You may not realize how many first impressions you make in a day. The typical worker makes 10 to 12 speeches per year to staff, peers, superiors, community groups and professional associations. Most people spend more time on the telephone than they do on their personal computers. According to Harvard Business Review, communication skills rate second only to job knowledge as an important factor in a person becoming a successful leader.

Excerpted from Attracting & Rewarding Outstanding Employees