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Effective Communication Skills for Professionals

Aid your professional development as you gain the written and oral communication skills to help you succeed in the workplace.

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25 Jul 2022
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Develop your communication skills to elevate your professional standing

Communication is embedded into every professional position. It’s the glue that holds teams together and is a skill that always appears on the top employee attributes.

On this four-week course, you’ll gain the communication skills to unlock your potential in the workplace.

You’ll explore how writing skills will help you succeed in your role and discover the techniques to improve the impact and credibility of your written communication. Next, you’ll learn how to translate these skills into oral communication to help you deliver effective presentations and speeches.

Hone your written communication skills

As you explore the importance of professional communication and the power of writing, you’ll understand how the framing of your ideas, grammar, and style can say more than the content itself.

With this knowledge, you’ll learn how to apply different structures according to the aim of the text and learn to write engaging and credible content.

Discover the importance of sentence, paragraph, and essay structure

To help develop your writing skills further, you’ll produce a written sample and learn how to edit your work.

You’ll explore grammar and the common mistakes that can undermine your authority as well as tone and style to ensure your written work is both engaging and informative.

Develop your oral communication skills alongside the University of Southern Queensland

With a sound understanding of effective writing techniques, you’ll learn how to transfer these skills to your speech.

You’ll examine different oral communication techniques and turn your written sample into an engaging presentation.

Learning from the experts at University of Southern Queensland, you’ll finish the course with the ability to communicate effectively, and with impact, in your workplace.


  • Week 1

    Welcome to the course

    • Welcome

      Welcome to effective communication skills for professionals.

    • Purpose of the course

      This section will take you through what to expect from the course.

    • The importance of professional communication

      Professional communication is at the heart of success in business. Being able to construct your thoughts, arguments, and presentations will make you a more competent employee, which will lead to more opportunities and influence.

    • Writing your sample

      This will be your ongoing learning activity to apply the theory we learn each week.

  • Week 2


    • Essay structure

      It is essential to structure your ideas and evidence properly to achieve maximum impact and clarity.

    • Paragraph structure

      Having correct and clear paragraph structure will give your ideas more clarity and power.

    • Sentence structure

      Understanding sentence structure and the role of words is essential to mastering written communication.

    • Weekly Quiz

      This quiz will test your understanding of this week's topics.

  • Week 3

    Grammar and style

    • Common mistakes in word choices

      Words play a large role in how the message is received, as they create clarity and communicate the writer's confidence, which is why we will run through some common mistakes that may undermine your professional image.

    • Punctuation

      Punctuation is how writers maintain control over how the reader receives their message. Without proper punctuation, there will be little clarity and structure, as well as room for misinterpretation and confusion.

    • Understanding and manipulating style

      The poet Matthew Arnold said "Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style" (Petelin, 2016, p.41).

    • Summary of learning

      Using what you have just learned, you will now complete a short quiz and edit your sample.

  • Week 4

    Oral communication

    • Transferring written skills to oral communication

      Structure, grammar and style are also key influencers in effective oral communication.

    • Applying written skills to oral presentation

      In this activity, we will apply the skills learned from writing to our samples to create a speech.

    • Summary of learning

      This is the last week of the course, so there one last chance to edit your sample before you submit your piece for peer review and review your peer's work.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain how grammar, structure, and style can improve the impact and credibility of written communication
  • Apply different structures according to the aim of the text
  • Perform edits on written work for common grammatical mistakes
  • Demonstrate how to manipulate style to suit the purpose of the text
  • Create engaging and credible content

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in developing their communication skills. You may be a student, graduate, or already in a role that requires you to engage in interpersonal and written communication.

Who developed the course?

University of Southern Queensland

USQ provides career-focused, quality on-campus and online education and has done for over 50 years. USQ has scored five stars for employability and internationalisation (QS Stars rankings, 2019) and is Australia’s No. 1 university for the highest graduate starting salary (Good Universities Guide 2018-20).

  • Established

  • Location

    Toowoomba, Springfield and Ipswich in Queensland, Australia

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Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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