Here are two excerpts from one of my favorite business authors, Harry Beckwith.
How to listen
Don’t just listen to what the person is saying. Picture it. As they speak, create a visual image – a movie even – of their story. This will help you understand, follow and remember the story. And even help you remember it a month later. If you retain only the words of that story and not the images, you’d forget the next day.
Don’t listen with your ears. Listen with your eyes.
What’s your point?
Bob Boylan of Successful Presentations in Minneapolis has built a successful book and solid business around a presentation concept distilled into three words: What’s your point? It’s based on Bob’s discovery that most presenters don’t really know what their point is. Usually, their point is “I want to sell you something.” But to the listener, the point is obvious and meaningless. Most marketing communications fail for the same reason. They never tell you what the point is. Tell people in a single compelling sentence. Why should they buy from you?
If you don't already have these two titles in your collection, I would certainly encourage you to pick them up.