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Getting the message across : essential communication skills


The ability to communicate is a critical requirement of good leaders.

It is estimated that :

  • 70% of your perceived ability, comes from how you communicate what you know

  • 30% from what you actually know!

Unfair perhaps, but that is the reality!

For this reason Dr. John R. Thomas Associates as a company, has developed a modular course aimed at developing the Communication skills of people who in the past, have had very little opportunity to put such skills into practice.

This is a course developed and honed over many years both within industry and over repeated semesters at  Swansea University Business School.

These techniques have proved particularly useful for people who need to build their confidence in communicating effectively.


We have found that delivering these modules in a series of 1 to 2 hour slots is the most effective mode of delivery.

After each module, the attendees are required to undertake exercises relevant to the techniques they have been taught.

These modules are therefore particularly suitable for presentation in webinar or online tutorial formats.

Module contents :

Element 1 : What is Communication?

In this module we examine:

  • The Communication process (Sender, Receiver, Message and Channel)
  • Choosing the best method of communication
  • People’s individual learning styles : the VARK model
  • The Johari Window: A model for self-understanding
  • Handling conflict situations : seeking a win-win outcome
  • A model for assertive behaviour
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Giving constructive criticism

Element 2 : Effective Presentations.

In this module we examine:

  • Coping with nervousness when facing an audience
  • Structuring a presentation
  • The 3 key factors of effective presentations
  • Developing the presentation to suit your audience
  • What can we learn from the ancients? (Aristotle’s 3 essential elements of Pathos, Logos and Ethos and Cicero’s delivery technique)
  • Non-verbal communication : the importance of body language
  • Using visual aids effectively

Element 3 : Writing Effective Reports.

In this module we examine:

    • The importance of ‘genre’ in a report
    • What makes a report effective?
    • The method of structuring a report
    • Presenting data effectively
    • Structuring paragraphs and sentences
    • The importance of punctuation
    • Pronouns, Homonyms and Clichés
    • Using apostrophes correctly
    • Deteriate and Pecific! Hyw impotant is aqurate sbelin?


Element 4 : Developing Listening skills.

In this module we examine:

  • The 4 main types of listening
  • Active listening
  • Non-verbal behaviour aspects of listening
  • The barriers to listening


The end result is that we want to develop people who are confident and effective in dealing and communicating effectively with others!

For a taster of the course content, click on the link below.

A taster of Communication skills


… an additional skillset we have found useful for inexperienced leaders is…



Element 5 : Effective Meeting skills.


Amongst things we examine in this unit are..

  1. The key role that meetings play in developing a team.
  2. Preparing and organising a meeting.
  3. Getting the message across.
  4. The roles people adopt in meetings (Fixers, Hedgers and Assassins) : and how to handle them.
  5. Organising a corrective action team meeting.
  6. Overcoming resistance to change.
  7. Ensuring what we agreed gets done!

Meeting summary document

Role-play is used throughout this session to illustrate what can go wrong and to teach people how to avoid getting into difficult situations; and how to get out of them!

Throughout this session we again investigate specific business problems and get the participants to use the meeting techniques to discuss problems, which are relevant to them : often exposing new light on ongoing situations.