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Marketing | Communication skills

Clear and effective business communication skills are essential for running a successful business, but due to the different experiences and backgrounds of each client, it’s not always easy.

This section provides advice on a wide range of business communication skills including how to explain difficult concepts, how to avoid business jargon, anger management and handling difficult conversations. It also looks at specific types of communication including telephone sales techniques, email communication and informal communication.

How do I market myself ethically?

11 Mar 15 | Kate James

Marketing isn’t the domain of snake-oil salesmen anymore. No matter your industry, truth and authenticity will allow people to get to know, like and trust you. Read more

5 crazy ways to avoid saying ‘no’

01 Mar 15 | Lucinda Lions

If, like most business owners, you’re always struggling to say ‘no’, maybe it’s time to take a bit more of a left-field approach. Read more

How to market and sell when you’re an introvert

29 Jan 15 | Kate James

Introverts are especially good at connecting with people on a deeper level. So how can they leverage this trait to sell themselves better? Read more

Podcast - Communicating with confidence

26 Jan 14

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams helping them develop business communication skills and open new doors with confidence. So let’s see what she can do for you. Read more

Three business communication mistakes and how to avoid them

08 Jan 14 | Mary Gardam

Great communication is essential for running a small business, but it’s rarely given priority. Correct these common business communication mistakes and your business will be much better off. Read more

Does your business sound like an idiot?

10 Dec 13 | Dave Gillen

Trying to make your business sound intellectual and complex, like a big corporation, makes it sound silly more than anything. Here’s why. Read more

How to harness the power of ‘no’

29 Nov 13 | Jo Macdermott

This simple word can increase productivity, reduce distractions and help you focus on what’s important. But is ‘no’ always the right thing to say? Read more

Podcast - How speaking out helps work flow in

03 Nov 13

Kate Toon is a business copywriter, creative writer and digital trainer and someone not afraid to speak out. In this interview she shares whether rattling cages helps her business. Read more

How showing your appreciation can benefit business

23 Aug 13 | Lynda Bayada

Letting someone know you appreciate them or simply throwing a compliment their way can improve your relationships, energy and business. Here’s how. Read more

How to use anger positively for business

01 Aug 13 | Lynda Bayada

Some say anger is a useless emotion, but getting hot under the collar can be positive for business if the feeling is channelled in the right way. Here’s how to use anger constructively. Read more

Why tone of voice matters

25 Jun 13 | Jayne Tancred

In conversation, using the right tone of voice is second nature, but every now and then you’ll miss the mark. When you do, stand by for an instantaneous emotional response from the person you’re talking to. Read more

How to communicate effectively using technology

22 Jun 13 | Maria Pantalone

New technologies have the power to enhance or hinder our communication style. So how can we ensure we use them to our advantage? Read more

The art of listening

03 May 13 | Lynda Bayada

Listening is a skill, a conscious activity and, it seems, a slowly dwindling art form. If you find yourself tuning out when other people speak, it’s time to relearn the art of listening. Read more

Tips for having those difficult conversations

18 Oct 12 | Lynda Bayada

Addressing issues with co-workers, clients and contractors is never easy, but there are ways to make those difficult conversations less confronting and result in a better outcome. Read more

Developing your communication strategy

11 Apr 12 | Caroline McDevitt

Determining your communication strategy will ensure the style and frequency of your communication is useful to your audience and tailored to getting you repeat business and new clients. Read more

My worst week at work

27 Mar 12 | Sam Leader

This month, I experienced the toughest week I’ve had in seven years at Flying Solo. Here’s why. Read more

Business communication skills

10 Feb 12 | Maria Pantalone

Even professional writers find business communication challenging sometimes. Here are four tips to help improve your business communication skills. Read more

Responding to negative feedback online

30 Nov 11 | Lucinda Lions

In the age of online public feedback, negative feedback can cause irreparable damage to your business. But respond appropriately, and you could turn it into a positive. Read more

Anger management: Don’t take that tone with me

27 Sep 11 | Peter Crocker

We’ve all been on the receiving end of spiky remarks or emails laced with venom. It’s not pleasant, but can anger in business be effective? Here we look at the issue of anger management. Read more

Know your audience: Who’s in the room?

