Talk like You Mean It

I mean to mean what I mean.

Being a Communications major comes with a lot of responsibility. The bottom line is you better know how to deliver a message. Connecting with an audience requires you to fully understand the message you’re sharing as well as fully understanding the audience you’re reaching out to.

Don’t think communication is just sharing information. Communication is about creating understanding between you and another party. You know them and they know you. The more you understand about something, the less you have to explain.

A Failure to Communicate

You can’t blame the other person for not understanding where you are coming from. It takes two to communicate. I remember seeing two other students in a math class working out a problem. One of them got frustrated when the other didn’t see the solution. I remember him saying, “I’m trying to help you. Why aren’t you getting this?” He apparently didn’t get it.

Yelling does not get your point across more clearly. If anything, you destroy your chances of clear communication when you belittle the person you are talking to. Communication is work and you need to work together with others to make it happen. If you can do that, then everybody wins.

One More Time

Sometimes we miss what somebody said. “Could you repeat that?” A lot of people have a hard time repeating or clarifying what they previously communicated. Communication is work and people don’t want to create more work for themselves. “I shouldn’t have to repeat myself.” Actually, you do.

Communication is not a one and done job. It is a continuous pursuit. I am willing to do everything I can to create understanding between me and others. If understanding ever falls short, then I will come in with renewed communication to ensure understanding is reestablished. I’ll repeat myself if I have to. I’ll use new words and new concepts if it helps. If something is worth communicating, then it is worth the time it takes to communicate it properly even if it means continuing to repeat the same message till the end of time.

Hints and Tips

Hidden meanings don’t help anyone. Just say what you mean. You can’t expect to create understanding if you are purposefully holding back information. Implying things can be good in a mystery novel, but it is counterproductive in the real world. “I shouldn’t have to say it.” Yes, you should.

Important subjects that are difficult to communicate deserve more than a halfhearted attempt at being communicated. Want to share something embarrassing? Own it. Want to express something personal? Embrace it. Need to explain a complicated issue? Break it down. People deserve a straight answer. A truth is only of worth when you have all of it.

What I’m Really Trying to Say

All communication has a point to it. The information we share is only part of the message. We must also ask why we are sharing a particular message. Are we talking simply to pass the time? Are you talking to someone because you hope they will like you? Are you trying to learn something specific about someone? Think about the purpose of your communication with the audience and you will have less trouble getting your point across. Know what I mean?

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