"Next time, ask: what’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end … And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you … And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking."
~ Written by Audre Lorde | writer, feminist, librarian, and civil rights activist ~
To run successful organizations, entrepreneurs need to develop and enhance their business communication skills. This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication. With strong communication skills, you as an entrepreneur can communicate with business investors, employees and customers more effectively and skillfully. Sir Richard Branson states that communication is the most important skill any leader can possess. Branson calls communication "an art." He’s right. We can use science to study why certain techniques are more effective than others, but ultimately communication is more art than science and, like mastering any art, it takes practice to sharpen the craft. Branson writes, “Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” Communication levels the playing field. If you can speak well, you can outshine the competition in so many ways. Mastering any art requires time, dedication, and practice. Master the art of communication, however, and a new world opens where you can influence people, sell products, and inspire others more successfully than you’ve ever imagined.
In the modules of this course you will learn the "Soft Skills" of the business world and why they are necessary for success as an entrepreneur. You will learn the following: Interpersonal Skills, such as Business Etiquette for meetings, network events, telephone, and internet scenarios. Presentation Skills, such as Public Speaking and the connection to business growth. Event Planning for Entrepreneurs, the development and delivery of your Elevator Pitch, the importance of Networking and how to do it like a pro. Understanding the components of getting and staying organized so that you can accomplish the most with your life. How to Navigate difficult situations so that you can emerge as a leader even during the most challenging times, and lastly, the art of Selling and Negotiation.
1. Module 1 - Business Communication Overview
Module #1 is a comprehensive overview of Business Communications. We begin with a study of the nine most important communications skills (aka, soft skills) and why they are needed by all successful entrepreneurs. This in-depth study includes interpersonal, presentation, and networking skills, as well as case study work that explores how effective communication in large conglomerates helps to convey information around the globe to constituencies and customers. Through this study, your assignments will be to read articles from major business publications which will help you analyze how effective your current communication style is, so as to allow you to hone a style that can enhance your staff collaboration, and allow you to be seen as a leader to your clients. Lastly you will learn what the top ten barriers are to effective communication, and how non verbal communication and body language speak volumes about you as a person, a leader, and an entrepreneur.
2. Module 2 - Networking and Events
Networking is a lifelong process of building relationships with people you actually like and want to be connect to. Beginning with learning the statistics of how important networking is for small business owners, Module #2 gives you eight tips to networking without being fake and "Why is networking so important?" – will be answered. Through humorous videos you will learn how NOT to act when networking, and you will learn the six keys to successful entrepreneurial networking and how to "hack" your next business event. Ultimately you will learn how to network like a pro, so as to create your own luck and ultimately learn effective strategies to handle all business events even if you hate to network!
3. Module 3 - Event Planning
Every entrepreneur at one time or another will host or participate in an event. Be it Meetings, Conventions, Trade Shows, Fund Raiser, or Team Building Convention it is really important that you understand the management and logistics behind any event you or the team you worth with hosts. Starting with a Basics video that defines what event management is, Module #3 will give you key terms that would be in any event manager's contract so that you know what to look for. You will learn how to increase attendance by 100% through the streamlining of the registration process so as to save countless hours on administration. You will learn the ten steps to get your event planning process started, and you will discover the skill that you didn't even know you had that will make you a great planner - especially if you can't yet afford to hire a professional event planner! Lastly, we will provide you with 42 tips to show you how to produce a memorable event for your next business function.
4. Module 4 - Elevator Pitch
Module #4 starts out with a bang by showing you exactly how to craft that Simple, Memorable, and Convincing elevator pitch so that you can capture the imagination of that perfect investor, or perhaps the business partner you need to make your business grow. You will learn the seven steps needed to build a winning pitch and if you already have one, methods to improve it considerably. You'll discover what the "High Five" Elevator Pitch is and how to use it effectively for your needs. Through the viewing of a one-minute video, you'll see and hear what a real winning elevator pitch looks and sounds like. We've even thrown in a segment on how to pitch ANYTHING in 15 seconds through Message Mapping. Finally, you'll also receive sample templates from which you can choose, of successful start-up elevator pitches that you can mold into something that feels comfortable for you.
5. Module 5 - Public Speaking
Did you know that that the vast majority of people hate public speaking? Most of the time it is because they lack the confidence necessary to do so effectively. Starting with an expert TED Talk Speaker, Module #5 will allow you to learn the secret to speaking with confidence. We won't tell you here... It's a Secret! You will also learn about fluency and continuity, eye contact, pacing, and tone. One of the most important and relevant to entrepreneurship is the section of this module that discusses the five ways public speaking is related to business growth. You will be provided with the steps to boost your confidence, tips on body language when delivering your speech, and you will have plenty of opportunities to write a speech and practice it following the rules of TOEFL Speaking Rubrics - which you also will learn.
6. Module 6 - Business Etiquette
As an entrepreneur, it is imperative that you be poised and polished in all ways. Etiquette is a set of unwritten rules that apply to social situations, professional workplaces, and relationships. In the business world, good business etiquette means that you act professionally and exercise proper manners when engaging with others in your profession and the world. Business etiquette provides a standard framework within which business people can operate as they communicate and collaborate. Attention to etiquette is a sign of professionalism and respect for others, and it can make positive first impressions while building trust among colleagues. Module #6 discusses this subject at length in order to prepare you for any and all situations - social and business - that may occur within your career as an entrepreneur. You will learn how to politely handle awkward situations that may come up socially. You will learn what "social synchronicity" is and how it must be utilized daily to be effective with all people. You will learn the 15 must-know business etiquette rules and why you must apply them. Today it is amazing how few people know the proper way to dine in public due to the perception that it is "old-fashioned" and no longer relevant to the majority of people. We will teach you table manners - how to hold a fork and knife, the proper placement of a napkin to name just a few subject matters - so that when you're finished with this module you will be able to dine with a King or Queen if so you choose! Lastly, this module will teach you basic etiquette for Communications (Speaking in Person to People), Telephone, Email, and how to be a professional in all environments.
7. Module 7 - Getting and Staying Organized
In order to be organized in life and in business, cleanliness is paramount. You must begin this task with a clean mind, therefore we begin Module #7 with a daily meditation/affirmation/prayer (whichever works for you) to provide you with optimal results in your life. You will learn the 14 habits that organized people do on a daily basis. Disorganized people are usually caught in a "Catch 22" situation — they want to be organized, but they don't know how to break the cycle of procrastination which leads to laziness which leads to disorganization. You will learn how to break this cycle by discovering the hidden benefits of being organized, the first step to becoming organized, and creating an organization routine that will work for you. You will also learn how to begin each business day so as to produce the best end-of-day results. Ultimately you will develop the foundation you need to become that organized person you've always wanted to be!
8. Module 8 - Navigating Difficult Situations
The life of an entrepreneur is riddled with problems and sometimes, negative, situations that must be navigated through in order for business success to occur. Successful entrepreneurs learn these skills early in their careers. Sometimes, the first obstacle we have to overcome is in our own minds, so Module #8 shows you how leaders emerge during challenging times. You will explore ways to navigate the ten biggest challenges we face today. In-depth examination is given to handling difficult people as you will most assuredly have to do so as a business owner. You will also learn about the top five most difficult people (personalities) in the workplace and how to recognize them. Lastly, you will learn how to recognize customer disappointment, how to handle difficult clients, and how to deal with abusive customers with efficiency and ease.
9. Module 9 - The Art of Selling and Negotiating (Double Module)
There is no question that negotiation skills are an important part of doing business. In today’s hyper-connected and increasingly competitive market, the ability to negotiate effectively is more highly valued than ever before. While the ability to negotiate is certainly an important part of boardroom meetings and hammering out contracts, the benefits actually extend far beyond those better-known applications. Negotiation is nothing more than sales - which is an essential skill every entrepreneur must develop and possess. In this module, you will learn the correct structure and goal of negotiation as well as the four steps one must take in order to acquire a favorable outcome. You will learn the two types of negotiation and how they sometimes overlap. As women entrepreneurs, we tend to have different skills from men, therefore a study of women's unique opportunities and challenges faced in the negotiation process will be examined. As stated previously, the ability to sell is key to winning at negotiation, so you will learn the seven secrets to improving your skills, you will be able to watch a demonstration of a true negotiation by reading case studies on real-life corporate negotiations, and lastly, you will be given an opportunity for real-world application within your daily life to fully develop your skills.