Start-up Survival: How to Communicate Effectively

, Edupreneur and Freelance Consultant

Being able to communicate effectively means being able to lead.

In this class, you will learn all the basics about effective communication in a start-up.

Effective communication skills in business can be applied for the purposes of

  1. reaching out to potential business partners, customers, and clients
  2. sharing your company vision in print or web communications
  3. working as part of a start-up team


1) IDEAS (20 min): We will cover some communications basics like how to identify your audience, understand their expectations, articulate what you are trying to get them to learn or remember, and how you want them to feel when you’re done.

2) TIPS (20 min): I will share practical ways you can communicate effectively in different scenarios. Communicating effectively means thinking through the implications of what you are saying and adjusting your message to the person or group you’re speaking to in order to achieve your desired outcome.

3) DISCUSS (20 min): This will be a group discussion and everyone is encouraged to supply examples of novel successful communications strategies or sticky situations they didn’t know how to get out of.

4) BREAK (10 min): Everyone will have some time to think or work on their own, process some of these ideas, apply them to their own work, think through specific problems they have had, work with me individually on an issue, grab a snack at one of the food vendors in the market, or go to the bathroom.

5) TAKEAWAY & GROUP THOUGHTS (20 min)Being able to communicate effectively means being able to lead.

The goal by the end of the course will be to feel confident that no matter what situation comes up, you can figure out the best way to communicate your message effectively.

Printed resources and tips will be provided at the conclusion of the class.

There are no prerequisites. Just spend some time thinking about your project, your questions, your difficulties, and the stickiest situation you’ve found yourself in as a small business person. Come prepared to share your best communications practices with classmates as well.
  • Start-up Survival: How to Communicate Effectively


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Josh Cook

Edupreneur and Freelance Consultant

My communication skills and experiences have been honed by

  • My time as an Obama for America Community Organizing Fellow in Denver, Colorado building, motivating, and managing one of the largest community volunteer networks in the state in preparation for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
  • Taking a master's in the Anthropology of Learning & Cognition at the London School of Economics & Political Science and my undergraduate degree in Culture & Politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. I know learning and I know culture... communicating effectively are not often discussed in these terms.
  • Being a freelance design and communications consultant for non-profits working in the world of alternative learning and education.
  • Becoming an entrepreneur starting up a company with other newbies and learning to set expectations, tell our storiy, and work as an ever-growing team around a common vision.

I will share plenty of real-world examples from my experiences public speaking, community organizing, founding a start-up (creating a communications strategy out of whole-cloth), and consulting for established non-profits (creating a communications strategy within an existing organization).

I've previously spoken about my start-up Nextdoorganics (a Brooklyn urban farming and local food distirbution company) at the headquarters of IDEO, the global design consultancy in Soho.

My most recent design and consulting project in on-going with the Alternative Education Resource Organization including organizing an international alternative education conference this August 1-5 in Portland, OR featuring a keynote by Sir Ken Robinson.

My portfolio is He Talked of Places I Never Heard of.

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