Communication Skills Course Description

Clear Communications for the Professional
Communication in Leadership
Face-to-Face Communications
Dining with Confidence
Writing More Concisely
Effective Media Relations
It Takes All Types: Understanding and Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in Your Organization
You are the Power Behind the PowerPoint
Getting Your Message Across: Presentation Skills for Leaders
50 High-Impact, Low-Tech, No-Cost Ways to Improve Customer Service
Information Sorting Styles for Improving Problem Solving and Communication
Business Etiquette Basics: From Email Etiquette to Dining Skills
Ways to Praise
Talk to Me
Communication Ethics
Facing the Media
Public Speaking and Presentations
Writing in the Workplace
Policy Persuasion
Constructive Argument and Debate
Communication in Controversy
Thinking on Your Feet

Clear Communications for the Professional
Days:(1)

Betty Parker Ellis, facilitator

If drafting memos, e-mails and business letters is a chore for you, this class will equip you with the right tools for getting the job done. Learn effective business correspondence outlines and formats, and receive vital tips for better business writing.

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Communications in Leadership
Days:(1)

Betty Parker Ellis, facilitator

This course focuses on giving presentations as well as conducting productive meetings. Learn to work with guest speakers, handle difficult participants and effectively use visual aids. Gain hands-on experience in giving a prepared or impromptu presentation. In addition, you will learn the mechanics of conducting a smooth-flowing meeting that will yield results instead of criticisms.

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Face-to-Face Communications
Days:(1)

Betty Parker Ellis, facilitator

This course will examine all the verbal and nonverbal aspects of interpersonal communications such as improving listening skills, practicing common courtesies and exhibiting professional behavior. Learn what it takes to be a professional, regardless of one's position, and discover the power of increased listening skills and the impact of nonverbal communication.

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Dining with Confidence
Days:(1/2 with meal)

Betty Parker Ellis, facilitator

Meeting clients in restaurants, attending business luncheons and dinners, and networking at business socials are an integral part of the successful professional's calendar. Let this course boost your confidence as your instructor navigates you through a social hour and a three-course luncheon or four-course dinner with tips on networking, making conversation, polishing your table manners and eating difficult foods.

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Writing More Concisely
Days:(1/2)

Betty Parker Ellis, facilitator

If solving wordiness is at the top of your self-improvement list, this course will identify key areas where this problem occurs. In this hands-on workshop, participants will polish their routine correspondence from e-mails to special reports and develop the tools for writing more concisely. As a result, they will communicate more clearly and will see their projects run more smoothly.

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Effective Media Relations
Days:(1)

Robyn Zimmerman, facilitator

In today's technologically advanced society, the media is playing an ever-increasing role in "creating" a positive or negative image for an organization. It is not enough for the CEO and the public relations director to understand the significant impact the media has on their company; they must master the skills necessary for effective communication. Whether in a crisis or in a proactive effort to improve the image of the organization, knowing how to present the information via the news media is essential for community understanding and support. In this workshop, you will learn how to be interviewed by both the print news media and television, find techniques that maximize the good news and turn the bad news around for your benefit, and manage the media so that it does not manage you.

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It Takes All Types: Understanding and Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicatorª in Your Organization
Days:(1)

John Barker, Ph.D., facilitator

Understanding yourself and others is the first step to becoming a successful manager. This program exposes participants to the basics of personality theory and helps them understand practical application for its use. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is taken by two million people per year and is considered the world's most effective and widely used tool for assessing personality styles and preferences. Used and studied extensively by the military, the government, educational institutions and businesses, this exciting tool unfolds for you in this dynamic and interactive session.

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You are the Power Behind the PowerPoint
Days:(1)

Marianne Frederick, RPT, MHSA, facilitator

Technical presenters and people who have jumped on the electronic media presentations bandwagon must learn interactive ways to stay connected to their audiences. Don't make the mistake of simply becoming the person who pushes the button to shift to the next screen. Learn to make PowerPoint® presentations that are designed to promote interactivity and interdependence with your audiences so that the technology is only part of the message. Your audience needs to remain the focal point and YOU the power behind the message.

