Business Communication


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Read more about Business Communication

Today communication skills are more important than they ever have been. In order to get success in contemporary and such a complex, global, technologi...


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Who should attend

  • Individual contributors
  • Managers
  • Executives
  • Communications professionals
  • Entrepreneurs

About the course

In any field, success depends on being able to communicate complex ideas with both nuance and depth. In this certificate program, you will master the skills to communicate your ideas for maximum impact through professional presentations, reports, and impromptu conversations. By strengthening your approach to written and oral communications, investigating your audience and situational context, and defining your communication goals, you will learn to employ the ideal communication method for each unique business situation you encounter. Throughout this program, you will be given the opportunity to put your coursework to the test as you practice writing emails, reports, and presentations, while also honing the skills often perceived as most difficult: speaking in front of an audience, engaging listeners, and persuading others to support your initiatives. By the end of this program, you will have put powerful best practices to work for you on some of the most critical — and difficult — challenges of effective communication.


Building Compelling Slide Decks and Reports

Regardless of your industry, you have probably used PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote to report significant data or ideas to others within your organization or beyond. Communicating this way is effective only if the presentation clearly articulates your points. The main points of the presentation, the visual aspects, and structure of your slides have to work in concert to convey your message. If the visuals are distracting, they run the risk of obscuring your insights. The pre-made templates provided by PowerPoint or other presentation tools may, in fact, be extremely visually distracting and inappropriate for many business contexts.

Creating your own template allows you to customize a briefing deck that specifically targets your audience and embodies visual integrity. And creating reading reports, or summaries, to send out to key stakeholders afterward or in place of a presentation, that adhere to the same design principles and best practices, allows you to present a visually appealing summary of your briefing deck.

So how do you create a professional briefing deck presentation as well as a standalone reading report that embodies visual integrity while integrating your key points and visual evidence? In this course from Andrew Quagliata, Senior Lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, you will discover the visual design principles and content guidelines necessary to curate a professional briefing deck and reading deck report. You will develop your own briefing deck template using the visual standards that specifically target your audience and contexts. You will have the opportunity to develop two supporting briefing deck slides with appropriate message titles and visual evidence such as charts, graphs, photographs, or artistic elements. You will employ the structural components used in briefing decks to create a sound structure that guides your audience through your points seamlessly. Finally, you will convert your two briefing deck slides into a compelling and professional one-page report.

Persuasive Writing

Success in business often depends on the ability to influence others and gain their support for your objectives, but it takes more than charisma to win over your leaders or colleagues. Persuasive writing can help you present your case in a way that will secure critical stakeholder support.

This course will help you gain and strengthen your persuasive writing skills. You will be guided through the process of narrowing your objective to a very specific "ask," analyzing your audience to know how to appeal to their sense of reason as well as their emotions, and then building the evidence that you will use to present your case.

You will examine how to create a one-page proposal, step by step, and delve into basic design principles to maximize your writing's impact. Since electronic communication is so predominant in today's business world, you will also discover how to transform your proposal into an email. Through this course, you'll be on your way to becoming a stronger writer and business professional.

Business Writing

Do you find that your business writing delivers the results you intend? When people read what you've written, do they take the appropriate actions, do they respond definitively with the information you requested, or are they persuaded to agree with your point of view? When your business writing is effective, you're not only relaying messages to others but you're securing the needed results.

In this course, you will discover that successful writing requires making thoughtful choices. By applying recommended design principles to your messages, you will improve their readability and clarity. You will then practice organizing your points by using the optimal structure for your message. By the end of this course, you will have developed a toolkit of strategies for writing more effectively in the workplace.

Cross-Cultural Communication

The workplace is filled with employees, clients, and leaders from different backgrounds and cultures. Your Social Style® plays a role in how you communicate and behave in the workplace. This course will prepare you to communicate effectively, efficiently, and empathetically with different cultures no matter your Social Style®.

In this course, you will practice becoming more aware of how your Social Style® is interpreted by others and how that impacts your interactions with others at work. You will also develop strategies for overcoming social blind spots in order to mitigate the risk of ineffective communication in cross-cultural settings. Finally, you will discover the ways you can adapt your Social Style® without compromising your core values for effective communication. By the end of this course, you will have gathered the tools needed to communicate appropriately and effectively in a cross-cultural environment.

Social Style, Social Style Navigator and TRACOM are registered trademarks of the TRACOM Corporation. Social Style Model is a trademark of the TRACOM Corporation. Related content is used with permission from The TRACOM Corporation.

Elective (2 Courses)

Planning and Delivering Effective Presentations

To be an effective leader, you must be able to articulate your thoughts and positions in a clear and concise manner.

Professor Angela Noble-Grange of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management draws on her own extensive experience as a speaker and communicator to guide students through the preparation and delivery process. She discusses how to identify the communication purpose and analyze your expected audience. She then shares how to formulate and rehearse your message, including how to pay attention to nonverbal communication.

