Business Communications

Author: 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
  • Listening
  • Working in Teams

Lesson 3: Diversity and Ethics

  • Word Choice
  • Diversity
  • Ethics

Lesson 4: Effective Writing

  • Writing in Business Settings
  • Writing Clear Messages
  • Proofreading

Lesson 5: Communication Choices in Business

  • Planning to Communicate
  • Appropriateness
  • Addressing the Unknown

Lesson 6: Reputation Building

  • Personal Reputations
  • Business Reputations
  • Monitoring Reputations

Lesson 7: Conflict

  • Conflict and Criticism
  • Conflict
  • Negotiations

Lesson 8: Communicating with Clients and Customers

  • Customer Service
  • Protocols
  • Conversations

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
  • Visuals
  • Distractions

Lesson 11: Opportunities

  • Opportunities through Networking
  • Letter Writing
  • Resumes
  • Proposals

Lesson 12: Interviewing Skills

  • Types of Interviews
  • Research
  • Talking Points
  • Honesty

Valerie Lovely

Author & Instructor

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 Web site, 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 in studio projects, and has composed music in various styles and for use in a variety of media.

Prerequisites

None required


Required Textbook

Business Writing: What Works, What Won't by Wilma Davidson, Ed.D., Revised Edition


Software Requirements

  • Word processing software (Word, Pages)
  • Presentation software (Powerpoint/Keynote)

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Chrome (recommended), Firefox, or Safari

Windows Users

  • Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Chrome (recommended), Firefox, or Edge

Hardware Requirements

All Users 

  • Video camera and/or webcam that can record
  • Mic (part of headset or built into computer)
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 500 MB hard drive space
  • Speakers or headphone
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed (http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)



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Next Term Starts April 3


  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,479
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition
    $1,229

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