Authored by Valerie Lovely
Course Code: OLSOC-200
Written and verbal communication skills are vital to success in business. Whether you operate your own company, work for someone else, plan to seek employment, or want to start your own business in the future, you need to understand your audience and how to effectively reach them.
Business Communications provides an in-depth study of verbal and non-verbal communications. It introduces techniques for choosing the right format, tone, and message for diverse audiences as well as the most appropriate way to deliver the message. It also identifies the barriers that can prevent the message from being received or acted upon in the way you intended and how to handle matters when they do not go as planned.
Just studying the theory behind communications is no substitute for actually communicating. Each week, you will apply the lessons learned in simulated real-life situations and interactive exercises. You will work with your classmates to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to deliver and accept both compliments and practical assessments of your skills. This will allow you to improve and develop confidence in the relative privacy of the online classroom.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Draft, edit, and proofread written messages in a variety of business document formats.
- Create videos and both perform self-analysis as well as give and receive constructive criticism on your mastery of non-verbal and verbal skills.
- Work in teams and examine the challenges of communicating through different channels, languages, cultures, schedules, and time zones.
- Learn how to make a great first impression.
- Develop techniques for building, monitoring, and protecting your reputation and the reputation of your business.
Lesson 1: Business Communications
- First Impressions
- The Audience
- Communication Channels
- Effective Communication
Lesson 2: Nonverbal Communication
- Nonverbal Cues
- Nonverbal Cues in Written Messages
- Working in Teams
Lesson 3: Diversity and Ethics
- Word Choice
Lesson 4: Effective Writing
- Writing in Business Settings
- Writing Clear Messages
Lesson 5: Communication Choices in Business
- Planning to Communicate
- Addressing the Unknown
Lesson 6: Reputation Building
- Personal Reputations
- Business Reputations
- Monitoring Reputations
Lesson 7: Conflict
- Conflict and Criticism
Lesson 8: Communicating with Clients and Customers
- Customer Service
Lesson 9: Meetings
- Planning to Hold a Meeting
- Meeting Formats
- The Agenda
- Meeting Follow-Up
Lesson 10: Presentations
- Types of Presentations
- Learning Styles
- Creating a Presentation
Lesson 11: Opportunities
- Opportunities through Networking
- Letter Writing
Lesson 12: Interviewing Skills
- Types of Interviews
- Talking Points
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
This course does not have any prerequisites.
- Business Writing Today: A Practical Guide (4th Edition) by Natalie Canavor (SAGE Publications, Inc. 2018)
- Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs (free), Apple Pages, Apache Open Office (free), etc.
- Presentation software, such as Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides (free), Apple Keynote, Apache Open Office (free), etc.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
Valerie Lovely is Assistant Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music and a practicing transactional music attorney. Her clientele is limited exclusively to musicians, songwriters, publishers, record labels, and others with music law needs. The firm provides various transactional music law services, such as contract drafting, negotiation and explanations, copyrights, trademarks, band business evaluation reports, and other music business and legal services. Attorney Lovely also hosts a free informational website, MusicLawInfo, that provides numerous music law articles of interest to today's musicians.
Valerie has been a guest speaker, panelist, and lecturer at a variety of events sponsored by legal- and music-based organizations (American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, Berklee College of Music, Blacksun Festival, etc.). She has taught copyright law to attorneys as a member of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts faculty.
Valerie has also been a musician for most of her life. She plays several instruments, has performed in rock bands, chamber groups, wind ensembles, and studio projects, and has composed music in various styles and for use in a variety of media. Read Less
Sarah Anne Stinnett is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator. Since 2017 she has served as Teaching Assistant for Harvard Extension and Harvard Summer Schools in the subjects of speech, communication, and social media. At Lesley University she is Teaching Assistant for Musical Theater Writing and instructs curriculum in collaboration, voice, and performance. Her core tenets in teaching are as in life: employ unparalleled curiosity, to do is to discover, and a life of learning and imagination is impelled by the study of the masters before.
With Boston Dance Theatre, Sarah Anne teaches acting, voicework, and creative writing. Coaching and writing credits include Body speaking supported by New England Foundation for the Arts, SURGE presented by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution & Boston Center for the Arts, and Man of the Hour presented by Global Arts Live at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Through her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University, expected 2023, Sarah Anne’s writing explores the crosspollination of poetry and music with research specializing in Stephen Sondheim’s lyric. She expects her ALM in Dramatic Arts in 2022 from Harvard Extension. Her scholarship coalesces voice and embodiment with a focus on Shakespeare’s plays. She received her ALB with honors from Harvard Extension where she now serves as Academic Advisor.
Previously, she attended Berklee College of Music for bass performance, often extending her studies through the ProArts Consortium at Emerson College, Boston Conservatory, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Read Less
When taken for credit, Business Communications can be applied towards these associated programs: