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Improve your Communication Skills

( c) 2011 Kogan Page L imited, All Rights Reserved.

Improve your Communication Skills
Alan Barker | Revised Second Edition

( c) 2011 Kogan Page L imited, All Rights Reserved.

Publisher’s note Every possible effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate at the time of going to press, and the publishers and author cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, however caused. No responsibility for loss or damage occasioned to any person acting, or refraining from action, as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by the editor, the publisher or the author. First published 2000 Second edition 2006 Reprinted 2007 (twice) Revised second edition 2010 Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms and licences issued by the CLA. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to the publishers at the undermentioned addresses: 120 Pentonville Road London N1 9jN United Kingdom 525 South 4th Street, #241 Philadelphia PA 19147 USA 4737/23 Ansari Road Daryaganj New Delhi 110002 India

© Alan Barker 2000, 2006, 2010 The right of Alan Barker to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. ISBN E-ISBN 978 0 7494 5627 6 978 0 7494 5911 6

The views expressed in this book are those of the author, and are not necessarily the same as those of Times Newspapers Ltd. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Barker, Alan, 1956– Improve your communication skills / Alan Barker. -- Rev. 2nd ed. p. cm. ISBN 978-0-7494-5627-6 -- ISBN 978-0-7494-5911-6 (e-bk) 1. Business communication. I. Title. HF5718.B365 2010 651.7--dc22 2009043350 Typeset by jean Cussons Typesetting, Diss, Norfolk Printed and bound in India by Replika Press Pvt Ltd

( c) 2011 Kogan Page L imited, All Rights Reserved.


About this book vii 1 What is communication? 1
The transmission model 1; Understanding how we understand 7; A new model of communication 9; The three levels of understanding 11; Conversation: the heart of communication 19


How conversations work 21
What is a conversation? 21; Why do conversations go wrong? 23; Putting conversations in context 23; Working out the relationship 25; Setting a structure 30; Managing behaviour 33;


Seven ways to improve your conversations 37
1. Clarify your objective 38; 2. Structure your thinking 39; 3. Manage your time 46; 4. Find common ground 49; 5. Move beyond argument 50; 6. Summarise often 53; 7. Use visuals 54

( c) 2011 Kogan Page L imited, All Rights Reserved.




The skills of enquiry 59
Paying attention 60; Treating the speaker as an equal 64; Cultivating ease 65; Encouraging 66; Asking quality questions 68; Rationing information 71; Giving positive feedback 72


The skills of persuasion 75
Character, logic and passion 75; What’s the big idea? 78; Arranging your ideas 82; Expressing your ideas 86; Remembering your ideas 88; Delivering effectively 89


Interviews: holding a formal conversation 91
When is an interview not an interview? 91; Preparing for the interview 92; Structuring the interview 93; Types of interview 95


Making a presentation 113
Putting yourself on show 115; Preparing for the presentation 116; Managing the material 117; Controlling the audience 130; Looking after yourself 132; Answering questions 133


Putting it in writing...
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