Professional Communication

8 Hours / 180 Days / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

Communication is the ultimate key to your success—in relationships, in the workplace, in personal matters, as a family member, team member and across your lifetime. Your ability to communicate comes from experience. This experience can often be an effective source, but the methods in which you communicate play a critical role in how you more efficiently communicate with your audience and to ensure the intended meaning is received.  

In this course, material is presented to help you strengthen your communication skills to become a more effective communication. The course also focuses on everyday writing, professional presentations, and interpersonal communication. 

Students will:
  • Define communication, identify the keys to good communication and discuss ways in which they can improve their communication skills.
  • Develop a better understanding of how they communicate and the ways in which their communication styles can cause issues and mis-communication.
  • Become a more effective communicator—in your writing, in your presentations, and in your one-on-one dealings with others—and is organized accordingly.
  • Develop a clear communication purpose.
  • Become audience focused - because communication—in any form—won’t do its job if it fails to consider the needs, attitudes, and information preferences of the intended audience.
  • Observe economy of words where every word should make a meaningful contribution.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1:  Good Writing

Explains a number of principles that you should keep in mind before you tap out a single word on the computer. These principles are concerned with the purpose of your communication, the audience and its needs, the message you want the audience to walk away with, and the best medium and timing of delivery.

Lesson 2:  Start-Up Strategies

This lesson aims to get you started—one of the toughest parts of written communication. It offers many suggestions for overcoming writer’s block.

Lesson 3:  The First Draft

This section explains how to create a reasonably good first draft. This job begins with getting your thoughts out in the open, where they can be logically organized.

Lesson 4:  Getting it Right

Once the draft is created, it will need to be edited for style, content, and accuracy—the subject of lesson 4. Some styles are appropriate for directing action, conveying facts, or delivering news—good and bad. Others are more appropriate for being convincing. You’ll learn how to choose a style that matches your purpose and how to fine-tune your writing.

Lesson 5: Everyday Writing

Once you’ve learned the principles of good writing and how to draft and edit your work, you can apply what you’ve learned to virtually any form of written document: a report, a letter, and so forth. In lesson 5, we take up the particulars of the three most common written forms: memos, letters, and e-mail. Each has features you need to understand if you want to get your ideas across—and stay out of trouble.

Lesson 6: Presentations

Lesson 6 involves formal presentations in which you have to stand and deliver in front of a live audience. This chapter describes time-tested principles that you can use as a foundation for your presentations.

Lesson 7: Backstage

Lesson 7 involves more of the presentation preparation and due diligence in creating and designing effective presentations. This chapter moves from principles to six practical steps you can take in preparing those presentations.

Lesson 8: Show Time

Lesson 8 involves the power of speaking effectively.  This lesson offers suggestions on achieving the power of delivery advocated by Quintilian. And, naturally, the first suggestion is about speaking.

Lesson 9: Dialogue

This lesson is concerned with the one-on-one communication that characterizes the majority of our interpersonal encounters in the workplace. Here you’ll learn how to understand the other person’s perspective and to deal with the other person’s perception of you. You’ll also gain insights into the importance of dialogue, the most productive form of communication between people.

All necessary course materials are included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**