M 1 Business & Communication


Understanding the importance of communication methods in the business world is crucial to a company's success. Communication is the process of how we share information, whether it is in verbal or written form. Learning to communicate better can improve job performance and advance your career. In this article, we discuss why communication is important in business and how you can improve your business communication skills.

Types of business communications

Business communication comes in a few different forms and isn't limited to speech. Companies work with a wide range of people and other businesses, prompting them to communicate in a variety of mediums. To be effective, care is given to the tone and clarity of the message regardless of the communication method.

There are four standard methods of business communication:

Verbal communication is the use of your voice to convey an idea or speak an opinion. Examples include virtual meetings, phone calls and in-person conversations.

Visual communication is the use of images or graphics to make an idea clear. Examples include charts, maps, infographics and videos.

Nonverbal communication is the message we send and receive through behavior. Examples include body language, gestures, dress and facial expressions.

Written communication is what we deliver through print or digital media. Examples include emails, letters, memos, reports and other documentation.

Cs of Communication

The seven Cs of communication is a list of principles that you should ensure all of your communications adhere to. Their purpose is to help ensure that the person you're communicating with hears what you're trying to say. The seven C's are: clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, considered and courteous.


Clarity is ensuring what you’re saying is communicated clearly and with no room for misunderstanding. Good advice for being clear includes:

Use simple language and focus on core points of your message

Don’t use idioms to prevent any confusion and ambiguity

Be clear in your mind about what you want to say and its purpose before you say it


You should use the most suitable language for your specific message, and the best form of communication. Correctness also means keeping your language free of mistakes, whether that’s grammatical, spelling, or other inaccuracies. 


Make sure nothing is missing. Complete communication ensures the audience has all the information they need, and are able to easily come to the desired conclusion. Good ways to be complete include:

Providing a ‘call to action’ i.e. what you would like your audience to do after receiving the message?

Including hyperlinks in written content to ensure all information is provided


A concrete message is precise and backed by confidence as well as the use of supporting facts and figures. 


Convey your points in a succinct and concise way. Short sentences are more likely to keep the attention of the listener, so try to use as little words as possible to communicate your message. Concise communication is non-repetitive, saves time, and is more comprehensible for the audience.


It’s important to be polite and respectful of your audience. Being friendly, considerate, and professional will make your communications much more effective. You should also be transparent, open, and honest, and be happy to answer any questions if applicable. 

Importance of Clarity

Lack of clarity in business communication causes misinformation, mistakes, unhappy customers, frustrated employees, and information lags that make companies look bad and affect profits. If a supervisor assumes that workers know the proper way to ship products, the company might discover that it pays more than it should for shipping. A customer letter that is full of jargon and long, convoluted sentences will probably not be read completely, and might put the customer off. An occasional warning to be mindful of safety is not as effective as providing workers with a detailed manual for achieving zero-tolerance requirements concerning accidents in the workplace.

Upward communication 

A type of communication in which information flows upward from the lower levels of the hierarchy to the higher levels.

Upward communication can include complaints, feedback, work reports, and suggestions regarding the organization’s day-to-day operations. Upward communication encourages an excellent cooperative and interactive work culture. Companies that nurture Upward Communication are better to take decisions that can positively impact their workers.

Different types of upward communication that take place in an organization are

1. Performance or Work reports

The performance reports in upward communication allow low-level employees to send their work reports to their upper levels. Thus information reaches the management.

2. Focus Groups

Focus groups usually consist of HR and a higher level of employees to discuss any current issues being faced by employees in an organization.

3. Company Meetings

Company meetings are vital examples of upward communication as it helps an employee interact with higher levels. These can include team meetings, one-to-one talks, and employee with manager meetings.

4. Suggestion Box

Here employees can provide written feedback, complaints, and advice for upper management to review. It can be an online format tool.

Difference between Upward and Downward Communication

Let us understand the difference between upward and downward communication on different grounds-

1. Direction

In Downward communication, its direction is going top to down, superiors to subordinates. In upward communication, the direction is from bottom to top or subordinates to superiors.

2. Communicative Nature

In nature, Upward Communication is participative, whereas downward communication is directive in nature.

3. Subject Matter

The subject matter of Upward Communication consists of opinions, feedback, suggestions, requests, but downward communication comprises orders, rules, and instructions.

4. Type of Communication

Upward communication is liberal, democratic, and participative but Downward communication demands an authoritarian and autocratic situation.

5. Frequency

The frequency of Upward communication is too less, but Downward Communication is more frequent in any organization.


Some of the reasons behind the importance of upward communication are increased mutual trust among higher and lower-level employees, improves workplace procedures and productivity. Through upward communication, managers can try to improve just as their employees do.