To fine-tune these skills, this course includes interacting with fellow students. Students will participate in discussion forums and will record and share a video of a short presentation that serves as the course project. This provides rich opportunities for students to hone their communication and presentation skills in a practical way, and to learn from the efforts of others.

Participants in this certificate need a high-speed internet connection, a computer or device that can shoot digital videos with reasonable quality, and access to Adobe Flash software. The eCornell course delivery system provides the ability to record and upload videos, so you won't need special video software.

Advanced Business Writing

You want to be able to adapt your written communications to achieve your goals in complex and challenging professional situations. Writing dilemmas become tougher when the stakes are high, when issues are sensitive, when you have to relay bad news, or when your audience may be resistant to the message you're delivering. By applying practical strategies for planning and executing your message, you can adapt to writing effectively in complex communication situations.

In this course, you will refine your written communication skills through a variety of challenging scenarios. You will practice adjusting your message tone, components, and structure to fit the needs of your audience. By the end of this course, you will have practiced the skills needed to plan and shape your message so that even in the most challenging situations, you have strategies on hand to help you communicate effectively.

Impromptu Communication

From the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep, you are engaging in impromptu communication that involves presenting ideas that need buy-in from your audience, whether it's seeking an extension on a work assignment or something as seemingly simple as deciding which parent should drive the kids to school. These are typical aspects of everyday life, but the reality is that the better prepared and adaptable you are for these situations, the more impactful you can be in your areas of communication, especially the workplace. You should obviously be rehearsed, but the more effortless and self-assured you come across while speaking, the more convincing you will be. This preparedness will give you the skills and confidence to succeed in various circumstances where effective communication is crucial.

In this course, you will be provided with a foundation in how improving your everyday communication can make your speaking skills more impactful. You will examine how to set up your message while considering its purpose, its context, and its audience. Keep in mind that this is not about speech writing but about crafting an unscripted message. You will then practice these skills in front of real people to test your ability to deliver your message in applicable environments. You'll explore what it's like to adapt that message to different surroundings and challenges. You will also develop emotional intelligence skills as you navigate how to better gauge your audience's reaction. You'll understand how applying these concepts will make your messages resonate, from a routine low-stakes situation to a formal pitch that affects your career goals.


The key to persuasion is knowing your audience, their perspective and needs, and how your solution will benefit them. Through this course, you will understand that the bulk of the persuasion process is spent learning about your audience. Once this is achieved, you use what you've discovered to persuade them toward your way of thinking. While this goes against a natural tendency to think of persuasion as being about you — your cause, your beliefs, your mission — true persuasion requires you to take your needs out of the equation. By focusing on your audience's needs, you will more solidly persuade them and, ultimately, everyone will benefit.

Key course takeaways

  • Effectively communicate your ideas through professional presentations and slide decks
  • Adapt your written communication to achieve your goals in complex and challenging professional situations
  • Convey ideas clearly and persuasively to get results from writing
  • Powerfully and succinctly deliver a specific message in both scripted and unscripted settings to gain influence in the workplace
  • Communicate efficiently and empathetically with different cultures in the workplace


Barbara Mink

Biography Barbara Mink is a Senior Lecturer of Management Communication at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. She is a management communication professional with a focus on intercultural communication, leadership, and persuasion. She teaches persuasive and informational writing for busine...

Angela Noble-Grange

A graduate of the Johnson MBA program, Professor Angela Noble-Grange, a senior lecturer of management communication, teaches oral communication and management writing at Johnson. Her interests include persuasive speaking and writing, as well as gender and race differences in message perception. S...

Craig Snow

Biography Craig Snow has studied, researched, taught, written about, and provided consulting services concerning managerial communication for the past 37 years. Dr. Snow is currently a Senior Lecturer at Cornell University, where he has taught for 24 of the past 28 years. He directed the manager...

Amy Newman

Amy Newman is a senior lecturer of management communication at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. She teaches the core undergraduate and graduate communication courses and an elective, Corporate Communication. Newman is author of Business Communication: In Person, In Print, Online (Cenga...

Andrew Quagliata

Andrew Quagliata is a lecturer in management communication at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. He teaches a first-year business communication course, an upper-level persuasive communication class, and Communication for Entrepreneurs. He is the faculty sponsor of the Leland C. and Mary ...

Maria Wolfe

Biography Maria Wolfe is senior lecturer of management communication at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. She teaches two required undergraduate communication courses–a first-year business writing class and an upper-level persuasive communication class–and a required graduate communicat...

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Business Communication at eCornell

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Business Communication

During the courses, you will explore various communication strategies developed by experts in psychology, experienced enterprises, and professors of leading universities. Throughout the Business Communication courses, you also will be faced with an o...

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