Communication 101 Recap

Far Side cartoons, Three’s Company TV show references, Project Management process diagrams…my “Communications 101” presentation for the Durham Chamber’s expert speaker series, Chamber U had it all.

Using the Project Management Institute (PMI) published guide, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (affectionately known as “PMBOK”) I reviewed the PMI Communication Process concept. Communication may happen all the time every day, but knowing what “communication” actually is can help you do it better. The PMBOK Communication process breaks down the roles and steps in a communication – sender, message, medium, and receiver.

Next, I talked about communication in professional settings: copywriting, Powerpoint, and meetings.  No matter your job, these are three communication types that almost all of us have done and/or received.  After showing examples of a horrible and brain-blowing, PowerPoint slide, the group and I then talked about ways to make sure your slide is an effective communication. Bad copywriting examples were used to highlight when a writer works too hard on copy that then fails to actually communicate the key point.

Finally, my presentation wrapped up with a review of area professional resources and groups. The Triangle is full of networking and professional opportunities for the taking.

The wrap-up group discussion provided some great suggestions on communication within professional settings. 

  •  No Devices at Meetings – from one attendee came this communication change in his work environment…They encouraged face-to-face communications during meetings with a rule that prevents phones, tablets, etc being used during the meeting. People looking at each other, instead of a screen, can help support a good communication environment.
  •  Meeting Ends and Book Group Begins – one attendee shared this experience from her workplace where speaking up was being encouraged…  The leadership team selected a business themed book and at the end of their scheduled monthly meetings, the last 15 minutes were used to discuss a book chapter.  This gave everyone a shared communication topic while adding to professional development efforts.
  • Adjust Communication Tool for Audience – another attendee spoke to how different groups tend to have communication tool preferences… Their company’s clients fall into two groups, each group having a preference for either phone or email communications. They adjust their client communications – phone or email – to suit the needs of their clients.

My thanks to the Durham Chamber of Commerce for their support of this topic within their 2104 Chamber U series. Hope to see everyone again soon!

Here’s a list of resources and tips to share. 


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