This communication encourages employees to feel important and valued for an organization. An inclusive environment within a company is created, which helps an employee to realize that he/she is a contributor to organizational success regardless of their works and roles.


Upward communication does have disadvantages too. This kind of communication suffers from few problems like information and messages can be changed during channeling, employees’ unwillingness to participate, fear of inefficiency.

Flattering and bypassing are some of the disadvantages of upward communication. Sometimes few higher-level officers and executives discourage the upward flow of information.

In an organization, managers even neglect constructive advice and opinions about work-related issues. Upward communication is a time taking procedure and is comparatively slower than other processes.

Downward Communication

Downward communication occurs when information and messages flow down through an organization's formal chain of command or hierarchical structure. In other words, messages and orders start at the upper levels of the organizational hierarchy and move down toward the bottom levels. Responses to downward communications move up along the same path.


Downward communication provides certain advantages to an organization:

Organizational discipline

Downward communication follows the organization's hierarchy, meaning that organizational discipline and member compliance is much easier to maintain.


Downward communication offers efficiencies because instructions and information come from the sources in power that are able to coordinate activities from the top of the organization. Employees receive feedback from the supervisors who manage them.

Effective communication of goals

Upper management can easily communicate goals and assign responsibilities regarding achieving those goals.

Ease of delegation

Delegation is much easier if the delegation comes directly from the vertical communication structure representing the chain of command.


Downward communication is not without disadvantages, including the following:


Ever played the grapevine game? Downward communications can become distorted as it proceeds through multiple levels of the organization.

Slow feedback

It takes time for messages to go down the organization and then up the organization and then back down again. This means that feedback can be slow, resulting in problems, especially in a dynamic environment.

Interpretative problems

Downward communication presents interpretation problems because of the distortion effect and the slow feedback for message clarification.

Lowers morale

Given the time communication takes and the problem with distorted messages, downward communications can have a negative impact on organizational morale.

Not motivating

Given slow feedback and the dependence on formal channels of communication, this method of communication doesn't really help with motivation.

Horizontal Communication

Horizontal communication, also called lateral communication, is the practice of sharing information between employees, departments and units within the same level of an organization.

When using this method, businesses aim to improve teamwork and problem-solving skills by encouraging the correct flow of messages from people at the same hierarchical level. Therefore, when the company grows, horizontal communication provides a feeling of unity within a team that works towards the same goals.


Improving horizontal communication is a trend in business today, due to the number of  this method offers, such as: 

coordinate activities

improve problem-solving

decrease misunderstandings

promote teamwork

increase job satisfaction

empower employees


However, there are a few  to use horizontal communication that you should consider before implementing it in your workplace. This method can have a few 


difficult to maintain control

be time-consuming

create conflict between employees

create a lack of discipline

Diagonal Communication

Diagonal or crosswise communication is a type of communication that crosses all organizational units and hierarchical levels. Such communication involves staff members of different departments interacting with each other, regardless of their reporting relationship. This type of communication is not affected by any lines of authority.

Examples of diagonal communication in business are:

The Sales team asking one of the managers of the developing team when the upcoming feature will be available.

The HR team and the VP of Customer Support making a list of requirements and qualifications for a new position opening in the Customer Support team.

Content writers asking heads of different departments for up-to-date information or their opinion or experience on certain topics, so they can include them in the article they’re writing.

Advantages of diagonal communication

Diagonal communication makes information flow faster and more freely

Diagonal communication improves team effectiveness

Diagonal communication makes distortion/misinterpretation of information less likely to happen

Diagonal communication improves teamwork

Disadvantages of diagonal communication

Diagonal communication can lead to leakage of information

Diagonal communication doesn’t work if there’s hostility

Diagonal communication can cause information overload

Diagonal communication can lead to leaving someone out of the loop

Types of Presentations:

1) Providing Information. This format encompasses anything from a team meeting that gives updates on a project or upcoming event to a demonstration that shows product functions.

2) Teaching a Skill. Your company just installed a new system or implemented a new process that requires people to learn how to use the new tool and apply the process.

3) Reporting Progress. As you integrate the new system into your daily routine, your boss wants to know how it’s working. You might schedule a divisional meeting or group off-site to share the progress.

4) Selling a Product or Service. A briefing like this might include a recap of the product or service, next steps and action items, or a discussion of needs and improvements before the product is ready to sell.

For these examples and more, attend our Presentation Skills Workshop

5) Making a Decision. It’s time for the annual holiday party and ideas are being tossed around the office. When giving your input on the location, make sure to share the must-haves and nice-to-haves for the event. When it’s time for the final decision, you can see how your idea stacks up to the other options.

