation to a Minimum  
How Much Information to Put on a Slide  
Communicating With Color  
Presenting With Visuals  
When to Hand Out Materials  
Sample Presentation Visuals  
Bullets Are Great--Use Them  
Chapter 11 Summary  
Key Ideas  
'Communicator's Checklist'  
Demonstration PowerPoint Slide Editing  
Text Slides  
On Graphs  
Appendix: If You'd Like to Learn More  
Recommended Reading  
Take These Training Courses  
About the Authors

Wonderful text!

Professor Carrie Perry
Communication, Brandman University
September 29, 2013
Key features
  • Manage nervousness—When the message is important, everyone gets nervous. Communication anxiety can keep you from communicating well, or communicating at all (not speaking up). Professional Communication Handbook gives proven anxiety management methods, including mind-body techniques. You'll understand the biochemical forces that drive anxiety and how to manage it when your communication counts.  
  • For some, the mind-body techniques in Professional Communication Handbook are not enough. These readers will find additional help in a special article by Corey Goldstein, M.D., a nationally recognized expert on performance anxiety. They will learn about the latest, quick-acting, short-term medication available to manage the debilitating anxiety they feel before high-pressure meetings, such as a proposal presentation, critical job interview, or speech.  
  • Master voicemail—Get called back faster. Leave clear messages that people will act on using the same techniques as broadcasters.  
  • Use visual tools—Quickly build tables, charts, and graphs. Maximize your PowerPoint presentations. Design slides using the same techniques advertising people use to make eye-grabbing ads.  
  • Be understood—At their core, everyone knows they are not understood. Whalen shows you why your communication breaks down and what you can do about it.  
  • Master e-mail—Know what to say and what to write. Decode the common mistake: People send e-mail when they should have phoned, or they speak when they should have written. You'll see how to analyze your message and decide what to say and what to write. Your message will get through as you intended.  
  • Speak to maximize your credibility—Get trust and understanding. Top professional communicators share one trait: People believe them and understand what they say. You can be believed and understood too. Joel will show you how.  

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ISBN: 9781412927161