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Effective Communication

Example of when written communication is more effective to oral

Communication is the process where encoded idea is sent through a message by a sender to a receiver who decodes it according to their perceptions. Communication involves transfer of information from a source to a recipient. Oral and written communications are the two most common forms of communication. Written communication involves all types of communication that use the written word ( Caputo 15 ). Oral communication uses the spoken word. Although written communication is largely a static form of communication compared to oral communication, which offers a rich and dynamic transfer of information, in certain cases written communication is more effective than oral communication.

Firstly, written communication deals with the challenge of precision that is common with oral communication. Written communication is therefore largely desirable where an individual intends to communicate precisely. The precision of written communication is contributed by the fact that written words can often be chosen with greater thought and deliberation compared to oral communication. It is also faced with less risks of misinterpretation as is likely to occur with oral communication due to the differences in interpretation of various non verbal signals. Written communication is thus common where precision and permanency of information is desirable such as in business situations including reports, bulletins, memos, electronic mail, manuals, bulletins, which are used for internal communication and letters, faxes, postcards, telegrams, advertisements, contracts, news releases and so on for external communication.


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Written communication is also often desirable in communicating intricate, lengthy and even vastly complicated arguments. This is usually possible since the pace of involvement in writing is often under the control of both the writer and the reader. The writers usually can write and rewrite as they desire; a process that may even take many years.  The writer also has opportunities to read slowly, stop to reflect on what they have read or even read at a fast pace. Additionally, the reader can always exercise the option of re-reading.  In fact, the mere possibility that a reader has an option of re-reading the text in case they do not understand the intended message usually impacts on the readers understanding of the text. Examples of communication that would be best delivered written rather than orally include complex scientific materials or philosophical arguments that may require very high levels of concentration. Considering the short span of concentration; ranging from 16-25 minutes that most audience may grasp most content with any additional time resulting to reduced retention of information, complex and lengthy information remains best communicated through writing (Adair 37).

Examples of when oral communication would be more desirable to written communication

Oral communication would be more desirable when the need for effective communication of meaning is very high. Oral communication uses the spoken word to pass information form the source to a recipient. Unlike written communication that is precise but with fewer signals for communicating, oral communication offers the sender with a wide repertoire of signals that contribute to the increased effectiveness of the speaker in communicating to the audience. Some of these signals include and are not limited to intonation, gestures, volume, pitch, inflection, pauses, movement, and visual clues. Effectiveness is further enhanced by increasing the speakers control over what the listener hears than would be possible with the reader in written communication. Effectiveness is also enhanced by the speaker maintaining the attention of the audience since speakers lack the benefit of the audience re-reading the spoken word. Examples of situations where oral communication would be beneficial is where communication to groups of people who share similar cultures and other attributes. The sharing of culture means that in such situations, the audience and the speaker share in the interpretation of the signals portrayed by both the speaker and the audience. In contrasting cultures, various signals may have different meaning creating a challenge of effectively communicating through use of the spoken word in such cases.

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Another situation where oral communication would be more desirable is where a speaker desires to get immediate feedback. Whereas written communication may not provide avenue for instant feedback, oral communication audiences can always transmit immediate feedback to the sender of information. Where this is beneficial may include situations such as when in a rescue operation where timelines of feedback is crucial for the success of the rescue operation. Using written communication can result to increase frustrations and uncertainty as the feedback is not received instantaneously.

Coupled with the fact that spoken communication provides the sender to read the audience by observing and interpreting various cues such as non verbal clues on whether they find the information being presented to be interesting, coherent, comprehensible or even boring and so on, the sender can adapt to the audiences feedback to increase not only the effectiveness of the communication process but also to increase the effectiveness of the communication.

Characteristics of a person who is an effective communicator

Effective communication is an art that is applicable to many spheres of life ranging from education, work, relations, among other areas. Whereas some individuals who posses certain qualities that make them effective communicators, many others lack these qualities. By observing a friend who is a good communicator, I observed that the individual posses various qualities that make him a good communicator. These qualities include understanding the audience, using eye contact, enthusiasm, clarity, ability to listen to the audience feedback, providing feedback and appreciating the audience's contribution.

