Tips on effective communication presented at Workshop Wednesday

 (Hernandez, Mariauna L)Is communication an art or a science? That was the question posed to attendees at this month’s Workshop Wednesday, which focused on the importance of communicating effectively during sales pitches.

Professional Presentation Coach & Workforce Development Expert Ellis Hubbard spoke to an eclectic crowd of attendees during his Listen2WIN workshop about the importance of listening to and noting the body language of the subject of their sales pitch. Those two things can help a salesman identify the type of person with whom they are dealing.

“You have to get to know folks in order to sell,” said Hubbard, who reiterated that listening is the key to communication. “The more you know about someone, the easier it is to sell to them.”

Hubbard suggested attendees use the SMAAARTR — Stop, Mirror, Ask, Acknowledge, Accept, Translate, and Repeat — model to become a better, more efficient listener. Under this model, a sales person should stop and give full attention to their prospect, while mirroring their mannerisms to make them feel more comfortable. They then can ask open-ended questions and acknowledge their answers, while accepting their opinions.

To close, Hubbard said, a sales person should translate the meaning of their words into another language by informing the client of what their solution is, and repeat the conversation for clarification.

First time workshop attendee Hilda Marie Rivera, an Alief Independent School District math interventionist who is developing a nonprofit for Title I secondary students, said she found the workshop helpful.

“I find that so many students have so much potential, but not the support systems in place to help them during those transitional years,” said Rivera who plans to use some of what she learned for her nonprofit. “The workshop helped me to consider how to conduct the various workshops and seminars that I plan to conduct.”

The free monthly event is held on the first Wednesday of each month. Topics covered vary and are targeted to provide relevant information and assistance to minority- and women-owned companies interested in doing business with the district.

For more information on upcoming workshops and networking opportunities, contact the Business Assistance Supplier Diversity office at 713-556-7273 or