13 Sep 11 | Robert Gerrish

Amongst the many insights from our wonderful Independents’ Day speakers was a reminder of the importance of knowing your audience. Read more

A guide to business email communication

08 Jun 11 | Heather Cox

“Hello” is fine when answering your home phone, but it’s more appropriate to answer a business phone with the company name as well as the greeting. It’s the same with your business email communication and email address – it should represent your business Read more

Yesim Nicholson: How to prioritise marketing

15 Apr 11

With so many marketing options it can be hard to know where to start. Yesim Nicholson describes a suggested process to Robert. Read more

How to get honest, useful feedback

11 Apr 11 | Madeleine Shaw

Most of us have selective hearing, albeit unconsciously. But when you tune out important feedback, you pay the price. Here are three steps to getting – and hearing – the honest information you need. Read more

Listening tips: How to be a better listener

28 Feb 11 | Deborah Keep

In theory listening is easy: Ask a question (make it an open one for best results), zip your lips and open your ears. But in practice it’s easy to miss what people are really saying. Here are some helpful listening tips. Read more

Defining the 'connected business'

10 Nov 10

Are you fully nurturing your business relationships? Today it's about connection, not communication as explained by Iggy Pintado. Read more

Awakening the creative inside

08 Nov 10

Deborah Kneeshaw talks to Robert about definitions of creativity and how to unearth your creative skills through play. Read more

Do you need a thinking makeover?

08 Nov 10

Have you found yourself creatively stuck or uninspired? Joanna Maxwell talks to Robert about how to unstick your thinking. Read more

Learning to think creatively

08 Nov 10

90% of today's thoughts are the same as yesterday's! Here's how to shift out of regular thinking patterns, as explained by Deborah Kneeshaw to Robert. Read more

The signals we need to look out for

08 Nov 10

Clients often go off the path we set for them and it's up to us to make sure we adjust our path accordingly, explains Robert. Read more

Listening before you leap

27 Jul 10 | Sam Leader

“Not like that! I’ll show you how to do it” is one of my daughter’s favourite sayings. She’s two and a half years old. Problem is, I think Amy’s desire to be in the right is inherited. Read more

Help! I’m bogged down by corporate buzzwords!

05 Jun 10 | Gary Chow

I can’t stand corporate buzzwords, jargon, clichés, corporate-speak or other forms of gobbledegook. They drive me spare. Read more

Are you paying attention?

17 May 10 | Zern Liew

Attention is the new currency. More than ever, customers crave attention and are prepared to pay for it. Are you paying attention? Read more

Conflict management techniques: What NOT to do

30 Mar 10 | Zoe Routh

I'm never short of an opinion, so when my forthright comments in a recent board meeting elicited a response that equated to "Shut up, Buttercup, and respect your elders", my blood boiled. Read more

Kapow! Writing hard-hitting headlines

07 Feb 10 | Lucinda Lions

Here are four ways of writing headlines to make them more compelling so they grab your readers’ attention, pique their curiosity and leave them wanting to know more. Read more

Break free of flabby language syndrome

26 Jan 10 | Zoe Routh

When someone asks, 'How are you?' is your reply 'Good', 'Fine', or 'Okay'? Pshaw! How can you expect brilliance with such mediocrity! Read more

Projecting the right business image online

11 Jan 10 | Robert Gerrish

A very popular area of the Flying Solo online forums is where members invite feedback to a new business concept, website or logo. Those responding with business feedback don’t mince their words and that’s half the magic. Here’s what I’ve learned. Read more

Eight ways to beat writer’s block

07 Jan 10 | Amanda Gonzalez

Everything’s in place. The desk is organised, your pencils are sharpened, the distractions are distracted. Enter stage left, writer’s block. Now what? How do you beat writer's block? Read more

Handling difficult conversations

31 Dec 09 | Robert Gerrish

Whether it's dealing with suppliers, chasing clients for money or simply dealing with other business owners, the odd tricky conversation is inevitable. In this video, Hugh Gyton shares some tips on handling them. Read more

Beware tired and emotional typing

26 Oct 09 | Peter Crocker

We’ve all said things we regret. In the real world, a sincere face-to-face apology and explanation can usually put things right, but in the virtual world of online communication our words can take on a life of their own. Read more

Business jargon: Don’t join the blandwagon

25 Oct 09 | Sara Howard

One of the joys of writing copy for different industries is that I can spot the clichés from a mile. However, a recent brochure brief won the award for cramming the most meaningless business jargon in one short sentence. Read more

How acronyms help articulation (HAHA!)

