Professional Communication

Professional communication was a focused priority in the Leadership and Communication class. The main goal being, to have students be able to concisely, clearly, and convincingly express their opinion in a professional manor. Professional writing was taught through assignments such as a professional memo, executive summary, resume, cover letter, and formal proposal. The course ending with a group presentation that was geared towards convincing a panel to approve our proposal project. By the end of the class both my written and verbal communication techniques had greatly improved.

The very first assignment of the class was to create a memo convincing a fake panel of faculty members and students that there was some unmet need within the Lundquist College of Business (LCB) and to offer possible pathways. My first draft at a memo had been unorganized, ill-y formatted, and unconvincing. After taking advantage of LCB tutors, I was able to create a much more professional memo that was able to express a far more convincing and clear argument. Feedback for this assignment was imperative and extremely helpful when reconstructing my argument. Tutors helped me reorganize my memo and sort my argument into a problem definition, potential benefits, and future opportunity categories, that really helped me communicate in a far more logical way.

Other documents had collaborative efforts which relied on a whole different set of professional skills such as interpersonal communication. I had never had to rely on someone else to produce a document that would be considered my own words throughout. By the end of the term though, the Quack Pack was able to produce a completed formal proposal that was cohesive and managed to tell a convincing argument through research, interviews, and clear professional writing. It took hours of communicating verbally, instant messaging, and editing together in order to produce a document that all parties were satisfied with. The experience of writing this document taught me an infinite amount about how to formally communicate not only my thoughts, but also the opinions of others at the same time.

By the time it came to writing the executive summary for our proposal, an individual assignment for all team members, I felt far more confident in my capabilities as a professional. In my executive summary I was able to clearly and concisely provide a deep understanding of the issues at hand and tell the basic structure of the entire seven page document on on page. This progress of understanding communication is telling of my own development as a writer and how my work will continue to get better as practice my skills in the future.

After submitting all of these documents finally, we as a group had to give a presentation on the content of our formal proposal. This presentation meant more than just preparing my own portion of the presentation, but also preparing the other members of my group as well. First we had to create a visual presentation as support for the verbal presentation. Also, three of my members had little experience speaking in front of groups, so it was also my responsibility to make sure they felt adequately prepared to present. After it was all said and done not a single group member got less than 90% on their presentation grade. This final presentation pushed me to not only communicate my ability as a speaker but to better and push my team mates as well.

The professional skills and abilities that I learned throughout the Leadership and Communication course have improved greatly over the term. I now feel confident in knowing how to construct a memo, formal proposal, or executive summary in whatever field I choose to pursue. My interpersonal and verbal communication improved greatly in the face of challenging conditions. Professional communication can now be a tool for me to use confidently in any setting.

 

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