Intro to Business Communication

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A Presentation by Rajiv Bajaj Business Communication: An Introduction

What is Communication ? : 

What is Communication ? Dictionary Meaning – Source – www.dictionary.com com·mu·ni·ca·tion (noun) Pronunciation Key - [kuh-myoo-ni-kay-shun] 1. the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated. 2. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs. 3. something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted. 4. a document or message imparting news, views, information, etc. 5. passage, or an opportunity or means of passage, between places.

What is Communication ? : 

What is Communication ? Derives from Latin word ‘Communis’ – Common / Shared. Until we have shared information with another person we have not communicated it. They have to see the information in the same way that we do. It is the process of shared understanding.

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Communication: A Two-Way Process

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Communication skills involve: Asserting / Expressing - Sending Listening to others - Receiving

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Communication : The Flow Sender Receiver

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Role of Communication In Business

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Working in business environment involves communication – a lot of it. It is a major & essential part of it. Because it is so important, businesses want & need people with good communication skills.

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Many surveys conducted in recent years find that communication – Ranks at or near top of desired skills needed for business – especially written communication; 96% say employees must have good communication skills to get ahead.

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To stand out from competition, you must demonstrate the unwritten requirements that are now most in demand – leadership & communication skills. Unfortunately, business’s need for employees with good communication skills is often not fulfilled. Most employees, even college graduates, do not communicate well.

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One more interesting survey finding - High correlation between communication skills & income. Even among graduates & post graduates, those with higher scores in literacy (use of printed & written information) earn 47% more than lower scoring persons. Skills such as writing & speaking well, displaying proper etiquette and listening attentively will probably determine career success.

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Technology magnifies the view of one’s communication skills, forcing workers to communicate more effectively because these skills will be showcased more. Email often results in sender’s language skills being placed in front of different people simultaneously, while audio & video will reveal caliber of one’s verbal & diplomacy strengths as well.

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Whatever position you have, your performance will be judged largely by your ability to communicate. If you perform & communicate well, you are more likely to be rewarded with advancement.

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The higher you advance, the more you will need communication abilities. Improving your skills improves your chances for success !

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Why Business Needs to Communicate

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To understand how important communication is to business, observe HOW MUCH communication business requires. E.G. – Pharmaceutical Manufacturer – Throughout company, employees send & receive information. They process information with computers, write messages, fill out forms, give & receive orders & talk over the phone.

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Sales Staff > Receive instructions & information from HO / Send back Orders for supplies / Write reports of sales activities. Executives > Use written & Oral Messages to initiate business with customers & other companies / Respond to incoming messages. Production Supervisors > Receive work orders / Issue instructions / submit Production summaries.

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Research Specialists > Receive problems to investigate / Communicate findings to management. Similar activities occur in every level in a company. Everywhere workers send & receive information as they conduct their work.

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Communication takes many forms – Oral / Written / Computer etc. ALL of this communication goes on in business because communication is important to organised effort involved in business.

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Communication enable human beings to work together. It is the vehicle through which management performs its basic functions – Direct / Coordinate / Staffing / Planning / Control / Organise. THROUGH COMMUNICATION ONLY ! If we are not communicating, we are not managing !

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Main forms of Communication In Business

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Three broad categories of communication in business – 1. Internal Operational 2. External Operational 3. Personal

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INTERNAL OPERATIONAL All communication that occurs in conducting work WITHIN a business . This is communication among the company’s workers that is done to implement the business’s operating plan. OPERATING PLAN is the procedure that the business has developed to do what it was formed to do – e.g. to manufacture products / provide a service or / sell goods.

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Internal-Operational communication takes many forms. Includes orders / instructions that supervisors give to workers, as well as oral exchanges among workers about work matters. Also includes reports workers prepare concerning sales / production / inventories / finance / maintenance.

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Also includes all email messages workers write in carrying out their assignments. Much of the Internal-Operational communication is performed on computer networks. On Emails / Intranet / common Portals etc – for workers who may be in same office or anywhere else in the world.

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EXTERNAL-OPERATIONAL Work-related communication that a business does with people / groups outside the business. Communication with its publics – suppliers / service companies / customers & general public.

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Includes all of business’s efforts at Direct selling / Sales brochures / telephone call-backs follow-up service calls etc. Also includes advertising ( communication with potential customers ) Radio / TV / Print media / Websites / Point-of-purchase display material.

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All these play important role in business’s plan to achieve its objectives. Also in same category: All that a business does to improve Public Relations including planned advertising, community service of employees, environment friendliness of products & facilities.

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Very important to our study of communication, this category includes all messages that messages that employees write in carrying out their assignments. Public Relations category includes a very important topic in business communication: Business Messages ! Business Messages communicate more than just communicate information – they take the place of human contact.

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Clarity, warmth & understanding they display also sends a message. The positiveness of this message is what we refer to as Good Business Etiquette. Good Business Etiquette contributes greatly to a company’s Good Image.

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Importance of External-Operational Communication to a business hardly requires comment ! Every business dependent on outside people & groups for its success, and BECAUSE success of a business depends on its ability to satisfy customers’ needs, it must communicate effectively with its customers.

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Businesses also depend on each other in production & distribution of goods & services. This inter-dependence also requires good communication. Like Internal-Operational communication, External-Operational Communication is also vital to a company’s success

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PERSONAL COMMUNICATION Not all communication that occurs in a business is Operational. Much of it is without purpose as far as the operating plan is concerned. Such communication is called Personal.

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Personal Communication is the exchange of information & feelings in which we human beings engage whenever we come together. We are social animals – we have a need to communicate, and we will communicate even when we have little or nothing to say ! We spend much of our time with friends in communication.

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Even total strangers are likely to communicate when placed together – e.g. on an airplane / in a waiting room. Such communication also occurs in the workplace, and it is a part of the communication activity of any business; Although not part of the business’s operation plan, personal communication have significant effect on the success of that plan.

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This effect is a result of the influence that personal communication can have on the attitude of the employees. Employee’s attitudes toward the business, each other, and assignment directly affect their productivity. Nature of conversation in a work situation affects attitudes.

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In a work situation where heated words & flaming tempers are often present, the employees are not likely to make their usual productivity efforts. However, a rollicking, jovial work situation is likely to have an equally bad effect on productivity. Somewhere between these extremes lies the ideal productive attitude.

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Also affecting the employees’ attitude is the extent of personal communication permitted. Absolute denial could lead to emotional upset, because most of us hold on very tight to our right to communicate; On the other hand, excessive personal communication could interfere with work done. Middle ground is probably the best

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Based On Excerpts From the Book “Basic Business Communication” By R V Lesikar & M E Flatley

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