Get Paid For Listening – The Power of Communication in Business – A Story

Recently, a friend recited to me a beautiful story. A Story richer in meaning then most I have read or heard. It is a story of a girl, her father and a certain old man. In retrospect, the moral of the story could probably be the source of the wisdom that saved Toyota, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, when it recently faced its biggest threat yet….a sticky accelerator.

Effective communication entails good listening: A story

There was a girl, who like it is the case with most daughters, held a special place in her father’s life. Naturally so, they spent a lot of time together. The father of the girl being a good parent, always took effort to make time spent with his daughter as wholesome as he could.

Since the girl was not yet at that age where awkward conversations on her menstrual flows would have dominated the conversations, her father chose to use the long periods of time they spent together, to pass on lessons that he considered to have held him in good stead through out his life.

The lesson on the art of communicating

Among many other things, the girl’s father chose to stress to his daughter, the art of listening.

So it came to be that the little girl acquired extraordinary listening skills. Even at an early age, her friends would frequently marvel at how she could clearly remember conversations that they had ages ago. The little girl got so good at listening, that she could effortlessly recite both past and present conversations with an exactness that was astounding as it was envious.

What was the point of all this listening?

It happened that an old man, lived next door to the girl and her father. Every morning, the old man and the girl’s father would converse over the short picket fence that the two shared for hours on end. This ritual had been an event that doted the entire existence of the little girl. As a consequence of its routine nature, it had become hardly noticeable to the girl. In fact, if you were to ask her, the conversations mattered little to her. To our little listener, all that was just mundane adult talk.

As the girl grew up, she became better at her unique gift, it soon caught the attention of her teachers, strangers and inevitably her father. The girl, on her part, saw no better use for her gift in listening, save for it being a means by which she could amuse friends and foes alike. To her, it was just another thing.

However, her father had other plans. He decided to task the girl further. After making it known to her how much she had made him proud, he asked one more thing of her: To start listening to what the old man said.

The father also made it a point to make it clear to his daughter that the task would only be completed when she knew what those morning conversations were all about.

In doing this, he (the father) explained to her (the girl) that he appreciated how much she could remember and subsequently recite, but he still required more from her. For her to accomplish this extra bit, all she had to do was to listen to the old man.

The moral of story

Time passed and the girl indulged herself in her new task. Finally, after a while, her father came to her and asked her if she had found out what it is that the conversations the he and the old man usually had were about.

Instead of the usual recital the girl would have normally performed, she had this to say, “The old man talks of many things. Most, are about his many the many regrets of his life.”

At this juncture, father looked at his daughter and had equally fewer words, ” Now go forth my daughter and listen to the birds, listen to rocks…..listen to the universe.”

Role of communication in Business and the workplace

Communication serves as a medium upon which business transactions occur. It enables market needs to be assessed, products to be subsequently developed, distributed & marketed and disputes arising from business transactions to be settled. The sum product of which is that communication is the paper upon which business deals are struck.

In today’s globalized economy, communication is of particular importance. This is principally because companies increasingly need to understand new clients and work in cultural environments that different from those in their home countries.

Quite often, cultural and language differences come in the way of communication. For example, a common expression like a smile may be easily mis-interpreted in some parts of the world. While it is commonplace to think of a smile as a sign of happiness, in most African cultures, a smile may be an indication of embarrassment. This is especially so if the person smiling appears recoiled, facing the ground or perspires in otherwise ambient conditions.When a similar breakdown in communication occurs in the workplace, the concerned organization faces the danger of failing to meet its objectives.

On a lighter note it is said that in earlier times, exposure of the teeth, as as one does when smiling, indicated aggressiveness; a fact that early explorers realized too late on encountering indigenous tribes.

Eye contact is another example, while eye contact is desirable in American culture; in Japan, insisting on eye contact may be seen by the other party as impolite and deemed an intrusion of personal space.

On Communication courses: Effective Communication is best learned when both taught and experienced

The importance of effective Communication in business is stressed in many of the lecture rooms where future CEO s, CFO s, MD s and Company Presidents are nurtured. Communication studies is also an integral part of MBA courses and is also offered as a stand alone course in many business schools, colleges and universities.

On the other hand, it is an open secret that Business coaching, the in vogue phenomenon in Small & Medium Enterprises development, is entirely dependent on good communication.

The signs could not have been anymore obvious, this apparent “obsession” with communication in the spheres of business training, highlights the axle- rod- like kind of importance of communication in any form of business including even Online trading portals.

