6 Ideas for Effective Business Communication

Effective communication is vital in running a successful business. We use communication skills daily in talking with prospects, clients, networking partners and communities. Here are 6 ideas to help build more effective business communication skills. 

1.  Your tone of voice is critical because communication is based*:

  • 7% on the words you say
  • 38% on your tone of voice
  • 55% on your body language

2. Three questions people ask about you are:

  1. Can I trust you?
  2. Do you know what you are talking about?
  3. Are you interested in me for me or for what I can do for you?

3. People trust you when they feel you understand them.  You can understand them if you ask questions.

  • The best way to discover how well you listen is to ask those to whom you listen most frequently.
  • You will judge your ability to give an excellent presentation by your ability to listen.
  • You reassure your prospects by your actions, words, and attitude – the quiet, self-confident bearing of a person who knows.

4. The two most significant desires that people have are to be understood and valued.

  • The most important question you can answer is, “What’s in it for them?”
  • People “buy” emotionally and defend logically.

5. The primary cause of failure is a fear of rejection and criticism; in other words, to be wrong.

  • If you don’t’ run the risk of being wrong, you remove the thrill of being right.
  • You can’t lose what you don’t have.  Anything you gain is more than you have now.
  • Failure is not positive or negative.  It is just an event.  What makes the event positive or negative is your attitude toward failure.

6. You learn to risk and sell not by becoming fearless, but by the daily practice of courage.

  • You can softly and firmly say, “NO.”
  • You are meeting all of the right people for all of the right reasons.
  • You are worth the time and money you invest in yourself.

*Source: Mehrabian, Albert. (1981). Silent messages: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth (currently distributed by Albert Mehrabian, am@kaaj.com)

Additional resources:

Robynne Davis


Robynne Davis is Executive Director at Xylina SPC, a woman owned, Washington Social Purpose Corporation with an emphasis on social justice and environmental responsibility. She also is the board Secretary for the Oregon Small Business Fair.

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