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Getting Your Message Across: Presentation Skills for Leaders
Days:(3)

Sonny Eppes, facilitator

Genuine, compelling and clear communication is a cornerstone of effective leadership. This fast-paced workshop builds and improves upon existing presentation skills of managers and key individual contributors who need to speak before or facilitate a group. Participating leaders learn and practice new skills including preparing and making presentations, facilitating discussions and leading meetings. Practical demonstrations of the various aspects of presenting and facilitating are given as well as individual coaching and reviewing of practice videotapes. (note: maximum group size 8 people)

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50 High-Impact, Low-Tech, No-Cost Ways to Improve Your Customer Service
Days:(1)

John Branning, facilitator

Using humor and allegory as a springboard to creativity, this workshop inspires participants to develop a series of customer service improvement initiatives that can be implemented at no cost, using existing resources, and delivering immediate impact. You will be reminded of what you already do well, discover where there are opportunities for improvement, develop ideas and concepts of your own, and have the chance to share your insights with everyone present. While the program advertises "50" ways to improve your customer service, you will in fact walk away from this program with many more ways, of your own design, under your belt and ready to go.

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Information Sorting Styles for Improving Problem Solving and Communications
Days:(1)

Scott Simmerman, Ph.D., facilitator

Each of us has preferences in how we think and handle information. These differences often lead to conflict or ineffective implementation. Use a simple model of "how people think" to improve communications and problem solving. Then, learn how to apply this same model with the work groups in your organization. This is NOT a program using one of the complicated psychological instruments. Information Sorting Styles frames up thinking into a dozen easily understood patterns that clarify differences and suggest specific frameworks for implementing improvement in the workplace.

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Business Etiquette Basics: From Email Etiquette to Dining Skills
Days:(1/4 - 1/2)

Shannon Wilson, facilitator

In today’s fiercely competitive professional environment, companies need to take every opportunity to distinguish themselves from the competition. Enhanced customer service and business etiquette knowledge is often all that is required to set oneself apart. This course covers the basic principles needed to display exemplary business etiquette skills. Topics covered include the art of conversation, formal introductions, attracting and keeping a client, mingling with confidence, proper handshakes, and telephone and email etiquette. A four course meal may be added to expand topics to include business dining skills, tipping, and entertaining a client.

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Ways to Praise
Days: (1/2)

Greg Blake, facilitator

"Giving Attention to Retention and Recognition

  • Why we stay on the job
  • How to connect with employees
  • What workers want from their jobs
  • Why we take a job in order of preference
  • Top motivators for the employee
  • 50 ways to praise that cost nothing or very little
  • Ways to make deposits and ways to make withdrawals
  • How to give individual recognition
  • Care packages for monthly recognition
  • Employee of the moment vs. employee of the month
  • Raising spirit as a strategic initiative
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Talk to Me
Days: (1/2)

Greg Blake, Facilitator

"Creating a Competent Communication and Listening Culture"
  • The strategic communication process
  • The communication culture assessment
  • The say/do communication matrix
  • The coach's 12 responsibilities for communicating with the team
  • Listening Skills- empathy vs. sympathy
  • Using reflective listening skills when appropriate to improve communication
  • Body language, tone of voice, words used- 68, 38, 4 formula
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Communication Ethics
Days (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

This course examines the ethical issues raised by the use of persuasion in contemporary society.  Our concerns will include the range of ethical responsibility in human communication, the origins of ethical standards, the problems inherent in the art of ethical criticism, and the strength and weaknesses of the various perspectives on communication ethics.  The goals of the course are to alert you to the moral dimensions of human discourse, to stimulate your moral imagination, and to explore, in theory and in practice, the questions raised by the application of ethical standards to persuasive speech  That being the case, our time will be divided between reading and discussing these issues on the one hand and observing and criticizing rhetorical practices on the other. 

