There is no business done without negotiation. Whether it is small talk with an associate or a conversation with a high-profile customer, success relies heavily on strong communication skills. While some people seem to have the gift of gab, others need to learn first. This article demonstrates how to train and test communication skills, using modern tools for business conversation simulations.
Take a look at a demo business conversation simulation:
Why e-Practice Business Communication Skills
Communication is an integral part of the majority of everyday business processes. Advanced interpersonal skills help businesspeople connect with potential clients, lead and manage workers, contribute to board meetings, and simply discuss ideas flexibly. Perhaps the most common case is communication between customers and retail salespeople. The lack of these skills, on the other hand, may result in lost clients and deals, misunderstanding, and even hostility.
No Flight without Air Training
Many businesses require that workers use standard conversation scripts, which reflect a united corporate culture. These scenarios may be difficult to learn by heart, yet it’s important to master them before communicating with real clients. Creating business conversation simulations as a part of corporate training is an ideal way to improve communication skills safely, without any real-life consequences to your business.
Two-Way Street Communication
One of the keystones of communication skills which is often missing is the ability to be attentive to and understand the intention and motivation behind an interlocutor’s words. Good communicators focus on listening to others rather than talking themselves, and create messages according to what they have heard. On the other hand, many salespeople know the strong points of their company’s products or services thoroughly, but fail to adapt them to clients’ needs. In order to avoid such situations, sales managers should regularly practice their communication skills in a safe, low-risk environment. Using the right training software for this purpose will save a lot of time and energy for both employers and employees.
Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Business Conversation Simulation
Business conversation simulations can be easily created with the brand-new iSpring TalkMaster. It has been introduced as part of iSpring Suite 8, and has already become a favorite feature of many users. Check out the complete set of features of iSpring Suite 9, the all-in-one authoring tool for teaching and training through technology. Don’t hesitate to try iSpring Suite 9 for free to start creating engaging conversation simulations and other materials right from your PowerPoint.
Step 1. Create a Scenario
To open iSpring TalkMaster, click the new Simulation option on the iSpring Suite 8 toolbar in PowerPoint, or double-click the iSpring Suite icon on your desktop, go to the Simulations tab, and click Create Simulation. Then click New Scene on the toolbar to create the first scene.
Step 2. Add a Character and a Background
iSpring TalkMaster offers a wide selection of various characters and realistic backgrounds for your conversation simulations. To add them, click on the box labeled No character. Choose a character from the list and select an appropriate emotion from the built-in options (happy, normal, puzzled, unhappy, angry).
The very first slide of our business conversation simulation represents a bank client who has difficulties with managing his credit card account. That’s why we chose a puzzled emotion for the character.
Now go to the BACKGROUND tab in the same window, and choose a background from the library.
As a rule, a conversation simulation displays a single event, and therefore, one background can be chosen for an entire simulation. If you’d like to change the background for a particular scene, change the radio button from Same as previous to Selected.
Back in the scene dialogue, your character and background images will be accessible from the IMAGES tab if you wish to change them later.
Step 3. Create a Branching Scenario
Back on the CONTENT tab, enter some text for the character to say. You can either indicate reply choices by clicking Add replies, or provide learners with constructive feedback by clicking Add message. When you’re done adding replies, you can start linking them. Click and drag the link icon off the scene dialog to create a new scene that’s linked to that answer.
Drag your new scene wherever you like on the dialog map, then let go of the mouse button to create it.
Type in new text for your character, and change his emotion if necessary. Continue this process by linking different replies to the corresponding scenes, and thus create a complete branching scenario.
It’s no secret that business communication requires different communication styles for various situations. The same information can be presented in a number of ways, depending on who conveys the message and who receives it. We recommend you try adding diverse style options for the same response, so that your workers can make themselves masters of business communication.
Whenever you like, you can preview your conversation scenario by clicking Preview. The preview window will open. At any time, you can edit the current scene, go to the previous scene, restart the scenario, or close the preview by clicking the associated buttons on the toolbar.
Step 4. Set Up Scene Properties
There are two preferences that you can set in the Scene Properties tab: scene color and scene score.
Choose a color for each scene in the simulation tree. This option presents each scene in a clear, visually engaging manner, and helps separate branches in the tree from each other.
Don’t stop at training just your team. After this initial phase is over, it’s time to assess employees’ communication skills by creating a graded simulation. To do this, click the Properties button on the TalkMaster ribbon. Tick the Enable simulation evaluation option, and specify the lowest possible cut-off score in points that a student must earn to be considered proficient or certified. The maximum score is 100 points.
Now you can set points for individual scenes. We recommend you assign points to the last scene in the branch according to the information on the slide. To add points to an individual scene, click on the PROPERTIES tab of the scene and type in the number of points (max 100) that you want to award a learner.
Step 5. Publish and Share Your Conversation Simulation
You can publish your business conversation simulation in HTML5 and/or Flash format in a couple of clicks. Click the Publish button on the toolbar to open the Publish Simulation window.
You can also add the current simulation to your course using iSpring Suite 8. Click the Save and Return to Course button on the toolbar and return to your PowerPoint presentation.
You’re more than welcome to share the results of your work via iSpring Cloud, which provides you with detailed statistics on content and views.
See a short explainer video on how to use iSpring TalkMaster:
Fostering strong communication skills is one of the main objectives of any corporate training. iSpring TalkMaster, a part of the new iSpring Suite 8, has been designed exactly for this purpose. This user-friendly software enables you to train and evaluate communication skills at the same time. It builds trainees’ sensitivity to interlocutors’ words, helps recognize their needs and emotions, and builds confidence through practice in a safe environment. Let the pilots of your business practice before the flight!
Download iSpring Suite 9 for free and start creating interactive business conversations right away.
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