Now that we have appreciated the gravity of this issue, I will not turn this article into another rant or attempt make it some pathetic semblance of a classroom; but in keeping in with the manner of my start, I will profile, regurgitate and contextualize the thoughts of more esteemed individuals. The thoughts of leaders drawn from across the board who at some point cared to speak on this diverse and critical subject.

My wisdom for this unusual approach, stems from recognition that the situation at hand is far from the expected. In spite of the range of communication theories developed in the recent past, effective communication still remains an elusive condition. A condition, that we have seen to be an absolute must for starting, growing and succeeding in business.

This approach should not be seen as a mockery of formal training regimes, as it in essence heavily borrows from such tried and tested programs. In addition, it is my view that communication theories dispensed in business schools and in training workshops (aimed at developing human resource), offer the student the added advantage of acquisition of a deeper understanding of the subject area. This deeper understanding, equips learners with more flexible communication and interpersonal skills.

However, it is of note that most of these training opportunities are offered at a premium. This makes them largely inaccessible to most would be entrepreneurs and business owners.

Communication Etiquette

Q:What is communication etiquette?

As a matter of necessity rather than a form reprieve; entrepreneurs can utilize simple, easily understood and accessible tools to improve their communication skills. An area where improvements can be made in order to ensure profitability in business is communication etiquette. The key in understanding etiquette lies in understanding what effective communication entails. Viewing it in this light, any behavior or act that stands in the way of communication is then considered to be uncouth. To enable us put this in perspective, we need to consider the words of a man who is acclaimed for his prowess in the trade of communication. Irish literary Critic, Playwright and Essayist- George Bernard Shaw. I

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw- Winner of the 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature, image via Wikipedia

A: George Bernard Shaw’s articulations enable us to crystallize the “Etiquette” in business communication into four guiding self- explanatory principles that must be considered when communicating:

* What is being communicated i.e the Message.

* When to say it i.e the Time.

* How to say i.e the Form of communication medium.

* Whom to say it to i.e characterization of the Recipient.

The what, the when, the how and the whom-so to say are the guiding beacons that should be sought by any business owner groping in the darkness of ineffective communication.

Practising these four principles entails being a good listener.

Why good listening equals success in business

According a theory fronted by a scholar in the field of communications, Hayakawa, the quality of communication is directly influenced by the quality of listening. The listening referred to here involves more than simply hearing the sounds of words and maintaining a polite silence while at it, or the perfect recital of words like the girl in the story above did. It involves actively pursuing the meanings intended by the conveyor of the message, with the sole aim of attempting to interpret the message from the perspective of the conveyor of the message (refer to story end).

An apt allegory for this would be found in the common saying ” to wear someone else shoes ” only that this time you would have to walk in them as elaborated in Hayakawa’s description of what listening should entail below:

” Listening means trying to see the problem the way the speaker sees it – which
means not sympathy, which is feeling for him, but empathy, which is experiencing
with him. Listening requires entering actively and imaginatively into the other
fellow’s situation and trying to understand a frame of reference (life experiences)
different from your own.”

This approach to listening is rooted in the premise that a word may hold different means to different people in lieu of their life different life experiences. A common example cited to illustrate the power this knowledge holds in conducting business is the hilarious fiasco that the entry of a leading European confectionery company into American markets turned into. The company had chosen the unfortunate name- “Zit” which in American urban language refers to a pimple, the kind that troubles teenagers.

Here, the company failed to listen and thus failed its first hurdle. This is because communication in business begins at the point when the business is christened. By failing to listen by considering the different life experiences of this new market (American Market), the company did not consider the what, when, how and whom principles mentioned above. The result was catastrophic to say the least, a confectionery company ended up sending out the wrong message to the market- that of a quirky dermatological condition instead of the joy that confectioneries are associated with.

How then can an entrepreneur learn to listen thus improve communication between him/her and his business contacts?

Tip One: Be aware of cultural differences to effectively communicate in business

How?

-Recognize that the conveyor of the message holds different perspectives and belief systems from your own.
-Avoid making rush conclusions based on your own spontaneous perceptions and prejudices.

Tip Two: To achieve success in your business by employing effective communication-Empathize

How?

-Make a point of seeking the meaning as it is to the conveyor.
-Ignore your own belief systems and step into the shoes of the speaker and wear their lenses.
-Tactfully ask clarifying questions and avoid being obnoxious while at it.
-Sputter the conversation with periods where you, in subtle ways, repeat (just like the girl in the story) what the conveyor of the message has already communicated. This should always be inter- mixed with seeking clarification from the second party on whether they agree with your interpretation of the matter.