6) Solving a Problem. This could be in a panel setting or other meeting where the problem is identified, the facts of the problem are presented and a list of causes is generated. From here, you lay out the ideal outcome, present solutions and discuss your recommendation.

A business presentation is a purpose-led summary of key information about your company's plans, products, or practices, designed for either internal or external audiences.   The most common examples of business presentations are sales presentations, Project proposals, HR policy presentations, investors briefings. The objective of a business presentation should be to offer a solution to a business problem. It is typically carried out by using audio and visual presentation material such as statistical documents, projectors, flip charts, whiteboards, etc. 

Monologue Presentation

A monologue is a predominantly verbal presentation given by a single person featuring a collection of ideas, often loosely assembled around one or more themes,"

The role of the presenter is to communicate with the audience and control the presentation.

Examples of Monologue Business presentation could be a 

an explanation,

a report,

a description, or

a demonstration 

Guided Presentation

A Guided business presentation is a step by step explanation of the functioning of a product. A master class on communication skills or making a product model is an example of a Guided presentation. Usually, the audience is an active part of such presentations and these can work in any context where you want the audience to learn a new skill. For this, the presenter gives instructions. 

Examples of guided business presentation could be

Sales Presentation

A sales presentation is a short presentation of your solution to prospects or existing customers that aims to persuade them to make a purchase.

A winning sales presentation:

Helps convince the client of the brilliance of your solution.

Doesn’t simply describe a product or service but draws attention to the features that can solve the customer’s problems.

Is not overloaded with facts and statistics.

Doesn’t make your potential clients want to doze off (a boring sales presentation is a sales killer).

Persuades the prospect that no one else on the market can satisfy their needs as well as your company can.

Design the sales presentation structure

Use a “10-20-30” formula: 

No more than 10 slides

20 minutes to speak

No font smaller than 30 pt.

Common presentation mistakes. 

1. No Research

For a successful presentation, you’ve got to do your homework. 

Your audience can tell if you’re not current on the relevant facts. 

Before you start writing your business presentation, study for it as you would a test. Identify two to three key sources of information. Read each and take notes. Highlight key facts and points.

2. Reading Your Speech

 Reading a presentation leads to an unnatural speaking style and interferes with your audience rapport.

 Practice your speech so you can say it without looking at your speaker notes. That way you can recall it from memory and deliver naturally. (.)

3. Not Enough Practice     

Practice makes the difference between a so-so business presentation and a great business presentation.  

: A week before your business presentation, start practicing your speech three times a day. Practice first thing in the morning, once at lunch, and again in the evening. Give at least one of those speeches in front of a friend or family member who can provide constructive criticism.

4. Going Over Your Time

For most presentations, you’ve got a set amount of time to give your speech. 

One of the most common causes of going over your allotted time is trying to cover material that’s not really related to your core message.

5. Bad Body Language

When you give your presentation, you’re speaking with your words. But there’s another way you’re communicating to your audience that you may not even be aware of.

A UCLA study shows that 

A stiff, nervous posture or awkward, nervous gestures can signal that you’re not confident about what you’re saying.

: Smile during your speech. Smiling does more than just make you look friendly. According to Psychology Today, smiling releases neurotransmitters that’ll help you relax. The more relaxed you are, the more natural your body language will be.

6. Failure to Make Eye Contact

Speakers who make regular eye contact with audience members are perceived as being more trustworthy.

Unfortunately, . Or they’re too shy.

: Does the idea of looking at someone in the audience make you nervous? No worries. This trick will get you through. Choose three points on the wall behind the audience. Take turns looking briefly at each point as you speak.

7. Lack of Conviction

If you don’t believe or care about what you’re talking about, how do you expect to convince your audience that it’s important?

It’s time to get honest. Review your presentation carefully and ask yourself: " If your answer is “,” you’re presenting the wrong message.

8. Bad Design  

A poor presentation design is just as distracting as poor delivery. You don't want your audience spending so much time focusing on how awful, cluttered, or sloppy your presentation looks that they don't hear what you’ve got to say.


9. Not Enough Visuals

According to BrainRules by John Medina, you’re far more likely to remember information presented with a graphic or photo.

Body language 

Body language is the way your body communicates without the use of words. It combines hand gestures, posture, facial expressions, and movements that tell others what’s going on inside your head. Body language can happen consciously and unconsciously.

For example, the way you’re sitting right now paired with your facial expression can tell others a lot about you. Based on your body language, they can tell whether you’re amused or concentrating hard. They can tell whether you’re approachable or if you’re having a bad day.

