Communication: Media and Presentation
Is the Message Getting Through?
Are you making sense to your target audience? If you are not sure, think about this. Did you ever send out material in advance of a meeting, get to the meeting, and find out that most people did not read it? Don’t you hate that? What does this mean? Are the people too busy, too lazy, or maybe they just don’t care? That is not it at all.
If you talked in their language it would easier for them to come prepared to do meaningful work. Communications can come through multiple media, and because all of us are wired differently, most of us have a natural media.
That is why when we communicate we do succeed with some people, but we miss others by a mile. It is a real challenge to reach everyone all the time. This is not a people problem or a motivation problem. The selected media could be getting in the way of effective communication.
Written Words, Spoken Words
Let’s contrast written words with spoken words. Words are words are words, however, some people want to see the words in writing, and others want to hear the words. When there is a organization change, some people will say, “I heard what they wanted, but I will wait to do something until I see it in writing.” Others will say, “sure there are a lot of memos, but please tell me what you really want me to do.” These simple statements are a hint into how that person processes information and what causes him or her to take action.
We do not want to be amateur psychologists, but each person’s brain does process written and spoken words differently. Some people have a talent for processing written words. They read a book and they remember just about everything. They digest written reports and make sense out of them. Others have a great talent for processing spoken words. When they hear something it makes sense to them. If they attend a meeting and hear your message, they will remember it and can act on it.
Most of us communicate in the style that is most comfortable to us. The problem is the other person may need a different mode. If I write a great report and the other person does not understand it, I need to try again. Perhaps, if I explain it verbally, it will make sense. We do not mean you should read the report to that person word-for-word. Plan your presentation like a great speaker would plan a speech. Written and spoken words are different because there are so many non-verbal clues that come through when you speak and they are lost when you write the words down. When you speak, people are paying as much attention to you as to your message. A different non-verbal set of information comes through with the written word. Things like spelling, grammar and neatness become critical for you to maintain credibility…
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