Professional communication practices today are growing faster than there is time to train people adequately. At one time, professional communication consisted of written, verbal or oral communication. Today, professional communication has expanded to include digital and technical communication. Competent communication skills are vital to all professional careers because all careers, to different degrees, involve communication in one form or another.
Effective professional verbal communication includes the ability to speak fluently, to be succinct yet thorough, to exude confidence and to communicate in a manner appropriate for the occasion. The style of verbal communication used at a board meeting is different than the style of verbal communication appropriate for a working lunch, working as a customer service representative or running into a colleague at an out of office event. An essential component of effective verbal communication is the ability to listen to comments from those you are communicating and to observe their reactions. Verbal communicating is categorized into interpersonal communication and public speaking.
Another form of verbal professional communication is public speaking or making a formal presentation to a group of people. To be an effective public speaker, a professional must be prepared to communicate with a particular group of persons, thus preparing the speech to fit the audience. Communicating to a group of high school students is different than communicating to a group of senior citizens. A professionally delivered speech is well organized and thought out, convinces the listener you know what you are talking about and is delivered as if it was off-the-cuff and not read from a script.
Professionals who excel at written communication understand how to use language to get their message across. They are efficient at utilizing all forms of grammar and punctuation to add in-depth meaning to their writing. There are a variety of types of written communication including writing: letters, memos, project plans, policies and procedures, articles for general audiences, technical scientific reports, studies and articles, marketing flyers, posters, magazines and many more. Each of these types of professional written communications require different technical and literary skills.
Digital communication is evolving so rapidly, it requires serious effort by professionals to keep up with the opportunities and how to use them effectively in their professions. Social networking, emailing, bloging, texting, internet conferencing and research and teleconferencing are all forms of communication that effective professionals must understand and master, to whatever degree is appropriate to communicate in their professional careers. Using email to communicate, rather than making a phone call, may be time efficient, but there are some things that are better not written down for posterity. Electronic mail is quick and efficient and documents a string of communications that can be referred back for historical documentation. Digital communication is the way of the future. Every professional must learn which types of digital communication is the most effective for him.
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