Legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett realized an important career lesson early on: Without the right delivery, even the smartest idea can fall flat.
So at 19, Buffett, who at the time could barely hold a conversation, enrolled in a communication course taught at Dale Carnegie, the institute named for the influential speaker and author best known for "How to Win Friends and Influence People."
The skills he learned helped him go from awkward to confident, and have helped him succeed in business.
"If you can't communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas," Buffett says, "you're giving up your potential."
Other highly successful leaders agree.
As Branson, founder of the Virgin Group says, "Communication is a skill that you can learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life."
Current employer data supports his claim. The ability to speak and write effectively is one of the most in-demand "soft skills" employers are looking for right now, according to analysis of some 940,000 job listings.
Here are a few of the communication tricks that Buffett and other successful business leaders swear by: