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August 14, 2013

Understanding American Culture - Books for Soft-Skill Development Training Programs

Effective Presentation Skills is the title of an important soft-skills module that has been integrated into the American cross-cultural training programs. In addition to teaching the class how to structure their messages and the physical expressions that are ideal in a presentation, I give them a chance to deliver presentations through various methods including "stand up and speak on a random topic," and book reviews. 

To maintain a constant topic of "understanding American culture and how to work and communicate more effectively with Americans," I break up the group into smaller groups of five and give each group a book with the topic of "American culture," "diversity in American culture," "entrepreneurs in the US," "work culture in the US," "the immigrant experience in the US," along with other related topics. The groups are given about two hours to skim the book, choose a few random and interesting sections to read in more detail and share with the class in a group presentation style. During the presentation section of the module, each group is given seven to ten minutes to present their findings, allow time for some questions from the audience, and receive feedback from the trainer on the plus points and areas of improvement as far as their presentation skills are concerned. Additionally, the trainer (yours truly, the author of this post, and an American-born world citizen), shares some additional facts about American culture based on their presentation, or spends a few minutes answering some of the questions the audience had that the presenters were unable to answer.

The books listed below are some of the books I have used in this section of the training.
"Working with Americans"
Buy at Flipkart

"Culture Shock USA"
"What's Up America?"
Buy at Flipkart

"Newcomer - North Carolina"
Buy at Flipkart
"Speak American"

"Family Book of Manners"
Out of Print

"Living in the USA"

"Mushrooms, Sausage, and Wine: Life With An Immigrant Father"
Out of Print
"1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work"

"Body Language at Work"
"How to Score a Date with Your Potential Employer"

"301 Tips on Business Etiquette"

"Steve Jobs"

"Business @ the Speed of Thought"
"20 Questions about Amish & Mennonites"

Books to come:
Mormon Culture
Southern Culture
Driving/Road Culture

American, Jennifer Kumar is a cross-cultural trainer and corporate coach based in Kochi, India. Read more about her cross-cultural training program here.

Thank you.

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Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.