Tip Three: Have Courage: Learn from “Courage the Cowardly Dog”

To summarize it all, the words of one of the world’s most famous leaders- Britain’s wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Fans of this cartoon network show, know “courage” well. If you don’t this is an opportunity to practice what we have already considered to entail good communication. Get your son/daughter, younger brother/sister, younger niece/ nephew, basically anyone who you know watches the show including adult acquaintances and listen as they introduce you to courage.

All the same, Courage is a complex, anxious and freaky looking dog character who lives with his master Eustace and his master’s wife Muriel in a desolated farm house. Their home is frequently stalked by danger which comes in the form of various devious characters and beasts possessing eerie powers.

Courage despite being a rather cowardly dog, quite often saves his masters from demise. Somehow, he is the only member of the family who is knowledgeable of the haunted nature of their house. He’s unable to talk (remember he is a Dog!) and is easily startled, but he always manages to overcome these handicaps and warn, sometimes ferry his masters to safety whenever the unwelcome visitors drop by.

Likewise, in learning to communicate well, and also to provide a platform for tips 1 & 2 to apply, courage on the part of the listener (entrepreneur?, Business owner?) is important. This is because according to some schools of thought, the listener Hayakawa’s model is in danger of being influenced by the belief systems of the conveyor of the message. This influence becomes negative when it erodes gains that the listener had earlier made as the individual may lose their own principles (that they have developed over many years).

Tip Four:Understanding body language to effectively communicate and boost your business

How?

– Consider the SOFTEN approach.

“Use non-verbal communication to SOFTEN the hard-line position of others: S = Smile, O = Open Posture, F = Forward Lean, T = Touch, E = Eye Contact, N = Nod.”
Anonymous

As a norm borne out of routine, most entrepreneurs are like the general populace, are one tracked. This means that they recognize, interpret and utilize only one form of communication- verbal communication. This is because most people fail to visually recognize an accompanying form of language; the language of body language, a form of non – verbal communication.

Personal space, pacing, position, posture, para-language, facial expression, gesture, touch, locomotion, eye contact, adornment, context and physiological responses like sweating and flushing of the cheeks, are some of the different categories of non- verbal communication.

All these forms of non verbal communication are vital tools to the discerning business owner. How? You might ask. Hopefully thoughtful consideration the following examples of everyday business scenarios might help,

Scenario 1: When making that deal, How shifty are the eyes of the the other party?

Scenario 2: When hiring that much needed labor,how much of eye contact occurs?

While you ponder on the possible subtle messages that can be picked by carefully analyzing the body language of the second parties in the scenarios above, it should be noted that body language is a constellation of symbols. These symbols only communicate (bear meaning, when collectively viewed rather than when they are analyzed in isolation, just like as it is the case with verbal forms of communication. The bottom-line is that any particular body gesture should be interpreted in the context of the whole. This is because any one particular gesture may have many meanings and can thus be easily mis-interpreted when analyzed singularly.

Tip Five: Join the band wagon- Neuro Linguistic programing (NLP), the new front in Communication

You have probably heard of Derren Brown, a famous television host, illusionist and entertainer, who is among the range of celebrities that front, utilize and nature this pragmatic form of thinking. It has even been claimed in some circles that the allure of one of Tv’s favorite babes- Marylin Monroe comes down to NLP.

what is Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)?

Neuro linguistic programming explains the interaction of human perception organs (the Neurological system e.g brain, nerves, eyes, ears), language (and societal norms) and belief systems ( social rules which represent the programming aspect). NLP explains how these factors collude to construct reality for any given individual.
To illustrate this further, it is worth considering the description of the tenets of NLP by one of the pioneers of this field Richard Bandler

“You want to become competent at whatever you do. That does not mean to get phobics, who shake in their boots while their blood pressure blows through the roof, to believe,”This is not fear.”

The object is to get them to stay calm and alert, and to stay in their own lane, and to drive across the bridge, which remains standing.
Ask yourself; “Can we build better?” To build those things we have to be able to suspend whatever belief system we already have. Keep it out of the way…

Those things get very, very personal. We’re talking about basic beliefs regarding human capability. Here’s the only truth about that. Nobody knows.”

This statement by Richard Bandler encompasses the original constructs of NLP. It urges individuals to be aware of the interactions between their Neurological system, language and societal programming in order to fully understand their own perceptions of things i.e their reality.

In NLP it is believed that by understanding these interactions, individuals can be able to alter one of the course of how they behave when they encounter a given stimulus. It therefore gives individuals the ability to control their natural spontaneous response to challenging situations and chose to behave in a manner that is more appropriate and beneficial.