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Facing the Media
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

In today's media-saturated society, leaders from many walks of life (government, business, education, law, etc.) must learn to face the media and to do so effectively.  This course is designed to help contemporary leaders manager media appearances with intelligence, grace, and poise.  John Armstrong is the director of the Television Studio and Communication Lab at Furman University.  He has worked for CNN and several network affiliates and regularly teaches courses in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication.  Sean O'Rourke is currently chair of Communication Studies at Furman, where he teaches courses in Public Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, and Argumentation and Debate.  He was the director of the Public Speaking Program at the University of Oregon and was also a six-time national champion in intercollegiate public speaking and debate.  The course teaches civic leaders how to speak effectively to the media.  The course covers camera savvy, answering questions, and thinking on one's feet.  Participants will spend considerable time speaking in front of the camera and reviewing their performances. 

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Public Speaking and Presentations
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

This course is based on our assumption that organizational health and productivity is increased as communication is improved.  Hence, this course offers participants and introduction to effective communication, exposes them to the "pitfalls" of ineffective communication, provides a "communication inventory" so that participants can assess their communication strengths and weaknesses, and furnishes ample opportunity for guided practice in public speaking and presentations.  All practice sessions are critiqued, and suggestions for improvement are offered.  The goal of this course is to deepen participants' understanding of public communication and to improve their communicative performance.

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Writing in the Workplace
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

This module is designed to supplement Sean O'Rourke's courses on oral communication.  In keeping with his general approach, this course assumes that effective communication is an art of making appropriate rhetorical choices, and that one of the most important choices on makes is selecting the most fitting mode of communication, oral or written, for a given message.  Participants are taught that written communication in the workplace should complement, supplement, and reinforce oral communication. They learn the criteria of effective written communication, the writer's seven deadly sins, and the elements of informative and persuasive writing.  Using these concepts, students compose and revise a policy memo, statement of objectives, a mission statement, and/or a draft proposal.  The goals of this module are to promote clear and cogent writing, to deepen executives' understanding of the place of written communication in professional life, and to foster the effective interaction of written and oral communication. 

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Policy Persuasion
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

This is an advanced course in which participants skilled in public communication learn the more refined art of persuading others on matters of policy.  Participants are given a framework for policy analysis (including basic assumptions governing policy change and debate about policy adoption), study the stock issues common to all policy proposals, consider the role of ethics and emotion in policy argumentation, and undergo strenuous practice in policy persuasion and debate (including making one's case for change, defending the current policy, asking and answering questions, and practicing refutation).  This course is especially important for participants who engage regularly in public hearings, internal committee meetings where policy is set, and/or public debates over company/agency policy and those whose work involves policy assessment at any level. 

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Constructive Argument and Debate
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

In a pluralistic society, government agencies, small businesses, public interest groups, and corporations must be prepared ti respond constructively and creatively to the controversies in which they find themselves.  This course provides participants and introduction not only to the art of argument and debate, but also to strategies and frameworks with which they can strive to keep the debate from deteriorating into name-calling, shouting matches, diatribes, or eristic (argument for argument's sake).  Participants will study the rudiments of argumentation and debate theory, practice constructive argument, learn appropriate responses to destructive argument, and practice debate under the instructor's guidance. 

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Communication in Controversy
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

This course is designed to introduce participants to the challenge of communication ethically and effectively in the midst of often highly volatile conflict and controversy.  Participants are exposed to theories of controversy and conflict management, provided with frameworks for analysis of communication situations, and guided through their practice of communication in controversy.  The goal of the program is to increase participants' appreciation and understanding appreciation and understanding of the dynamics of public controversy and to empower them to communicate effectively and ethically within those dynamics.

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Thinking on Your Feet
Days: (1/2 to 1)

Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D., facilitator

This course is for the speaker who welcomes the very important challenge of learning how to think and speak clearly, cogently, and creatively in the most demanding situations.  More than a skill, thinking and speaking on one's feet is an art that requires people to understanding and rapidly assess their rhetorical situation, their own abilities and positions on the question(s) presented, and their options for response.  If you have often found yourself thinking, long after the moment has passed, of all the things you should have said (but didn't!), this course situation and your audience, an inventory for rapid appraisal of your position(s), and methods for determining your response.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to practice "thinking on your feet" under the guidance of expert tutors.

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