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The Key to Good Communication: Your Audience

Communication is a complex art. Listening, making oneself understood, and persuasion are all elements of what it means to communicate effectively. Great communicators must master these skills and apply them strategically, depending on what they’re trying to achieve in a given context. You might use the art of narrative storytelling to get your team excited about a project. In a negotiation, you might deliberately signal a willingness to walk away in order to prompt the other side to action. Or if your goal is to understand the ideas and intentions of a new colleague, you might ask a series of sincere, open-ended questions. This course is designed to prepare you for all of these situations and more, offering tips, strategies, and broad observations from professional communicators in many different roles—from an award-winning actor, to an FBI hostage negotiator, to an astronaut on the International Space Station.

Note: Some videos assume a group of learners is available for team activities and discussions. Please use what’s useful and feel free to adapt the lessons to your particular circumstances.

This course includes videos from:
Alan Alda, Emmy-winning actor, writer, and director
Nancy Duarte, communication expert
Jeffrey Wright, Tony-winning actor from Angels in America
Chris Voss, lead negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Colonel Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut

Note: This course was produced by Big Think. We are pleased to host this content in our library.

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