12 Oct 09 | Robert Gerrish

It seems increasingly difficult to get far into a business conversation before someone chucks a curve ball question that leaves you tongue-tied. Enter the soloist’s saviour, the acronym. Read more

Giving feedback: Being specific with praise

07 Sep 09 | Sam Leader

I’m at a time of life where I’m reading a lot about ensuring you have a healthy relationship with your kids. And guess what? I’ve found a useful lesson for business when giving feedback. Read more

NLP: Speaking the language of your client

28 Jul 09 | Deborah Keep

Great communicators are able to speak the language of the people they are talking to. If you want to build quick rapport with clients, you need to learn how to speak their language. This empathy is at the heart of successful communication. Read more

Business communication styles: mobile vs email

05 May 08 | Sam Leader

There’s nothing like an article on mobile phone manners to get people stirred up. In this article I look at the mobile vs email debate. Which business communication style do you prefer? Read more

Communication skills and techniques: Showing empathy

06 Dec 07 | Zern Liew

As part of our lives as solopreneurs, we come across many different people who hold many different view points. To deal effectively with those who have a different opinion to our own, empathy is an important communication technique to develop. Read more

Ten tips on how to avoid business jargon

11 Oct 07 | Megan Hills

Business jargon can be misleading, confusing and boring, but as a soloist it is a trap we can easily fall into without even realising it. Here are ten tips on how to avoid business jargon and learn to speak a language your clients will understand. Read more

What it means to be a good communicator

20 Aug 07 | Sam Leader

Judging by our poll results, we reckon we're very good communicators. 70% of respondents describe their ability to communicate as 'higher than average'. Read more

Clear communication: how to explain difficult concepts

10 Aug 07 | Jess Tyler

Do you ever struggle when trying to explain difficult concepts? Clear communication is important in business, but due to the different experiences and backgrounds of each of your clients, it is not always easy. Read more

Effective Communication: Facing the frustration of "you don't understand!"

06 May 07 | Kath O'Sullivan

Do you ever get stuck trying to communicate a certain understanding of something? No matter what you say or how hard you try to make yourself plain, the person on the other end is just not getting it. So why aren't you having effective communication? Read more

Telephone sales techniques: Preparing for calls to prospective clients

28 Mar 07 | Richard Woodward

The telephone is a communication vehicle where you only have one chance to make a first impression and like many aspects of the business development process, preparation can dramatically enhance your telephone sales techniques. Read more

How managing anger helps you communicate

04 Mar 07 | Kath O'Sullivan

Managing anger enables you to diffuse conflict and open a new way to communicate that’s powerful and authentic and serves all relationships - at work, in love and even with phone operators. Read more

Why informal communication styles work

25 Feb 07 | Megan Tough

For years, experts have been telling us it is essential to adopt a formal, professional communication style. But I believe it is way more powerful to drop the formality and add some humanity back into communication. Read more

Verbal communication skills: Improving your verbal skills

18 Jan 07 | Sue Currie

It's easy for soloists to let their verbal communication skills lapse. If you worry about what to say at a networking event and would rather email than pick up the phone, your verbal skills may be a bit rusty. Read more

Business communication skills: Throw away your crystal ball

28 Sep 06 | Kath O'Sullivan

You don't need psychic powers to work well with your clients, but you do need to be an effective communicator. Here are five steps that will make a huge difference to your business communication skills... and take away the guess work for good. Read more

Effective communication skills: Managing difficult conversations

03 Oct 05 | John Raymond

Effective communication skills are critical to running a successful business. However, every now and again, we inevitably have difficult conversations. Here are some tips on how to face up to the task. Read more

Client communication skills: The Power of saying 'No'

05 Jul 05 | Sam Leader

One of the most important client communication skills soloists need to master is the ability of saying ‘no’ to certain requests. Read more

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  Payments are processed securely via PayPal. For annual membership we also accept invoice payment via EFT. Contact us