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Effective written communication - Essay Example

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Knowing audience is particularly important because it enables the communicator to understand the expectations of the audience. For instance, a speech prepared for a high school…
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Understanding the Audience One of the defining characteristics of great communicators is the ability to know their audience. Knowing audience is particularly important because it enables the communicator to understand the expectations of the audience. For instance, a speech prepared for a high school audience cannot be suitable for graduate students simply because graduate students would have a higher expectation out of a presentation. It is also important to note that different audience setting may have different intellectual level necessitating the need to tune a public speech or talk accordingly. Cultural beliefs and perceptions determine the way in which an audience interprets information. Therefore, understanding the audience cultural background makes it possible for a public speaker to craft the message within the audience’s cultural context.
Understanding oneself marks the beginning of an effective rapport between a communicator and audience. For instance, a public speaker can only joke to the extent in which he or she is funny. Listening to the audience enables the speaker to know when to pause, repeat, or simply “allow a light moment to be expressed” (Ellis 124). Self-awareness ensures that the speaker remains in control of the audience at all times. For instance, an audience may laugh at a pronunciation error. However, the public speaker may take quick control and pass it on as a bluff. On the same note, self-awareness enables a public speaker to remain honest to the audience especially when questions are asked. By assessing personal knowledge on the subject matter, a public speaker may decide to or not to answer questions after a presentation. Providing false information may actually raise more difficult questions than anticipated.
Public speaking may involve speaking to an audience with unique characteristics. For instance, a public speaker addressing an investment group needs to understand the investment context of the audience. Validating the audience’s beliefs or system of thinking strengthens the bond with the audience. For instance, the speaker might keep echoing ‘return on investment’ because that is what investors believe in. This way the audience will feel the speaker validated their heartfelt sentiments. Another important reason for audience validation is that it puts the speaker as knowledgeable in the subject matter irrespective of whether the speaker has a strong background on the subject or not.
Prowess in public speaking and leadership is a continuous process of constant growth and development. One of the best ways to advance public speaking skills is actually rehearsing and practicing. Good public speakers spend countless hours rehearsing and memorizing speeches before public appearance. Another way of honing public speaking skills is by learning from the experts. Reading extensively on the art of public speaking goes a long way into equipping a speaker with necessary skills. In addition, watching the experienced speakers can help improve public speaking skills. For example, “TedTalk Show; Ideas worth spreading” is a good place to watch examples of good public speakers. It is worth noting that no amount of learning will make one a perfect speaker without putting the learned skills into practice. It is highly recommended that learned skills be put into use through active participation in public speaking. Learning from past mistakes and improving on future public speeches is the way to go.
Works Cited
Ellis, Richard. Communication Skills: Stepladders to Success for the Professional. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2009. Print. Read More
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