Entrepreneurs credit success with ability to communicate

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Good communication is a vital skill that enables people to succeed in business, according to entrepreneur Richard Branson.

In one of his recent blogs, Mr Branson said: “Today, if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you also have to be a storyteller…It is not enough to create a great product; you also have to work out how to let people know about it.”

Branson says he’s been fascinated with communication and entrepreneurship since he first started in business, launching Student magazine in 1968.

“I realised very early on that the entrepreneurs who make a difference know how to relate to and interact with other people,” he said. “It is easier to be a storytelling entrepreneur now than at any other time in history. Thanks to technology platforms and social media, there are so many more ways to connect to people. Storytelling is a great way to get your views across and highlight how you and your company are different to your competitors.”

In a separate blog last year, Mr Branson said communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.

American business magnate Warren Buffett also credits effective communications with much of his success.

The only diploma he displays in his office is from a Dale Carnegie [training provider] public speaking course. “I was terrified of public speaking in high school and college. I couldn’t do it,” Mr Buffett once told the BBC. “I don’t have my diploma from college or from graduate school, but I have my Dale Carnegie diploma there because it changed my life.”

In 2013, exams regulator Ofqual announced that Speaking and Listening would no longer count towards final grades in GCSE English and English Language from 2014 – a move ASDAN believes has undermined efforts to improve communication skills among young people.

Kath Grant, ASDAN Director of Education, said: “All learners need to develop good communications skills to thrive whether that be as business leaders, friends, parents or employees. With the growth of digital platforms and social media, the importance of having diverse communications skills and being able to get your message across effectively, appropriately and safely is more important than ever.”