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Communication: Mastering the Message

What sets YOU apart from others... and can you communicate this effectively?


What is Communication?

Communication involves the exchange of information and messages to share knowledge, educate, express emotions, influence, establish relationships, and/or interact with your audience.


As a Communications Strategist, I categorize communication into five main types:


1) VERBAL COMMUNICATION


2) NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION


3) WRITTEN COMMUNICATION


4) VISUAL COMMUNICATION


5) DIGITAL COMMUNICATION


Over the next few minutes, I'll delve much deeper into verbal and non-verbal communication channels.


1) Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is one of the most effective and direct ways to convey a message or content. It involves speaking or voice communication, including face-to-face conversations, meetings, presentations, and real-time virtual platforms like Zoom, which we have all become very familiar with over the past few years. It also encompasses telephone calls and FaceTime.


Benefits of Verbal Communication:

  • Express needs and ideas clearly: It helps us articulate our thoughts and requirements.

  • Immediate insight: We can gauge how the recipient is receiving the message in real time.

  • Build personal and professional relationships: It allows us to connect, build, and maintain better relationships.

  • Engage effectively: Verbal communication allows immediate feedback and more engaging interactions.


(5) Tips for Effective Verbal Communication:


  1. BE CLEAR & CONCISE - Ensure your message or content is straightforward and gets to the point quickly to maintain the listener's attention.

  2. ORGANIZE YOUR MESSAGE - Thoughtfully structure your message so the audience can follow along easily.

  3. STAY RELEVANT - Keep your content relatable to your overall topic and audience.

  4. MATCH TONE & CONTENT - Ensure your delivery matches the context and content of your message, conveying emotion and emphasis where needed.

  5. ALIGN BODY LANGUAGE WITH WORDS - Your body language should support your words, dramatically impacting how your message is received.


Verbal communication is the foundation of human interaction and connection, playing a crucial role in building stronger personal and professional relationships.     


2) Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication plays a critical role in how messages are received and interpreted.  It involves conveying messages without speaking, by using body language, facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and posture. This form of communication can enhance or even change the meaning behind the spoken words from verbal communication.

Paralanguage encompasses tone, pitch, volume, and intonation, which also plays a part in communicating.


Ways we communicate non-verbally:


BODY LANGUAGE:

  • Posture: How you stand or sit can convey confidence, openness, or defensiveness.

  • Gestures: Movements of the hands, arms, or head can emphasize or even contradict what is being said.

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS:

  • Our face: Can convey a wide range of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, anxiety, and more.

EYE CONTACT:

  • The way you look at someone: Or conversely, how they look at you - can communicate many emotions, such as interest, attention, disgust, lust, or also signal confidence. While avoiding eye contact can signal fear or discomfort.

PARALANGUAGE:

  • Tone of Voice: The quality of your voice, whether calm, excited, or nervous, can affect the interpretation of your message.

  • Pitch: High or low pitch can convey different emotions.

  • Volume: Speaking loudly can show excitement or anger, while a softer voice can indicate calmness or secrecy.

  • Intonation: This is the rise and fall of your voice, and it can also affect how your message is perceived.

USE OF SPACE:

  • Personal Space: How you use your personal space and the space around you also tells a story.

APPEARANCE:

  • Clothing, Hairstyle, and Grooming: These can convey your personal style and confidence level, influencing perceptions of credibility and professionalism.  Stay true to who you are and be comfortable, but ensure that your appearance is industry-specific and appropriate for the environment and occasion.


(5) Tips for effective non-verbal communication:


  1. RESPECT PERSONAL SPACE - Be aware of people’s personal space and respect boundaries.  It’s a BIG deal, especially when navigating different social situations and cultural contexts.

  2. MAINTAIN GOOD EYE CONTACT – Good, steady eye contact shows engagement, you are actively listening, and that you’re interested.  However, avoid staring or making others feel uncomfortable.

  3. SHOWCASE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS – Ensure your facial expressions match your emotions. Smile when appropriate and show empathy when its needed.

  4. CONTROL YOUR TONE OF VOICE - Match your tone, pitch, and volume to the context of the message to ensure it is received as intended.

  5. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE – Always stand tall, shoulders back with an open posture, balanced stance and feet planted firmly in stillness. Take up space to exude confidence.  And Own Your Presence!


Non-Verbal communication is essential in how we communicate, build connections, and ensure messages are conveyed accurately.  By being self-aware and understanding your own communication strengths and limitations, you can dramatically improve your leadership presence and build stronger personal and professional relationships.


Non-verbal communication adds depth to verbal communication by adding and expressing feelings, emotions, and attitudes.  It enhances our understanding and ability to build more trusting relationships.


3) Written Communication

Written communication encompasses letters, texts, reports, and emails. This form of communication is essential for documenting information and providing clear, concise messages that can be referred to later.


4) Visual Communication

Visual communication uses presentations, videos, and photographs to convey messages. This channel is highly effective because it combines visual elements with information, making it easier to understand and remember. 

Short-form videos have become a powerful tool, enabling people to reach a wider audience with engaging and easily digestible content.  They also provide the ability to connect with viewers on a personal level, offering immediate value and inspiration.


5) Digital Communication:

Email, instant messaging, social media, websites, blogs, and webinars are all considered forms of digital communication. This form of communication is essential in our digital age, allowing for quick and widespread dissemination of information.


BONUS:

* Non-verbal communication - proxemics:

Proxemics examines the role of distance and space in social interactions.  It involves understanding personal space - the distance individuals need to have between themselves and others to feel comfortable, secure and safe. Especially in today's environment, being able to understand and navigate interpersonal communications within social interactions will help to avoid discomfort and misunderstandings.  Awareness of proxemic differences across cultures can improve all interactions and international relations in various settings.  


In Conclusion

All of these communication channels can be utilized individually or in combination to master your message and ensure it is conveyed clearly to your audience. Effective communication enhances understanding and connection among people, contributing to the overall success of our personal and professional goals. Being self-aware and improving our communication will, in turn, improve relationships in families, workplaces, businesses, communities, and the world overall.


What other ways do you communicate?  Are you confident about your presence and your ability to connect, engage, and communicate value with clarity?


Here's to us all being intentional and leveling up our communication game in 2024 and beyond!

 

If you have questions... reach out. If you're looking for a strategic thinking or accountability partner, or support in stepping into your power... Let's Connect. And let me know what other topics you would like to see covered in future ME Blog posts.


Learn more about coaching, and so much more at Model Executive.  


Until next time... Sending you peace and positive vibes!

  

And Continue to Model Excellence! j



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