For instance, public speaking posses an insurmountable challenge to many. Palpitations, drenching perspiration and un-explained tacyponea are all common observe-ables in most individuals when asked to address a public platform. The triggering event for the un-wanted chain of events (sweating, palpitations etc) in this case is easily identifiable as public speaking! From this point then it becomes possible to avert it by reconstructing our reality as far as public speaking is concerned and stop perceiving it as a noxious situation but as an opportunity.

That may sound a little confusing but the scope of NLP is beyond this article but numerous sources of information on the subject can be readily available on the Internet such as the Derren Brown videos on You Tube. It is worth checking them out as NLP. This is more so when you consider that NLP was developed as an attempt at finding ways in which individuals can become more successful by studying and learning from the lives of highly successful individuals.

Developed in 1970 America, NLP has been in use since then and based on scores of evidence, has been shown to be an accurate body of knowledge. Recently, Individuals and business leaders have begun taking courses on mastering the stipulations of NLP and subsequently utilizing them for a range of needs.

For instance, NLP has been found to be of much relevance in the communication studies, scholars like Dimmick have identified the importance of the prepositions that NLP in communicating. This is because it has been shown to enable the user understand reality as it is to the conveyor of the message. This as we have already seen, enables good listening and communication.

Using Effective Communication In Advertising your Business

One of the pillars of effective advertising is the pristine application of the concept of anchoring. Anchoring is a concept grounded in NLP, it involves persuasion of individuals into performing an action of your own interest, by exploiting a person’s prior experience of an event/ symbol (such as the use of images and other audio- visual media recognizable to a particular market to trigger the market into the action that the seller desires).

For instance, colors hold symbolic meanings; green usually denotes the earth, nature, life, environmental conservation and more recently green energy. A product aiming to appeal to environmentally conscious individuals may opt to have green as the color of its packaging. This may also explain why green is the colour a commonly used for the recycling logos found on the packages of many household items.

Another common use of anchoring in advertising is using catchy phrases that bear certain meaning to people of a given cultural identity to sell a product. An example that easily comes to mind is the phrase “catch a big Mac” used in advertising burgers of a leading fast food franchise.

Effective Communication: The case of the Toyota Car Recall

Recently, the world’s largest car manufacturer had to perform a recall on several of its popular brands following worldwide reports of a defective acceleration pedal that posed a hazard to its customers. It should be noted that in business, the possibility of product recall is always real even in settings where quality control measures are well organized and high manufacturing standards are adhered to. This should awake us to the fact that the Toyota situation is in no way unique to Toyota.

According to a report published in 2003 by the British Retail Consortium, these events (product recalls)usually occur without warning and in occurring, they present serious challenges to the reputation of a company and its brand. This puts the future profits of the company at risk as the brand as elementary business informs us that a brand is the primary way via which companies communicate with their focus markets.

According to the same British Retail Consortium report, communication is central in handling a product recall. The step critical in ensuring a successful product recall process is the setting up of an information management system. This system should be easily accessible even from remote locations. The information system should enable fast gathering of crucial information such as serial numbers, make, batch numbers and the distribution area of the defective product.

The response team during a product recall, should be furnished with proper channels of communication to ensure smooth running of the process. A good information management system also enables the affected company to control the information accessible to the public. This allows the company room to minimize damage to its brand and other prevent the effects spilling over to unaffected products that they it could also be producing.

A good information management system enables tracing of products. Product tracing in a recall, starts with investigating the origin of the raw materials used in manufacturing the product through its distribution chain and ending at its consumption.

Toyota managed to emerge from this fall back as testified by their recently released financial results which showed a strong run emanating into a profit of 2billion US dollars; an amount similar to what the recall process had cost the corporation whose home is in Detroit’s sister city in Japan- Toyota. On top of this, Toyota suffered a 16million US dollar fine for poor management of one aspect of communication. Despite its efforts, including its president Toyoda’s tearful defense of his company in front of a senate committee, Toyota still stood guilty for failing to suffice regulatory authorities with information of a possible break in its quality chain leading to deaths in America. Such, is the cost of mis-communication.

How is this helpful to a small business owner?

Product recalls have been used here as a marker for the range of draw backs that a company can suffer during operations. Entrepreneurs can pick this example and extrapolate its lessons whenever their company has to resolve a dispute with a customer, supplier and even regulatory body.

