Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond
Simply Said is the essential handbook for business communication. Do you ever feel as though your message hasn't gotten across? Do details get lost along the way? Have tense situations ever escalated unnecessarily? Do people buy into your ideas? It all comes down to communication. We all communicate, but few of us do it well. From tough presentations to everyday transactions, there is no scenario that cannot be improved with better communication skills. This book presents an all-encompassing guide to improving your communication, based on the Exec|Comm philosophy: we are all better communicators when we focus focus less on ourselves and more on other people. More than just a list of tips, this book connects skills with scenarios and purpose to help you hear and be heard. You'll learn the skills to deliver great presentations and clear and persuasive messages, handle difficult conversations, effectively manage, lead with authenticity and more, as you discover the secrets of true communication.
Communication affects every interaction every day. Why not learn to do it well? This book provides comprehensive guidance toward getting your message across, and getting the results you want.
- Shift your focus from yourself to other people
- Build a reputation as a good listener
- Develop your written and oral communications for the greatest impact
- Inspire and influence others
- Communicate more effectively in any business or social situation
Did that email come across as harsh? Did you offend someone unintentionally? Great communication skills give you the power to influence someone's thinking and guide them to where you need them to be. Simply Said teaches you the critical skills that make you more effective in business and in life.
Introduction: Focus on Others xi
Section One Your Content 1
Chapter 1 What Do You Mean by That?
Conveying a Clear Message 3
Chapter 2 Once Upon a Time . . .
Telling Engaging Stories 17
Chapter 3 A Place for Everything
Organizing Your Content 23
Section Two Your Oral Communication Skills 39
Chapter 4 Stand Up and Stand Out
Making the Most of Your Body Language 41
Chapter 5 Are You Just “Waiting to Talk”?
Listening to Understand 65
Chapter 6 See It. Save It. Say It.
Delivering from Notes and Visuals 87
Chapter 7 What If They Ask You Something
You Don’t Know?
Responding to Questions 113
Section Three Your Written Communication Skills 125
Chapter 8 Challenge Every Word
Editing for Clarity 129
Chapter 9 Form Follows Function
Structuring Your Documents 146
Chapter 10 Make It Easy
Creating Reader-Friendly Documents 154
Chapter 11 Hit Send with Confidence
Writing Emails That Resonate 160
Section Four Your Interactions 171
Chapter 12 It’s a Dialogue, Not a Monologue
Conducting Effective Client Meetings 173
Chapter 13 You Can’t Do It All
Delegating Successfully 183
Chapter 14 Do You Have a Minute?
Sharing Meaningful Feedback 192
Chapter 15 Raise Your Glass
Giving Toasts 202
Chapter 16 Pass the Mic
Handling Introductions 206
Chapter 17 The Possibilities Are Endless
Facilitating Brainstorming Meetings 211
Section Five Your Leadership 217
Chapter 18 Inspire and Influence
Leading Others 219
Chapter 19 From Invincibility to Authenticity
Showing Vulnerability 231
About Exec|Comm 241
About the Author 243
Grammar Guidelines for Personal Pronouns 249
Video Resources 253
Jay Sullivan is an award-winning author and the Managing Partner at Exec|Comm, LLC. Whether coaching individuals one-on-one or working with groups, Jay helps professionals from global organizations have greater impact through communication. As a former attorney, Jay's column The Art of Communication was regularly featured in the New York Law Journal. His articles and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, Reader's Digest, Parents Magazine, Catholic Digest, The Golfer, and Boston College Magazine.
"Being an effective communicator is no longer a 'nice' skill for some to have, it is absolutely a required skill for everyone to possess. The ability to truly connect with others is the key to building relationships and improving performance. Simply Said is a must read for anyone who aspires to lead and influence others."
Michael A. Schweitzer, Senior Global Banking Executive
"I wish that everyone would read and absorb the clear and straightforward method of Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond. Hours upon hours of time would be saved, we would all be spared speeches and talks that do not get to the point, and we would understand each other so much better! I highly recommend Jay Sullivan's superb techniques."
Matthew Diller, Dean, Paul Fuller Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
"From small talk to presentations to leadership, communications are key. Simply Said provides practical advice (or reminders) to ensure your success. Practicing what they preach, it is written in straightforward, simple language that's about you and your success."
Russell Morris, Chief Human Resources Officer, The Conference Board
"This book is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their communication skills. As an experienced Human Resources executive, I have seen individuals' communication skills make (or break) their career. We can all stand to improve the way in which we connect with our audiences - pick up this book today!"
Susan Lovegren, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Juniper Networks
"Simply Said is a must read! It illustrates how effective communication positively impacts relationships, families and communities. Today's exemplary leaders can learn what works and what doesn't when they communicate."
Lily Woo, Program Director, Columbia Teachers College
"Jay has helped me to improve my communication by focusing on the audience and simplifying my message. Communicating one's message is the completion of the process and, with my improved communication skills, I find that I am a better strategic thinker and leader. Simply Said is a great resource tool for business and life."
Kevin J. O'Donnell, Chief Executive Officer, President, RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
"The importance of communications cannot be over-stated. In the development of a strategic assessment of our college, we identified communications as the key area for our attention. Repeatedly, in my work in education and in my roles in other organizations, communication rises to the top as an area requiring improvement. Simply Said is a straightforward and very helpful primer for enhancing communication. The author stresses the importance of being intentional and succinct with the message. What will our listeners hear? What do we want them to remember? The deep experiences of the author resulted in a clear and nuanced presentation of recommendations for enhancing communication. A must read!"
Scott Evenbeck, President, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, CUNY
"In my more than 25 years in the business world and as a college professor, communication skills have consistently been the most important enabler for success and the skill that I still practice to this day. This book is the perfect communications 'how to excel' guide for students and provides well-founded approaches and practical applications. This book will be my communications resource guide and I would recommend that all future leaders take the time to learn these skills and invest in their future."
Ken Daly, President, National Grid New York
"Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond delivers a simple message and a powerful method. Reading this accessible book would permit anyone to vanquish the challenge of connecting with audiences large or small. This is essential reading for students, executives, and, generally, for anyone who wants to be understood by others."
David Gautschi, Joseph Keating, S.J. Professor and Dean emeritus, Fordham University