Business communication skills MBA notes

Communication SkillsFrom the image you already have the answer, but let’s ask the question to go with it.

Pop quiz: When making a presentation, how much importance would you give to the content, voice/delivery and the non-verbal cues?

When I first learnt about it, I was almost shocked to note that 55% of a presentation’s effectiveness is determined by our non-verbal cues. This means your facial expressions, how you maintain eye contact, how you connect with the audience etcetera etcetera. How you say makes up for another whopping 38% while the actual content is a measly 7%.

This article is about the 45% of communication effectiveness as we believe the non-verbal stuff can hardly be learnt using books. I am sharing a list of my top 5 favorites both for the written as well as spoken communication skills. Of course merely reading them wouldn’t help, the trick is to read these books and apply them in your daily life. Only then will you realize the magic effective communication can create for you.

The best books for improving communication skills | Voice

Since the content is the most structured and objective part, the number of books on that is huge. So we’ll start with the 38% first.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is the classic from the master himself. This is a book about adaptability and teaches you the art of surviving and thriving. Though not directly a treatise on delivering presentations, this four part book comes close to demystifying the 55% non-verbal as well as verbal part of communications. Read more.

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie

This short book is another excellent one from Dale Carnegie. The book explains the importance of knowing and connecting with your audience and adapting your style. Dale Carnegie himself admits that no book can teach you speaking; you have to go out to listen to effective speakers and learn from them. This book or any other book can hardly be a substitute for the learning process to be complete. But it does elucidate the speaking process nicely and in a well structured manner. Read more.

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Public Speaking (2nd Edition) by Laurie E. Rozakis

This book goes beyond just tips on speaking and explains the importance of stuff like adding humor to your presentations. There are also some useful pointers on areas such as dressing to the occasion, and effectively using non-verbal cues through body language. The recently revised version also covers powerpoint presentations delivery. Read more.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

An excellent resource to manage emotionally sensitive situations where tempers can fly. This book will give you a technique to take charge of difficult situations and adapt your communication style to create a risk-free environment. Read more.

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