Online Business is the business of effectiveness in communication

In the words of the entrepreneur turned mogul, world icon, role model, philanthropist and self- confessed nerd turned “most popular kid in the playground”; the world’s most successful entrepreneur- Bill Gates:

“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user”………

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.”

Online Content producers can utilize communication skills in increasing their audience and subsequently their revenue from traffic tied portals like Google AdSense and yahoo ads. Those attached to Online publishing portals (where freelancers, bloggers and Online writers find a home to write while earning money) like Triond, Bukisa, e- How articles, Helium and Obuolo should consider mastering communicating online as it at the heart of their trade. In similar fashion to the instances discussed earlier, their success in the cyberspace and resoluteness of their brand in the crowded blogosphere is dependent on how well the master communication.

SEO is communicating with search engines

It may surprise many that the much talked about Search Engine Optimization techniques are nothing more than ways in which Online publishers can communicate effectively with search engines.

The other popular technique employed in Online business to increase site traffic, the sharing of articles on social networking platforms like Stumble Upon, Facebook and Digg; rely on quality communication between members of those social networks, Internet users and providers of Online goods and products.

Communications Degrees Online: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Considerable Advantages

Long before modern linguistic developments like standardized verbal enunciations and written alphabets, folks have devised means to get their points across to others. Even primitive peoples employed grunts and various hand signals to get their points across to others.

For many various valid reasons, communication has long been viewed as valuable assessment tools for basic values and norms of specific cultures. Prepare for crystal clear reception of some intense introspection into the awesome advantages of communication degrees online. Class has officially commenced.

Original origins of contemporary concepts

Contemporary college courses in Communications are born of ancient Greek and Latin studies of rhetoric and language. This age-old research reveals no new surprises: communications is a dynamic tool for overall societal benefit.

In modern times, voluminous content can be converted into minute megabytes and sped to intended recipients at rates of speed incomprehensible just a generation ago. In today’s high-tech business arena, communications study imparts valuable skill in constructing convincingly persuasive presentations of any perspective.

A pervasive commodity

Communications is the vital current underpinning the entire American economy. A whopping 50 percent of all US workers are employed directly or indirectly by this dynamic industry. The medical and public relations sectors are especially dependent upon communications functions.

Desirable personal attributes

High levels of certain personal aptitudes make communications especially attractive to many. You are especially well-suited for this career if you have:
A natural urge to comprehend and reproduce visual and audio input into usable formats;
Exceptionally strong skills in writing and verbalizing various viewpoints;
An attitude of concerned helpfulness; aspirations for educating and advising others; and, a constant curiosity about current events in your external environment.

Communications coursework content

Students opting to major in Communications receive instruction very similar to those who study advertising, public relations, marketing, journalism, or business management. A major advantage awaiting those who complete communication degrees online is extreme vocational versatility.

Communications career options

Communications majors may ultimately find themselves employed in Human Resources, publication, advertising, research and development, training, or marketing departments. Independent consulting or freelance work is also a popular choice, especially for governmental contractors, educational institutions, or labor unions.

In today’s complex business environment of technological advances which occur on a literally constant basis, communications experts are in high demand in every segment of business and industry. Some examples of specific job titles include:

Technical writer – these purveyors of the written word employ a combination of general communications skill and industry-specific instruction to construct effective presentations of the terminology and processes of their chosen fields.

Publicist – these creative communicators convert scandalous sensationalism into positive commentary. Publicists may generate media attention for their clients or excite public sentiment about certain issues or upcoming media events.

Public information officer -invariably employed in governmental settings, these public servants compile, analyze, and organize raw data into presentable forms for press conferences or publication in major print media.

Public relations specialist – focuses on cultivating or maintaining a positive media presence or favorable public image for individuals or organizations.

Director of communications – work in tandem with executive directors of non-profit organizations to further the internal agendas and organizational objectives. Much like a public information officer, these people disperse information. Their primary focus, however, is generating public involvement in organizational activities.

Photography Community Study

This article is a case study of the popular photo.net photography community. Communities are created to help inform and gather knowledge for a specific purpose such as a hobby or profession. Many photographers will land on this community when they are hobbiest and will turn their hobby into a business by following the articles and forums provided by the community. The community also seems like a great way to promote small photography business and create new contacts.

(a) Their mission statement
Photo.net’s mission statement is “To serve busy readers who want clear answers to questions.” This is very well accomplished with many articles about photography and equipment.

(b) Tagline
Their tagline is “For photographers to help each other become better.” This accentuates the fact that photo.net has been built into a very strong community where the photographers help other photographers.

