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The Professional Communications Toolkit

The Professional Communications Toolkit

December 2006 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Professional Communications Toolkit presents a compelling new vision of communication that offers little-known and amazingly effective techniques for the novice speaker and stage-savvy pro. Author D. Joel Whalen provides practical, research-based tools that apply to all professional communication, including engaging in one-on-one conversations, speaking at small staff meetings, and delivering a keynote address to a ballroom full of people.

Key Features

• Provides a dynamic modern approach: Includes a vivid conceptualization of the exact nature of business communication - what it is and how to do it well in the 21st Century

• Avoids academic tone and jargon: Written to be accessible and make the material come alive for students

• Offers a chapter on visual tools for communication: Step-by-step instructions are given for building high-impact PowerPoint slides, mastering e-mail communication, and leaving clear voice mail messages

• Enhances discussion of managing speech anxiety: The causes, symptoms, and methods for managing anxiety, including mind-body techniques, are thoroughly examined

• Includes a special article on performance anxiety: A contribution from Corey Goldstein, M.D., a nationally recognized expert on performance anxiety, offers additional help and techniques for managing debilitating anxiety

Why Communication Is Import

Little Help From Science

So You Think You're Not Understood?


Chapter 1: Effective Communication: 'It's Not About You'
What Kind of Communication Do You Need?

'Checklist Communication'--Best Done Quickly

'Convincing Communication'--Requires More Preparation

Dominant and Subordinate Roles

Simultaneous Feedback

How the Message You Send Gets Meaning

Leadership: Communicating Your Vision

Seek to Share Understanding

'Felt Sense': Your Body Knows

Monkey See, Monkey Communicate--'Mirror Neurons'

Chapter 1 Summary

Key Ideas

Chapter 2: Message Strategies - What to Speak and What to Write: 'Attitude in 90% of Speaking'
Power of Speaking: Oral Communication

The Essence of Communication: Meaning

Poor Communication Teaching

Before You Speak, Set Your Attitude

Speaking Delivers Less Content

Nonverbal Communication

When You Talk, You Show How You Feel

During Great Communication, You Disappear

Here's What Great Attitude Feels Like

Most Motivating Emotion = Enthusiasm

Communication Toolbox

Telephone and Voicemail Techniques

First Rule: You're Introducing--Ask for Permission to Speak

Telephone: Your've Lost 55 Percent of Your Ability to Create Meaning

Visualize Your Listener--Imagine Your Unseen Listener

When to Leave Your Name and Number

Chapter 2 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 3: The Power and Limitations of Speaking
Miscommunication Is Common

What to Write/What to Say?

The Power of Speaking

What Was Rememered and What Was Forgotten

Your "Self" Was Formed Over Time

Some Brain Patterns Are On-Board at Birth

Brain Programmed Through Sensory Information

Secret Behind Using Sense Memory

Sensory Preference--'Different Senses for Different People'


The Basic Element of Communication: The Sign

Theatre of the Mind

Types of Symbols

Denotative Symbols

Connotative Symbols

Persuasive Messages Contain Both Denotative and Connotative Symbols

Contextual Meaning




Subtle Symbols: Power and Confidence



Emotions and Fear

Persuading Angry People

Handling Angry Supervisors and Customers

Using Fear to Persuade

Fear Messages Can Backfire--Watch Out: "Fear Appeals Must Be Handled Carefully'

'Buyers' Four Big Fears'

The Professional Loser

Persuasion Ethics

Chapter 3 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 4: When You're Afraid to Communicate: 'Understanding Anxiety and Fear'
Why Must You Manage Your Speech Anxiety?

If You Never Get Communication Anxiety, You're a Rare Bird

Communication Anxiety: Silent Enemy of Success

Americans' Greatest Phopias

When It's Your Turn to Speak, Do You Get These Symptoms?

When You'll Get It

Strategies When You're Not a 'Master of the Message'

Communication Toolbox

The Thinking Person's Approach: Understanding the Psychophysiology of Anxiety

Anxiety Manufacturing Plant: Your Brain Stem

Chapter 4 Summanry

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 5: Managing Communication Anxiety: 'Action Steps You Can Take'
Action Steps You Can Take

Some Anxiety Is Good

Decide: Is It Fear or Excitement?

Don't Try to Be Cool--You Won't Look Confident

Idle Your Engine

Be Here Now

'Square Breathing'

'Calm Down Breathing'

Stretch Away Your Tension

How to Build a List of 'Personal Power Thoughts'

Taking Control of Persistent Fears

False Alarms Go Off in Your Head

Your Brain Stem Is Obsessed With Fear

The Deer-in-the-Headlights Look

Communication Toolbox

Dealing With Balnking Out

Two Different Speed Zones--Yours and the Audience's

Blanking Out Under Pressure

Know More About How Your Mind Works: 'Attribution of Cause'

How to Use the Power of Attribution Theory to Manage Speech Anxiety

Seven Keys to Managing: Communication Anxiety

Advanced Fear Management

Getting More Help

Medical Management by Corey Goldstein, M.D.

