Your communication skills may well be more important than any qualification you can ever achieve.

People who can communicate better will be more successful at a job interview, are more likely to succeed in business negotiations, and will have a far better chance of clinching a sale. 

This course improves your ability to communicate in all situations.

Communication is a two-way process i.e. a person is sending a message and another is receiving it. Communication is not effective if it is one-way i.e. the information is sent but not understood by the person receiving it: or the receiver does not indicate that they do not understand the message. 

Communicate better at work, at home or at play

In this course you learn to write and speak more fluently, as well as listen better. You are introduced to the broad spectrum of communication skills: body language, behavioural and visual communications, language, public speaking, conducting meetings, writing letters and reports, communication technology, and more

Better Communication skills will enhance job prospects in just about any career. If you can communicate better, you can:

  • Present yourself better in a job interview
  • Interact more effectively with fellow workers
  • Sell better to customers
  • Teach or train others more effectively
  • Produce clearer and more effective writing


There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Problems with Poor Communication
    • Barriers to Effective Communication
    • Giving Instructions
    • Evaluating Instructions or Orders
  2. Types of Communication
    • What is Appropriate Communication
    • Passive, aggressive and assertive Communication
    • Listening
    • Obstacles to Listening
    • Empathic Listening
    • Ways to Indicate You are Listening
    • Informative Language
    • Persuasive Language
    • Imaginative Language
    • Literal Language
    • Figurative Language
    • Formal Language
    • Colloquial Language
    • Communication Channels
  3. Language Skills
    • Reviewing your Writing
    • Evaluating your Writing
    • Concise Wording
    • Condensing your Writing
    • Common Problems contributing to Lack of Conciseness
    • Clear Wording
    • Making Meanings Clear
    • Causes of Confusion; homophones, malopropisms, colloquial meanings, ambiguity
    • Simplicity
  4. Writing Skills
    • Where Writing Skills are Used
    • Writing for a Purpose
    • Determining the Purpose
    • Knowing Your Reader
    • Guidelines for Effective Writing
    • Language
    • Planning What You Write
    • Business Letters
    • Writing a Business Letter
    • Other Types of Business Documents
    • Writing Themes
    • Types of Themes: analogy, chronological theme
    • Common Grammatical Errors to Avoid
    • Punctuation
  5. Developing Writing Skills
    • Writing Fundamentals
    • Improving a Piece of Writing
    • Newspaper Writing
    • Concise Wording
    • Magazine Articles
  6. Visual Communications
    • Hand outs
    • Visual Materials; illustration, charts
    • Digital Technology
    • Digital Applications; Graphics, CAD, Multi media, Internet, etc.
  7. Public Speaking
    • Audio Aids
    • Recorded Presentations
    • Speaking in Public
    • Principles of Public Speaking
    • Selling
  8. Committee Meetings
    • Functions of a Meeting
    • Conducting a Committee Meeting
    • Role of Office Bearers
    • Taking Minutes in a Meeting


  • Explain the communication process
  • Explain the types of communication approaches used.
  • Demonstrate language skills that are concise and precise.
  • Explain the importance of writing as an effective form of communication.
  • Demonstrate writing skills as an effective form of communication.
  • Describe various forms of visual communication and how they are generally used to impart messages.
  • Prepare for effective verbal communication.
  • Conduct committee meetings.

100 hours

Why Study Communications?


When understanding is blocked communication becomes ineffective resulting in the kinds of problems listed earlier. There are many barriers to communication including:

  • Using unnecessarily complicated language or words.
  • Using jargon - not everyone will understand jargon that may be industry specific or regional.
  • Language difference - it is important to ensure that the receiver has understood your message.
  • Your meaning - make sure that both you and the receiver of your message both understand what you are trying to convey. Poorly expressed communication can alter the meaning. Also do not assume that the receiver will know the importance of your message.
  • Preconceptions - don't presume that the receiver of your message automatically knows what you are trying to communicate; or that they will let you know that they do not understand.
  • Fear or anxiety - nervous receivers may be concentrating more on how they are feeling then the communicator if they feel anxious.
  • Overload - giving too much information at once, making it impossible to absorb.
  • Physical barriers - i.e. when using telephones or other such forms of communication poor reception can result in the message not being heard.
  • Unrealistic demands- don't presume that the receiver is more capable then they actually are.


Communication is influenced by several variables:

1. The context

  • what the situation is, and what is appropriate and relevant to it
  • whether or not both persons perceive the situation in somewhat the same way. (Imagine how communication can go wrong if one person thinks the situation is neutral, and the other sees it as a hostile situation!)
  • the intent of both parties (whether they want to understand each other, or prove each other wrong, or learn what the other person really thinks).


2. The nature and quality of the transmitted message

  • whether or not the person has accurately and clearly expressed their ideas
  • whether the message is relevant and appropriate and likely to achieve the desired effects;


3. The nature and quality of the received message

  • whether the receiver has understood the message as was intended
  • whether the receiver sees the message as relevant, appropriate and meaningful to him/her.


So, good communication depends on our ability to convey and receive messages accurately and appropriately as much as it depends on the message itself. In fact, a variety of factors surround every communication, and these can act as either barriers or aids to effective communication. Some of these factors are psychological (attitudes, expectations, feelings, perception, etc); some are behavioural (what we say, the volume and tone of our voice, our expression, our gestures, our posture, our actions, etc); some are physiological (a person’s health, pain, appearance, disabilities, height, weight, colour etc), and some are environmental (noise, time of day, workplace culture, lighting, distance, quality of technology etc). A good communicator considers each of these four areas.

All this might sound like a lot of think about whenever we communicate, but not every communication situation requires such attention. Many of our daily communications take place naturally, spontaneously, and without complication, but when they go wrong, we quickly see the results. That’s when we begin to appreciate the need for good communication. It is when communication has already failed, or is at risk of failing, that we need to be particularly attentive.

What is effective communication?

An "expert" told a mother whose daughter was experiencing relationship problems, “Yes, she speaks her mind, but not when or where it counts. What she really needs to do is to say the right thing to the right person at the right time.”

Effective communication is communication that achieves the desired results, or a reasonable alternative. It is communication that has a desired effect. For this reason, effective communication is a key to personal effectiveness (your ability to achieve results) and personal power (which does not necessarily mean power over others).