(c) Back story
Photo.net started out in 1993 as Philip Greenspun’s home page at MIT. They have now expanded to over 100,000 photographers to work with each other to help them become better. This gives a great example how photo.net has grown into a large community and it communicates its values clearly.

(d) Storytelling
Photo.net started off as a hobby/personal site where the author indicates his views, shows his photos, and where he wants the website to go. Now that it is a much larger website it showcases many different photographers work and showcases some of the best talent in the world.

(e)Brand personality
The photo.net is a visually appealing site with thumbnails to photos all throughout the website. On the index page of the site you are automatically introduced to some of the top photos that are on the website. It is a very nicely laid out site and you can find exactly what you are looking for in seconds. It follows all of the same colour schemes through out and is a very consistent looking website. All of the tools available are all presented on the top. It is all staffed and managed by top photographers that moderate and choose topics wisely (for example photo of the week).

Photo dot net has now turned into a community that has a pay service where you can have unlimited images in your portfolio, access to surveys and contests as well as access to their forums that help many photographers increase their photography skills.

Online Masters Degree in Communication – Study and Work Together

Students interested in communication through websites, newspapers, news stations, radio stations, and other media sources have a large number of options to choose from when considering online study. Students can learn how to become a part of the media communications industry by earning specialized degrees through accredited online schools.

Study exclusively centers on the ability to create and distribute information using all forms. These forms include the Internet, television, radio, print, and advertising. This field centers on the principles and procedures of how to convey messages through different types of media. Schooling is constantly widening as technology advances and continues to play a major role in the way individuals and society communicate. This trend is also playing a big role in how education is delivered. Students will learn how to convey messages through writing by using the latest software programs and equipment in the workplace. These technologies can include video cameras and radio switchboards. Online study covers all of this and more depending on what program a student enters.

Online education offers degrees from an associate to a doctorate level in specific areas of the profession. Students can enter a media communications degree with a concentration in journalism, advertising, and broadcasting. Education requirements change according to the degree students choose. A bachelor’s degree is typically required to enter a career. An associate’s degree is a good option to pursue to enter a four-year bachelor’s degree program or an entry-level position as an assistant in the field.

A student enrolled in program with a journalism concentration will study how to write and gather information in order to deliver a message to an audience through media. Curriculum provides practical knowledge by incorporating both industry specific courses and general education courses. Industry specific courses include writing for the media, editing, ethics, and interviewing. The goal of this education is to increase success after college by promoting a balanced understanding of the profession. This understanding allows students to be able to commentate and create news coverage through all media. New areas of study include learning how to write for new media like blog websites and how to create video for a newspapers website. Students can continue education until they reach the doctorate level.

An advertising concentration major studies the same initial courses as all media communications students but then branches off to focus on the concentration itself. Concentration specific courses focus on creating and implementing advertising campaigns. Students learn how to tell, convince, and remind consumers about a company’s product or service. Key courses teach students how to use up to date software to create advertisements for businesses and organizations. This concentration covers how to manipulate words to get across a meaning with as few words as possible. This is an important factor to learn because advertisements center on this ability along with images to draw in a consumer. Areas covered include advertisements for print, television, the Internet, and billboards.

Online Masters Degree in Communication – Study and Work Together

There are a number of online degrees now available which enable one to study and earn the degree from the comforts of their homes. One such degree is Online Masters degree in communication. Communications is a unique field where one learns the basics and advanced conceptual skills which are mandatory and essential for the creation and designing of visual media from concepts, ideas and theories that are spoken.

The online Masters degree in Communications includes websites, print material and media and other related multimedia projects and productions. Though there is plenty of information available on the internet regarding the same, this is a practical field and therefore it is far more beneficial if one participates in an internship while pursuing the course online.

This course is more beneficial when taken along with an internship as it will help the student apply his or her knowledge in the real world atmosphere and environment. The successful completion of an online Masters degree in Communication requires one to submit a thesis project which will explore and travel the different aspects of social, technical and professional aspects of communications.

The lectures and classes taken normally include visual and verbal communications, advertising and marketing, interactive designs and typography. All these subjects are extremely important and the curriculum is designed and styled to suit individual and independent study. This simply means that people with a busy schedule and work can opt for this and make the best use of this course. However, one needs a great deal of self motivation and dedication to complete the work on their own and in the stipulated time. The thing to be borne in mind is that one needs to make sure that the degree they are getting is from a genuine and an authentic university, since the course is an online course.

This field has a lot of career option at the same time there is a lot of variety within the same field itself. With skills like excellent problem solving skills and leadership skills one can make great success in this career. Apart from these one should and must know how to handle the situation with minimal chaos and all these will help one climb high up on the ladder of success.