What to Do When communication Anxiety is Overwhelming

Non-pill Relief

A Pill May Help

Medications That Ease Communication Anxiety

Help Is Available

Chapter 5 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 6: Making People Believe You: 'Persuasive Communication'
First, People Must Believe You--Managing Your Credibility

Source Credibility

You've Got to Answer Your Listeners' Unasked Questions

Credibility and the Team Player

Ancient Greeks' Secrets of Credibility

'Three Pillars of Credibility': Expertise, Trustworthiness, and Goodwill

The Four Component of Credibility

Fluid presentation--Another Type of Dynamism

Credibility From the Audience's Eyes

Attribution Theory and Credibility

Put Your Credibility to Work

Credibility Builders: Some Tricks of the Trade

'Wingman' Technique

'Wingman' in the Sales Call

You're a Product

'Wingman' in Job Interviews

The Single Most Effective Political commercial

Warning: High Credibility Can Backfire on the Professional

When High Credibility Can Kill You

Credibility and the Business Professional

Chapter 6 summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 7: Message Packaging - Strategies for Formatting Presentations: 'How You Say It'
Opening the Presentation

The 'Question Opening'

'Einstein's Time Shift'

The Power of Brainwashing

How to Structure Your Presentation With Questions

A Classic Presentation Format--'Tell'Em'

The 'Cold Closing'

No 'Thank You' Allowed

Warning: Don't Ask for Questions

A Perfect Strategy: The 'Nichols's Two-Things' Presentation

Write Your Presentation in Five Minutes

The Final Format--Presenting as a Tem Member

Benefits of Team Presentations

Specialty Roles

The 'Hand-Off'

'Wingman' in Team Presentations

Communication Toolbox

'Communicator's Checklist'

Opening the Presentation

The 'Question Opening'--Four Steps

Checklist for Successfully Executing the 'Question Opening'

'Cold Closing' Checklist

Specialist Checklist

Chapter 7 Summary

Key Ideas

Chapter 8: Message Delivery - 'Performing the Presentation'
You're in Showbiz--Entertain 'Em

Power of Selective Attention

Fight Back--Work to Refresh Their Attention Frequently

Before You Are Introduced, See If Your Audience Has a Pulse

Prepare for the Disaster That Will Never Come

Let Your Body Speak for You

Projecting Your Attitude to Your Audience

Take Charge of the Room

Business Presentations Are Not Storytelling

Business Presentations Versus Social Presentations

Presenting PowerPoint Slides

'Turn, Touch, & Tell'

Presenting Graphs

Communication Toolbox

Ten Tips and Rules for Persuasive Presentations

Handling the Audience's Questions

Voice Control

Chapter 8 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 9: Writing E-mails and Memos With High Communication Factor
Busy People Scan

Stop Sending Out Rough Drafts

Advantage to Written Communication

Three Ideas to Get Your E-mails and Memos Read

Idea One--Use Typeface and White Space

Why People Like Sans Serif

Pick Proportional Type

Don't Use Reverse Typeface

White Space Directs the Eye

Idea Two-Prep Your Reader's Brain

Bullets--When Should You Use Bullets?

Bullet FAQs

Communication Toolbox

E-mail Techniques

Starting Your E-mail--What to Write First

Subject Lines

Essential Elements

Idea Three--Motivate Your Reader to Read

Memo Writing Rules

Writing With High Communication Factor

Common Grammatical Errors

Editing Tips

Writing of Motivation Sentence

Chapter 9 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 10: Communicating With Tables, Graphs, and Charts: 'Your Visual Toolbox'

Graphs--Pictures, Not Words

How to Make Tables and Graphs

Making Pretty Pie Charts

Making Highly Readable Graphs

Graph Building Techniques

To 3-D or Not to 3-D? That Is the Question

Graphs That Deceive

Models--Perceptual Maps

Choose Your Software Carefully

Chapter 10 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Chapter 11: Maximum PowerPoint
Type Size


Kepp Punctuation to a Minimum

How Much Information to Put on a Slide

Communicating With Color

Presenting With Visuals

When to Hand Out Materials

Sample Presentation Visuals

Bullets Are Great--Use Them

Chapter 11 Summary

Key Ideas

'Communicator's Checklist'

Demonstration PowerPoint Slide Editing

Text Slides

On Graphs

Appendix: If You'd Like to Learn More

Recommended Reading

Take These Training Courses

About the Authors

Wonderful text!

Professor Carrie Perry
Communication, Brandman University
September 29, 2013

D . Joel Whalen

Joel Whalen is Academic Director of the Kellstadt Center Sales Leadership Program at Chicago's DePaul University (since 1986). He is an Associate Professor of Marketing and holds a Ph.D. in Marketing Com­munications (Florida State University ‘86). Dr. Whalen has been listed by Who's Who in America and Men of Distinction, Cambridge, England. He is a Sales and Sales Management Fellow of the American Marketing Association. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurship Foundation named him Entrepreneur of the Year, and he is a member of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Joel has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching.   After 10... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412927161