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An effective communicator must know the audience to whom they are communicating. Various characteristics of the audience will influence how they perceive and interpret the communication. The communication process will also be affected by various factors such as differences in culture that may result to interpretation of signals differently. Additionally, knowing the audience enhances the speaker-audience relationship. For example, speaking to ones parents and peers is dissimilar. Understanding the audience facilitates a total information exchange and feedback that enhances the entire communication process (Caputo 79)

Effective communicator also shows interest in the audience by maintain eye contact. This shows that the communicator is engaged with the audience and this is one of the most important ways of measuring the level of engagement among the audience. Low eye contact may indicate a largely disengaged audience.

Listening is also another important element of a good communicator. Listening applies not only to verbal clues but also to non-verbal clues such as the meaning of eye contact, intonation of feedback, among other clues that can indicate the unspoken and hidden meaning among the audiences feedback. This is done without interruption.

Clarity is also a crucial component in the skills that a good communicator must have. A good communicator must be able to clearly enunciate words, talk briefly and briskly. Clarity further entails getting to the point without getting off track (Caputo 55)

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Effective communicators also radiate a lot of energy, friendliness and even excitement. This is also coupled with a powerful personal presence. These communicators do not send non verbal cues such as stuttering, rolling eyes, fidgeting and other non-verbal cues that may be indicators of lack of self-esteem or as signs of sarcasm.

Effective communicators also acknowledge and praise other people's contribution. This is used as a way of maintaining supportive relationships with the audience as most of the praises are often linked with the specific attributes, activities or qualities of the audience.

Finally, a good communicator must also take time before making responses. This is especially critical when faced with situations that are challenging.

Necessary steps in organizing ideas for a presentation

A well organized presentation makes it easier for the audience to understand the presentation. Before organizing the ideas, a presenter should determine what they intend to communicate or accomplish with a presentation, make an analysis of the audience and find supporting material for their presentation. The need fro organization stems from the fact that although many people think non-linearly, they find it easier to follow linearly arranged information rather than random information. Various steps are thus necessary to make an effective presentation.

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The first step involves identification of the ideas that would form the presentation. Determination of ideas that would form part of the presentation involves thinking of all the possible ideas. This may further involve drawing a list of all the possible ideas. Such ideas are generated from previous knowledge of a subject, analysis of the expected audience and other research carried form other sources. Such list of ideas may include various elements such as the general ideas, definitions, stories, analogies and specific evidence relating to the topic and the audience.

After getting the ideas, the second step is identification of the facets or subdivisions of the topic. These involves grouping of all the materials collected according to different attributes such as history of the subject, problems with the subject, or so on. One of the best ways is to group the ideas into few major ideas.

Thirdly, a decision on which subdivisions are crucial for the purpose has to be made. This entails determining which among the ideas will aid in achieving the intended purpose. At this stage those ideas that do not help in attaining the intended purpose are weeded. Care at this stage should be taken to not only include enough points for the idea but also to provide enough relevant material to support and develop the ideas. Similarly, the information provided should not be so much so that it becomes impossible to cover all the information at the same tike. It is thus important to determine those ideas that could be made more concise and those that may require to be developed further.

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The fourth step involves organizing the presentation into major subdivisions along with the supporting material. This involves determining the order in which the main ideas and the materials supporting the ideas would be expressed. This may entail use of various organizational patterns based on what you intend to achieve and communicate in communicating with the audience.

Outlining of the speech follows the fourth step. This step is then followed by addition of signposts and transitions. Transitions are things that are the things that a presenter says to indicate to the audience that they have moved form a point to a different point or from a step to the next in a process. Signposts on the other hand are phrases contained within main points and are used to indicate movement from a subordinate point to another subordinate point.

Finally, the outline should be revised and made better before finally delivering the presentation. For example, a presentation about the differences between feelings and emotions may originate from internal, reading other materials or the intended audience, such as a psychology class. Such a presentation may present various attributes that differentiate emotions and feelings.

Most important elements in making an effective oral presentation

Making an effective oral presentation often entails various crucial elements. From initial planning to the final delivery of the message, a presenter should be armed to deliver the intended message. This entails particular elements.

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Firstly, initial planning process should involve determination of some factors. Before the preparation of the presentation, the presenter should decide on the type of talk that they intend to give. Such questions as whether the talk will be an informal presentation, a conference, and talk and so on will have to be answered s the intent of either type of presentation is dissimilar to others. For example, the intent of a conference presentation may not be similar to a job interview.

Other factors in the panning process include determining the audience composition, which may range from specialist to general audience, the time for the presentation should neither exceed and the presenter must be aware of the available time. The presenter must practice to deliver the presentation within the intended time. Expectations regarding content should be determined as it would depend on the audience and their level of understanding. Presentations should also be interesting.