The other significant options in the field of communications are publication, journalism, corporate communications, communication designs and public relations. Though this field doesn’t specifically require one to be certified but with the growing competition one may need the degree to show one’s credibility.

Having a good knowledge of the language and being equally fluent in the local or just about any language is an additional benefit. This will help the graduates handle their job well. In any form of communication language plays a major role and being fluent and efficient in it is always an added advantage. An online Masters degree in Communications is an added advantage to those people who are already in the field with a Bachelor’s degree and want to upgrade to a higher degree for a promotion.

Cost of Medigap Insurance

As far as health insurance goes, one can never get too far ahead of selecting the perfect supplemental insurance plan before eventually running into the question of the cost of Medigap insurance. It’s simply the nature of finding the best insurance policy; you have to balance cost with coverage in order to find the plan that suits you best. And given the multiple issues surrounding health care nowadays, having the right supplemental insurance policy becomes even more critical.

So let’s get to the most pressing question surrounding the cost of Medigap insurance; how can you know if the policy you are considering is the best policy to purchase for your as well.

• The first thing you need to think about is the coverage that you need. How much of a deductible suits your requirements? Do you frequently travel out of the country and need insurance coverage while you are out? Do you need supplemental coverage for prescribed medicines? How frequently do you go to the doctor for a check-up? All of these questions can help establish the scope that you will require from your preferred policy. Naturally, more frequent visits to the doctor imply a higher deductible is favorable to your situation so you would want to choose a plan that meets this need.

• Now that you have an idea of your needs, study the different Medigap plans closely to determine which ones more closely match your requirements. All in all, there are around 11 Medigap plans currently on offer, each one with subtle but notable differences from each other. If you need help, you can always head to or call your state health agency to speak to a representative that can break down the specifics of each plan for you. When in doubt, ask specific questions so they can be answered in the most concise way possible.

• Now you are ready to begin considering the cost of Medigap insurance. While all insurance companies offer the same Medigap plans, you might be surprised to know that the costs are different from company to company. This is because every company uses different pricing methods and are likely influenced by in-state conditions that help set the cost of the premium. It’s advisable to consider at least 5 different offers for a specific plan in order to gain a better understanding when it comes to the different cost of Medigap insurance from company to company before coming to a final decision.

• With a list of offers in-hand, it all boils down to preference. Remember, the cost of Medicare supplemental insurance from company to company varies but within that, you may also see different pricing from year to year. Company A may be priced lower in Year 0 but the year-to-year increase may eventually result in a higher level of spending. You want to be familiar with these nuances as a guiding principle when making the decision.

The cost of Medigap insurance is crucial to selecting the right plan but it has to be closely evaluated side-by-side with the plan coverage. Take your time to follow the process we outlined so you have a more systematic approach to choosing the Medigap plan that’s right for you.

This has been a general discussion on Medigap cost, but if you would like to have a more in-depth look at the subject be certain and check out the huge collection of articles displayed on our website.

The Skinny on Insurance

I wanted to discuss some miscellaneous insurance products. You will find that you have some hidden insurance costs that can be eliminated and put more money in your pocket for your debt reduction.

Insurance attached to purchases

There are insurances offered, at time of purchase, to cover service contracts that are supposed to cover repair costs for phones, appliances, automobiles, etc. First, aim to search your purchase and loan papers to find and cancel the unnecessary coverage you have. One life example I have is of my grandmother, who bought a washer from a major store, and paid for the warrantee for 20 years! She got her service calls “free”, but paid for the washer 5 times over! Your second aim should be to habitually refuse buying high-priced gimmick insurance no matter the sales pitch.

Insurance attached to loans

There are a lot of names for this insurance: credit life, credit disability, mortgage life and charge guard. These extended warrantees are attractive because if the manufacture’s warrantee expires, this extended warrantee covers your needs for repair. There are limitations, conditions and loopholes in the fine print. It is a potential rip-off. Often, service contracts are prepaid, so the dealer gets your money long before you need the service. You may end up paying 40% more on your automobile! The list of what is NOT covered is long. Check the fine print and see for yourself.

Cancel your extended warranty and get a refund. You can do this by placing your request in writing and include vital information such as the loan number and date purchased. Ask for the refund, or request that one or more payments be knocked off of the end of your loan, equal to the amount of the unused portion.

Flight, accidental death, student accident insurances

Do not waste your money on these offered policies. If you need life insurance, buy term life. It will pay regardless of how you die and dollar for dollar is a much better value.

