Have you ever felt a chill run down your spine after reading a certain piece and the content of what you just read keeps ringing in your head for a seemingly long time afterwards? Yes, you are not alone, it has happened to the best of us, and you will be surprised at the amount of effort, learnings and sleepless nights that had gone into mastering the art of writing by such authors.
Oftentimes, we understate the technicalities that go into communication considering that most times we communicate verbally which are mostly informal. But occasionally, we are required to pass across certain formal means of communication either in written forms or speech, and it is at that point that we discover that communication is an art, and as with all other arts, can be learnt and mastered.
What is communication?
Communication can be simply put as the exchange of information in any form such as speaking, writing, gestures, sign languages, or any other medium that enables the sender to pass across their intended purpose to the receiver.
From the above definition, we can infer that communication consists of three parts which we can identify as the sender, the message being passed, and the recipient. Communication is not effective if the message being passed across is not understood by the recipient, so we must be intentional about not losing the essence of the message. According to the words of the popular Nigerian Actor, Nkem Owoh said in one of his movie Scenes “…If you want to talk to me, talk to me directly, don’t go through the corners…” we have to be cautious enough to ensure that external factors such as intelligence, culture, do not act as shields that prevents accurate interpretation of our intended message.
How do we communicate?
There are a lot of ways that we communicate that sometimes we pass across a message without even being aware we had sent it out. This goes to say the way we communicate can be verbal, non-verbal, and visual.
We say a communication is verbal when we use words to convey our message. It is important to note that the term verbal communication often passes across the idea of spoken communication, but we need to note that written communication is also considered a part of verbal communication.
Non-verbal communication, however, refers to the other subtle ways that we communicate with others. It can be unintentional sometimes. For instance, our facial expressions can express disgust about a particular event. Sometimes we find ourselves nodding to show approval. There are also instances where the tone of our voice can give hints about the current mood of a speaker.
Visual communication involves the use of visual elements such as logos, screenshots, infographics, charts, and other forms of design. In this case, we should ensure that the targeted recipients have the capability to interpret the contents of the visual we are displaying to them. There are several techniques that can guide how we effectively communicate, from researching about the subject matter, to researching the audience we are about to communicate with. I will be going over these steps in my next post, so make sure you do not miss it for anything as you’re on your way to becoming the next master of the communication art.