At a recent International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) / SF Chapter meeting called Networking 9, we discussed skills and tools to help give yourself an edge as a business communicator today.

Here are my five favorite tips to come out of this meeting:

1. Check out the gamification application Kahoot! – This fun, affordable, interactive, customizable tool to create quizzes has thousands of quizzes created you can choose from, or pay a little more to create your own. Popular in classrooms and in business, the quizzes are timed, and you can see the names of players and how you rank. (Very affordable!)

2. Try doing your own podcast – A Yeti microphone was recommended for recording podcasts. Post your podcast to your LinkedIn page or offer it to your favorite nonprofit trade association.

3. Take classes on – This site offers online business and technology training courses – learn everything from how to use Google Analytics to how to gain leadership skills to take your job to the next level. Tip: Access it for free at your local library.

4. Join Toastmasters – Find a club near you to practice public speaking, gain confidence and network.

5. Join IABC – Come to our next Networking 9 meeting (a member-only meeting) on Tue., Nov. 13 on the topic of Politics and Communications. If you are looking for an opportunity to gain communication skills or leadership experience – or to network with fellow business communicators – IABC is the place to be.

Julie Knight is an award-winning, accredited business communicator. Her clients have included The Walt Disney Company, Starbucks, Cisco Systems, Genentech, McKesson Corporation and Hewlett-Packard, to name a few. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn or