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The Complete Upgrade Your Communication Skills at Work Series

  • 10 volumes on 10 DVDs
  • approx. 12 hrs. 22 mins total
  • free study guides online

In today’s tough economic times, being a good communicator can make all the difference between getting promoted and getting laid off, between getting hired and getting fired. Now, with the Upgrade Your Communication Skills at Work series, you can learn the little-known secrets that set the best apart from the rest!

A great resource for workers at all levels — from the very bottom to the very top, regardless of their industry, work experience, or job description — these user-friendly DVDs can help you turn every professional interaction into an opportunity to shine!

These engaging DVDs are the ultimate resource for anyone who wants to make a good impression and gain an edge on the competition, including:

  • the unemployed and other job seekers
  • people trying to get a promotion
  • individuals considering a job or career change
  • those starting in new positions
  • entry-level workers hoping to advance
  • interns who’d like to impress and/or get hired
  • students and recent graduates preparing for their first jobs
  • people reentering the workforce after some hiatus
  • entrepreneurs and small business owners
  • new managers/supervisors
  • ...and everyone else!

We’ll teach you powerful strategies and easy-to-use techniques that will help you communicate more effectively with your coworkers, managers, customers, suppliers, and other business contacts. You’ll learn fundamental principles that will help you demonstrate your value, polish your image, and impress your boss — so you stand out from the crowd and get ahead in your career.

With these unique programs, you’ll master the tricks of:

  • being a better communicator and listener
  • keeping meetings interesting and productive
  • delivering presentations that captivate and impress
  • networking effectively with colleagues and associates
  • making the most of phone calls and voicemail
  • using email efficiently and appropriately
  • writing exceptional business letters
  • crafting memorable ads and brochures that increase sales
  • helping to develop and improve a company website or blog
  • demonstrating professionalism in every business situation
  • ...and much, much more!

So whether you want to keep your job or get a new one, whether your company has 3 employees or 3,000, we can help you climb the ladder to success!

The 10 programs in the Upgrade Your Writing Series are:

1. VAI-5241 Talking & Listening

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 15 mins.

Conversations on the job — from serious discussions with your supervisor to casual chats with your colleagues — can leave plenty of room for misunderstanding and confusion. In this program, you’ll learn the best ways to articulate your own ideas and listen actively to others: how to ask them the right questions, encourage them to speak openly, hear what they say and “get” what they mean, and show them respect and empathy along the way.

This program includes:

  • proven strategies for listening so people will talk — and talking so people will listen
  • easy-to-remember questions that prompt people to share
  • essential tips for creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to listening
  • great pointers that will help you hear people’s messages, not just their words
  • expert advice for handling conflicts
  • sample dialogues that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!

2. VAI-5242 Meetings

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 12 mins

Let’s face it: many of us groan at the idea of having to sit through yet another meeting. But meetings don’t have to be boring or a waste of time. In this program, you’ll learn how to make sure that every meeting you attend — or lead — actually solves problems, avoids conflicts, stays on task, and gets things done. Plus, you’ll discover expert meeting tips that will make you the MVP (Most Valuable Participant) on your team.

This program includes:

  • an analysis of the most common types of meetings
  • expert advice for planning a successful meeting: how to prepare an agenda, invite the right people, and more
  • the best strategies for running a productive meeting: how to keep on schedule, encourage participation, and accomplish your goals
  • proven techniques for brainstorming ideas and resolving issues
  • sample meeting dialogues that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!

3. VAI-5243 Presentations

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 13 mins.
For many people, speaking in front of a group is their worst nightmare. Yet most of us who work should know how to give a good presentation. In this program, you’ll learn how to deliver a memorable and compelling presentation that connects with your audience and keeps their interest. Plus, you’ll discover what expert speakers know about utilizing visual aids, handling questions, and most importantly, overcoming nervousness.

This program includes:

  • an analysis of the most common types of presentations
  • proven strategies for conquering the fear of public speaking
  • great tips for preparing your presentation: how to tailor your message to your audience, create useful notes, practice your delivery, and more
  • the most appropriate ways to use humor and story
  • smart strategies for designing PowerPoint® slides, etc. that truly support your presentation
  • how to make sure you’re a smooth, clear, and engaging speaker
  • the best advice for running an efficient Q&A session
  • ...and much more!

4. VAI-5244 Networking

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 12 mins.
Networking doesn’t have to involve being pushy or self-serving; it should really be about using your social skills to help establish positive connections between people. In this program, you’ll discover the dos and don’ts for becoming a savvy networker. You’ll learn proven methods for enlarging your professional circle, creating and nurturing business relationships, and interacting with your colleagues so that everyone comes out a winner.

This program includes:

  • smart strategies for practicing the “good” kind of networking
  • many practical examples of networking opportunities for you to explore
  • expert advice for expanding your connections to include more people within your industry — and outside it
  • the best ways to network appropriately in different situations: social gatherings, conventions, online, etc.
  • proven techniques for reaching out to people you know — and don’t know
  • a sample networking dialogue that illustrates key concepts
  • ...and much more!