Flight Insurance pays if you die in a plane crash. Over-priced specialty insurances are a waste of money. If you need life insurance, buy term, it will pay regardless of how you die and dollar for dollar is a much better value.

Free accidental death and dismemberment insurance usually will pay $1,000 or so if you die or are maimed in an accident. Sounds like you have nothing to lose, but by taking this coverage, you are subjecting yourself to endless sales pitches, telemarketing and direct mail to try to sell you increased limits of this worthless coverage.

Student accident policies offered through your child’s elementary or secondary school usually runs $30 a year for school hour’s coverage and around $150 for coverage around the clock. Specialty coverage like this only pays for certain accidents and is usually a secondary coverage, paying only what your regular health insurance does not. You cannot collect twice for the same malady, so what you are essentially insuring is part of your deductible, a big financial no-no.

Hospital indemnity

Hospital indemnity pays you a set amount per day-usually around $100 if you have to stay in the hospital. Premiums run a few hundred dollars a year. Adequate medical insurance should cover hospital expenses, so you won’t need to pay for this as an extra expense.

I hope you will take the strategies for insurance that I have been sharing with you and use them together to create one comprehensive, low-cost insurance plan. A typical family of four can easily pay as much as $6,700 on the myriad of apparently logical insurance options available. By applying the strategies I have shared with you, my typical clients cut their insurance costs to $2,030, giving a savings o If you’re like my average client, you could potentially save $4,610 which you could then redirect to your accelerator focus fund.

I strongly challenge you to now apply all of the insurance strategies I have shared with you. Obtain at least 10 quotes from 10 different insurance providers. Move your insurance coverage to whichever “A rated” company offers you the lowest premium. Although this can be a very time consuming process, the savings will be well worth the invested time.

Medigap Comparison

The importance of Medigap comparison prior to selecting the right supplemental medical insurance for you or someone in your family cannot be overstated. With medical costs going through the roof in the last few years, it is very important to find a plan that suits your needs at a competitive price. The make-or-break moment happens during the plan selection process where prospective policy owners need to consider all the important aspects in order to come up with the best offer that works for them.

The best Medigap comparison strategies take the following into consideration as primary basis for deciding on the best supplemental insurance policy currently on the market:

– Scope. The reason why prospective policy owners consider getting Medigap in the first place is because their basic Medicare is most likely not sufficient to cover all their medical needs. The best Medigap plan, therefore, has to fill the areas where Medicare is not adequate. This requires understanding the exact services and benefits contained in specific Medigap offers and then using those details to make an informed exercise in Medigap comparison. When looking at the specific scope of the offers, the most comprehensive does not necessarily become the most ideal. The goal is to be able to match the scope of the offer to the specific needs of the policy owner in order to maximize the policy benefits without having to get a plan beyond what one needs.

– Price. Different companies have different methods of defining the price for Medigap plans. The first basis is the scope of the plan; a plan with a limited scope of benefits is more likely to be priced lower than a more comprehensive plan. When engaging in Medigap comparison, it is best to compare the price of plans with the same scope from different providers because that serves as the perfect apple-to-apple comparison as opposed to comparing Plan A from Provider A and Plan B from Provider B. This also serves to highlight the importance of knowing the specific needs of the policy owner prior to comparing different Medigap plans.

– The Price Ladder. The price on Day 1 of any Medigap plan is not likely to remain the same over the lifetime of the policy. Many policy holders make the mistake of solely looking at the price on Day 1 when doing their Medigap comparison, only to later realize that the rate at which the price climbs every year squeezes their financial resources beyond what is tolerable. Conversely, there are plans that may cost higher on Day 1 but have a more gradual price jump over the years. Proper Medigap comparison should be able to factor these considerations as a basis for determining the suitability of any policy.

– Customer Service and Company Policies. The last thing a policy holder needs is to deal with a company that does not seem to put the best interest of the clients at heart, and there are more than a few out there. If filing for a claim makes you feel like you are asking for something special, a cheaper price can not compensate for bad service. Do not ever forget to read reviews when doing your Medigap comparison as this can help you see the companies in consideration from the perspective of other clients and their experiences.

A Medigap comparison exercise will help prevent any surprises over the course of a policy’s life and given the needs and considerations of those in their late 60s to early 70s, nothing else should be expected. Take the time to compare the different Medigap plans and Medigap cost offered on the market using the considerations outlined above so you can fleece out the appropriate details that will help you come to an informed decision about the best plan for you or for a beloved family member.