2 General communication skills Audience – your audience will determine what kind of language you use and how you deliver the message.You need to be selective in your choice of terminology to ensure everyone understands your message.There may be language and cultural differences within your audience.You may decide to present your message in a different format for different audiences, i.e. children v professional.
3 General communication skills Your message: fact v opinions – Having adapted the content and style to meet the expectations of the audience, you should next try to focus on the message you are trying to convey.Fact – can be proved, they are either true or false. Data can be tested and checkedOpinions - more complex – they vary from one source to another. Opinions can be strong or weak and can be influenced by knowledge or lack of it.STICK TO FACTS……………
4 General communication skills Techniques for engaging audience interest – imagine listening to a speaker whose voice never varied in tone… when delivering your message, written or verbally, make sure you vary your tone.Verbally you can create interest by pausing.Face to face you may use multimedia, hold up objects, play music or film.Written can include pictures, diagrams, change of fontREMEMBER – too much activity can detract from your message
5 Interpersonal SkillsCommunicating interpersonally – for communication to happen, two or more people are involved. One person expresses a message through words (spoken or written), signs, signals, facial and bodily expressions or even silence. The other person uses his/her senses (mostly sight and hearing) to gather aspects of the message
6 Cont’dSomeone who is deaf cannot hear your words and may rely on lip reading a body language, whereas, someone who is unsighted or at the end of a telephone line, relies on the tone in the voice.Change of tone is often used to express emotion, i.e. anger or joy.
7 Interpersonal SkillsBarriers to communication – to communicate effectively you should aim to prevent or reduce the effect of barriers as much as possible. Some examples:Distractions – i.e. someone walking in late, mobile phones, tea trolley, leaving early.Background noise – i.e. humming of the air conditioner, music.Body language - i.e. negative, closed, aggressive, bored.
8 Interpersonal skillsTypes of questions – communication is not just two people speaking in turn, there needs to be a link between the people. Questions can help create a link.Open questions can be an invitation to pick up the conversation and take control. E.g. “What do you think about this?” – it invites a response.
9 Cont’dClosed questions are expressed in such away that the options for a reply are limited, usually only yes or no, e.g. “Would you like a cup of tea?” or even less specific “Would you like something to drink?”. This could result in a yes or no answer and would need another question to find out what they wanted to drink.Probing questions can be used to delve deeper into the answers given to obtain more information.
10 Communicating in writing Writing something can seem very easy, but effective written communication is another matter.When communicating in writing it is important to be aware of the following:
11 Communicating in writing Key messages – for example the subject of an or an inclusion of a heading immediately after the salutation in a letter.Grammar and spelling – what ever the subject or type of communication it is important to have the correct grammar and spelling. Mistakes convey an unprofessional image to the reader and can also create confusion if they do not understand what you have written.Structure – ensure the content is logical and well presented.
12 Communicating in writing Relevant information – ensure important information is easy to find. Do not loose it within a mass of other details. Use, bold, underline or italics to ensure important facts are not missedReviewing and proofreading own written work – do this in addition to spell checker and grammar checks. Very important when reusing previous material.
13 Communicating in writing Conveying alternative viewpoints – it is important to show where one view starts and ends. You may include an introduction to explain the purpose and a summary to go over the main points covered.Reviewing and editing documents created by others – e.g. other team members or quotations from outside suppliers. When editing the track changes tool can be used.
14 Communicating in writing Note taking – involves summarising a communication and may involveHandwriting key points on a new sheet of paperAdding to the main message, i.e. writing in the margin, underlining or using a highlighter pen for important factsInserting comments into electronic documents