An effective oral presentation should make use of key visual elements. Among thee is organization of the presentation. The presentation should have an introduction, body and the conclusion. Additionally, information flow should make it easier to communicate the intended message. Earlier in the presentation, the oral presenter should orient the audience to the objectives, goals and motives of the presentation. Additionally, use of templates, standardized colors and same symbols for similar data is advisable.

Presentation mechanisms constitute a crucial element of the oral presentation. An effective oral presentation should not involve reading directly from slides or from a set of notes. The presenter should be dressed appropriately. The presenter should also maintain eye contact with the audience and these should not mean focusing on only several individuals in the audience.

Finally, the presenter should be clear and should be able to mask nervousness. This is especially critical as the exchange communication involves use of both verbal and non verbal signals.

Considering the presentation on the difference between emotions and feelings, the intended level audience could be college level psychology students. Such a presentation could be done in class. Effective presentation would require that all the elements described, which include planning, dressing, understanding the audiences and so on are taken into consideration.

The relationship between the degree an individual is willing to be transparent with others in communication and evaluation of interpersonal relationship

Howard argues that the desire for human beings to be perfect is one of the major hindrances to communication. As the title: Trauma of Transparency: denotes, Howard asserts that it is traumatic to open up to other individuals. Due to pride, most individuals conceal the fact that they are imperfect, consequently creating barriers to communication. Howards notes that since the time of Adam and Eve, human beings have always won masks, thus hiding and covering ourselves from each other, covering our needs and so on. Such self centered pride is argued by Howard to be the root cause of most of our problems in communication. Comparing Satan's self centered pride to individual's pride, Howard argues that barriers to effective communication result from such pride.  Howard thus asserts that the most effective communication requires openness and honesty (Howard 11).

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Various researches have supported Howard's assertion. Specifically, research indicates that effective communication requires honest and open communication. Since the process of comm8unication involves sending information and receiv9ing feedback, any pretenses, acting and hiding behind a mask camouflages the real identification of the individuals communication needs and thus may in fact lead to misinterpretation of the communication signals. When this is discovered, lack of trust may also develop further leading to wider gaps in communication. Such gaps further render the communication ineffective.

Howard gives the example of Adam and Eve who although naked, they were not ashamed of themselves. They were comfortable together and no barriers existed between them. Only when they sinned did they start feeling ashamed. They also hid from God thereby alienating themselves. Similarly, this is analogous to individuals who through camouflaging themselves create barriers to communication. Consequently, the more transparent an individual is the more the effectiveness of the communication.

What does it take for a group of people to function effectively as a team or group?

A team is made up of a group of people who have come together to achieve certain common objectives or goals. In order for teams to be effective, there are various crucial elements that must exist. One of the factors influencing effective teamwork is effective communication. Effective communication is enhanced by shared norms, culture and other attributes, effective teamwork further entails respecting each other. Teams are especially at higher risks of dysfunctional communication due to the likelihood of differences in team members. Effective teamwork therefore requires that team members participate actively in contributing to the overall success of an organization or to attain specific objectives. In order to succeed team members must understand each other; they must also understand what is expected of each of them. This is only possible where communication is open and everyone understands their roles in the teams.

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Barriers to communication should be addressed to ensure effective team work. The style of leadership existing in a team will determine how successful the team becomes, Effective strategies that may ensure high performance of teams may necessitate developing of a participatory style. The staffs in this style are encouraged to offer feedback, suggestions while the leader listens to the ideas of the team members and acknowledges their contributions. The leaders should also encourage the team members to discuss issues and to find solutions as a team. Clear roles and objectives should be set. This should also be communicated to all the team members. Precise communication that avoids ambiguity should be made indicating each tem ambers responsibility. All rules and norms should also be identified. The rationale for the rules, standards and norms should be explained in details to ensure that the team ambers are ware of the rationale. This increases support by team members. The implications for the rules should also be communicated clearly.

The teamwork at work may differ from an organization such as a church or the National model railroad association or even the Cancer society. Largely, the communication approach foe the different setting will be impacted by the location. While the church, the shared norms and intentions differ, it means that other differences in the teams may also be evident. This would also apply to a place like the cancer society where it deals with sensitive information on health patients, and also this may differ in sensitivity with the national Model Railroad association.



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