If you’re in a discussion with someone and verbally agree with them, your body language will either confirm that you indeed agree with what is being said; or betray you and tell others you don’t feel the same way.

In other words, your body language reveals the true story behind your words.

1. Smile

Believe it or not, a smile is the most powerful tool you've got in your body language toolbox. A UC Berkeley study from 2011 found “that smiling can be as stimulating as receiving up to 1,00,000 Lakh Rupees in cash.” What’s more, a smile can instantly change the perception we have about someone, not to mention it leads people to smile back at us.

2. Don’t Slouch

Slouching makes you appear less confident and like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. If you're physically able to stand straight, then be sure to do so the next time you’re giving a presentation. Stand tall with your shoulders pulled back and your stomach tucked in—you'll appear more confident and get a quick jolt of energy to boot.

3. Assume a Power Pose

Professional speaker Amy Cuddy shows that a power pose can help you establish authority when you need to come across as confident and authoritative in your presentation. An example of a power pose is standing with your feet a shoulder-width apart, with hands on your hips, and chin lifted up. However, be careful not to overdo it, unless you want to come off as intimidating. Reserve the power poses for crucial parts of your presentation.

4. Make Use of the Space

Body Language Use Available Space

Notice how the speaker has moved to the side, making use of the available space, rather than standing stiffly behind the podium. Another quick tip is to make use of the stage. Instead of standing still, move around the stage. By doing so, you'll send a message to your audience that you’re comfortable in your skin and confident about your topic matter. It'll also help you avoid fidgeting.

Step out from behind the podium and let your audience see you. Move from one spot to another by taking a couple of steps, stopping, and then taking a few more steps.

Be natural as you move about though and avoid pacing as this will achieve the opposite effect and make you look nervous, not to mention you'll run out of breath.

5. Don’t Forget Facial Expressions

Facial expressions can do wonders for keeping your audience interested and convincing them to believe in your cause. Your presentation isn't the time nor the place to bring on your poker face as you'll come off as a robot.

By letting your passion for your topic shine through with your facial expressions, your audience will be able to connect with you and trust you. A word of caution though: don’t purposely go overboard with your facial expressions as this will come off as exaggerating and insincere.

You can practice your facial expressions in front of the mirror while you practice your speech. Alternatively, record yourself with a camera and analyze your facial expressions later on.

6. Speak Clearly

It’s not uncommon for the nerves to get the better of you during the presentation and you stutter or mumble, especially if there are tricky words involved. Practicing your speech before the presentation is a good way to make sure you feel comfortable delivering it and that your audience will be able to understand you.

Another tip that'll help you speak clearly and confidently is to imagine you’re delivering your presentation to your friends.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Gesture

If you watch other presenters, you’ll notice one thing in common: all great presenters always use hand gestures to help deliver their presentation. Hand gestures will help you stress what's important as well as express feelings and convictions. Your passion for the topic will become more apparent as our gestures are more lively when we're passionate about something.

Gestures can help you express feelings during a presentation. 

Hand gestures will show your audience you care about the presentation topic and that you're an effective communicator so don’t be afraid to use them during a presentation.

8. Maintain Eye Contact

As you give your presentation, be sure to maintain eye contact with your audience and face them. Doing so will make them feel like you’re talking directly to them and will help keep them interested in your presentation.

Avoiding eye contact or turning your back to them, on the other hand, will come off as rude and break the connection with the audience.

9. Remember to Breathe

While you’re on the stage, it can be all too easy to get caught up in your presentation and start to speak fast. But if you speak too fast, your audience will tune out because it'll be hard to follow you and you’ll run out of breath. That’s why it’s important to take a pause and remember to breathe. Breathing properly will also help you with your voice pitch and tone so you don’t sound strained and nervous.

10. Learn From Other Presenters

The last tip is to learn from other great presenters. You can study their body language and see how they use facial expressions, movement, and gestures to help them convey their ideas. A good place to start is to check out various TED Talks. 

Negotiation Skills

Negotiations can be called as a way of resolving disputes. It is considered as being synonymous to settlement, agreement, collaboration and bargaining. It takes place almost in all spheres of life -be it is business, personal circumstances (married life, parenting, etc.), legal procedures, government matters, etc. Negotiation can be defined as a channel of communication intended to reconcile differences between parties and to settle conflict jointly. The parties aim at achieving a win-win position.

Business Negotiations requires a lot of homework, such as asking what is the need of negotiation, who all are involved, what are their view points, what are your aims, what is expected from negotiation, etc.

Negotiation involves minimum of two parties. The aim of negotiation is understood by both parties. The parties are willing to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome. The outcome is acceptable to both parties. There are certain do’s and don’ts in case of negotiations: