Effective Communication

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Effective Communication
Independent Study
December 2005


Course Overview 1
Unit 1: Course Introduction

Introduction 1.1

Unit 1 Objectives 1.1

Course Objectives 1.2

Course Overview 1.3

Communicating Effectively 1.3

Activity: If I Could Do It Over Again 1.4

Various Groups Respond Differently 1.5

Activity: Personal Learning Goals 1.5

Summary and Transition 1.5

Personal Learning Goals 1.6

Unit 2: Basic Communication Skills

Introduction 2.1

Unit 2 Objectives 2.1

Communication Models 2.1

Communication Is a Two-Way Process 2.2

Listening Behaviors 2.3

Activity: Listening Self-Assessment 2.4

Hearing vs. Listening 2.5

Active Listening 2.5

Practice Active Listening 2.5

Roadblocks to Effective Listening 2.6

Tips for Active Listening 2.6

Communication Variables 2.7

Activity: Communication Habits 2.9

Summary and Transition 2.10

Knowledge Check 2.11

Unit 3: Communicating in an Emergency

Introduction 3.1

Unit 3 Objectives 3.1

Characteristics of Emergency Communications 3.2

Types of Communication 3.3

Recent Changes to Emergency Planning Requirements 3.13

Summary and Transition 3.19

For More Information 3.19

Knowledge Check 3.20
Unit 4: Identifying Community-Specific Communication Issues

Introduction 4.1

Unit 4 Objectives 4.1

Why Traditional Messages Don’t Always Work 4.1

Case Study 4.1: Town Meeting 4.2

Activity: Analyzing Community-Specific Needs 4.5

How To Recognize When a Message Isn’t Being Communicated 4.7

Case Study 4.2: What Did I Do Wrong? 4.8

Improving Communication With the Community 4.10

Activity: Personal Improvement Goals 4.11

Summary and Transition 4.12

For More Information 4.12

Knowledge Check 4.13

Unit 5: Using Technology as a Communication Tool

Introduction 5.1

Technology as a Tool 5.1

Combining High-Tech and Low-Tech Tools 5.5

Case Studies in Choosing and Combining Communication Technologies 5.6

Summary and Transition 5.11

Knowledge Check 5.12

Unit 6: Effective Oral Communication

Introduction 6.1

Unit 6 Objectives 6.1

Matching Communication to Message and Audience 6.2

Activity: Matching the Message 6.3

Oral Communication with Mass Media 6.5

Success Tips for Media Interviews 6.6

Nonverbal Cues 6.8

Nonverbal Clusters 6.8

Case Study 6.1: Mixed Signals 6.9

Activity: Nonverbal Behaviors 6.11

Cross-Cultural Meanings of Nonverbals 6.13

Humor 6.17

Effects of Failed Humor 6.18

Activity: Body Language 6.19

Activity: Public Speaking 6.19

Summary and Transition 6.19

For More Information 6.19

Knowledge Check 6.20

Unit 7: Preparing Oral Presentations

Introduction 7.1

Unit 7 Objectives 7.1

Speech Anxiety 7.2

What Makes a Good Oral Presentation? 7.6

Types of Presentations 7.6

Case Study 7.1: Emergency Messages: Informational or Motivational? 7.8

Case Study 7.2: Protecting Animals During Natural Disasters 7.13

Summary and Transition 7.14

For More Information 7.14

Knowledge Check 7.15

Unit 8: Course Summary

Introduction 8.1

Communication Models 8.1

Communicating in an Emergency 8.2

Community-Specific Communications Issues 8.3

Using Technology as a Communication Tool 8.4

Effective Oral Presentations 8.5

Preparing Oral Presentations 8.6

Next Steps 8.7
Appendix A: Job Aids

Course Overview

About This Course

Being able to communicate effectively is a necessary and vital part of every emergency manager, planner, and responder’s job. This course is designed to improve your communication skills. It addresses:

  • Basic communication skills.

  • How to communicate in an emergency.

  • How to identify community-specific communication issues.

  • Using technology as a communication tool.

  • Effective oral communication.

  • How to prepare an oral presentation.

FEMA’s Independent Study Program

FEMA’s Independent Study Program is one of the delivery channels that the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) uses to provide training to the general public and specific audiences. This course is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Independent Study Program. In addition to this course, the Independent Study Program includes courses in floodplain management, radiological emergency management, the role of the emergency manager, hazardous materials, disaster assistance, the role of the Emergency Operations Center, and an orientation to community disaster exercises.
FEMA’s independent study courses are available at no charge and include a final examination. You may apply individually or through group enrollment. When enrolling for a course, you must include your name, mailing address, social security number, and the title of the course that you want to enroll in.
If you need assistance with enrollment, or if you have questions about how to enroll, contact the Independent Study Program.

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