5. VAI-5245 Phone Calls & Messages

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 18 mins.
With one on every desk and another in every pocket, it can be easy to take the telephone for granted and fail to recognize its potential pitfalls. In this program, you’ll learn how to make the very most of every phone call and voicemail message so you can be truly great on the phone. You’ll develop expert telephone skills that will enhance your reputation as a professional, grow your business, and give your career a boost in the process.

This program includes:

  • expert tips for always sounding smart, friendly, and helpful on the phone
  • the best techniques for fielding incoming phone calls
  • practical advice for solving problems over the phone
  • “magic phrases” and other simple ways to keep the tone of a phone conversation positive
  • powerful pointers for leaving clear and concise messages on other people’s voicemail — and recording a great outgoing voicemail message of your own
  • sample phone conversations and messages that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!

6. VAI-5246 Email

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 5 mins.
Using email in the workplace is a lot trickier than many people think. Just one careless email blunder can seriously damage your reputation and your business. In this program, you’ll learn must-know rules for using email efficiently and appropriately. You’ll discover essential criteria for evaluating your writing before you hit “Send,” so you can be sure your messages are clear, concise, and correct — and that they’ll get read and understood.

This program includes:

  • an analysis of when to use email — and when not to
  • proven email techniques that will help you boost productivity and “tame the email monster”
  • smart strategies for composing email messages that are succinct yet thoroughly detailed
  • essential advice for writing great subject lines
  • simple criteria you can use when choosing email recipients
  • a breakdown of when to use “To:,” “Cc:,” and “Bcc:”
  • foolproof pointers for adding links and attachments to your messages
  • sample subject lines and email messages that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!

7. VAI-5247 Letters

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 19 mins.
In this program, you’ll learn to write business letters that make you — and your company — appear exceptionally smart, friendly, capable, and professional. You’ll discover expert tips that will take your letter-writing to the next level and help you achieve your goals.

This program includes:

  • an analysis of the most common types of business letters
  • a discussion of the kinds of “real-world” situations in which a business letter is most appropriate
  • expert advice for writing, formatting, and revising your letters — and making your expectations clear
  • a simple mnemonic device for making sure your letters include all of the information your readers will need to know
  • the best strategies for anticipating the questions your readers might have — and answering them in advance
  • sample letters that illustrate key concepts
  • hands-on writing activities that help you improve the quality and style of your letters
  • ...and much more!

8. VAI-5248 Ads & Brochures

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 21 mins.
What makes some marketing materials more successful than others? In this program, you’ll learn what the experts know about crafting great ads, brochures, etc. that will sell more of your company’s products and/or services. You’ll discover proven methods for identifying your customers, focusing on the right message, choosing the best format and venue, and tracking your results — all while increasing your sales and building your brand.

This program includes:

  • smart strategies for “getting to know your customers” and reaching out to them via targeted ads, brochures, and other marketing materials
  • time-tested techniques for determining what your customers really want — and focusing on the benefits of your product/service (as opposed to its features)
  • professional copywriting tips for composing ads that capture interest and boost sales
  • how to design marketing materials that visually unify and reinforce your company’s brand
  • simple ways to evaluate the performance of your various marketing campaigns
  • sample ads, brochures, etc. that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!

9. VAI-5249 Websites & Blogs

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 16 mins.
Chances are good that someday you’ll be called upon to contribute to a business website or blog. In this program, you’ll get expert advice for turning your company’s online presence into a resource that’s truly a useful, interactive, and powerful selling tool. Plus, you’ll learn how your organization can use websites and blogs to enhance its image, distribute information, connect with visitors, build a sense of community, and boost sales.

This program includes:

  • great techniques for determining which features your website should include — and updating or revamping your existing site as appropriate
  • smart strategies for identifying the various types of people who visit your website (and the types of people who should visit, but don’t!)
  • proven ways to engage your visitors by offering them a user-friendly, interactive, and positive online experience
  • expert advice about creating and maintaining a blog for your company
  • simple tips that can help you get more hits and increase profits
  • sample webpages, blog posts, etc. that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!

10. VAI-5250 Professionalism

1 DVD  ·  1 hr. 11 mins.
Professionalism isn’t just about appropriate behavior; it’s also about character. In this program, you’ll learn the code of conduct that defines the modern professional. You’ll discover how having integrity — a strong commitment to excellence and ethical standards such as service, respect, honesty, discretion, responsibility, and diligence — will make you the kind of employee that everyone appreciates and admires.

This program includes:

  • a thorough discussion of “The 9 Principles of Professionalism” — those all-important qualities that every worker should possess and demonstrate on the job
  • an analysis of why your behavior can make or break your career
  • great tips for cultivating a strong work ethic that will impress everyone
  • proven strategies for treating all of your business contacts with respect and empathy
  • many counterexamples of unprofessional behavior that should be avoided
  • expert advice that will help you increase your value as an employee or job candidate
  • sample anecdotes and situations that illustrate key concepts
  • ...and much more!


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