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Tactics for Effective Communication

There are innumerable tactics for effective communication. Below are some of the more common:

Define Your Terms

  • be aware of any words you are using that may be unfamiliar to your audience.
  • whether to use it or to substitute a more common, easily understood word.
  • state the meaning directly or to rephrase the term in different words.
  • you may also convey the meaning in the process of making and supporting your points.

Choose Precise Words

  • Choose precise words that paint as vivid and accurate a mental picture as possible for your audience.
  • If you use language that is vague or abstract, your meaning may be lost or misinterpreted.

Internal Summaries and Foreshadowing

Internal summaries and foreshadowing help the audience to keep track of where they are in the message. These internal summaries help your audience keep track of progress as your message continues. With this strategy, you reinforce relationships between points, examples, and ideas in your message.This can be an effective strategy to encourage selective retention of your content.

Repetition

  • Repetition can be an effective way to drive home your meaning and help your audience retain it in their memory.
  • Indirect repetition – Finding alternative ways of saying the same point or idea.  Indirect repetition can underscore and support your points, helping them stand out in the memory of your audiences.

Visual Communication

Visuals are to support your document or presentation, not to take the place of it. Make sure that your communication is researched, organized, and presented well enough to stand on its own. Should be clearly associated with your verbal content, repeating, reinforcing, or extending the scope of your message.

Consider Your Audience

  • Fully considering the audience requires listening to them.
  • Contextual clues are important to guide your audience as they read.
  • Careful attention to contextual clues will demonstrate that you are clearly considering your audience.
  • Use a word in professional jargon, follow it by a common reference that clearly relates its essential meaning.
  • Internal summaries tell us what we’ve heard and forecast what is to come.

Take Control of Your Tone

  • Once we have characterized our tone, we need to decide whether and how it can be improved.
  • Getting a handle on how to influence tone and to make your voice match your intentions takes time and skill.
  • Seek out and be receptive to feedback from teachers, classmates, and coworkers.

Use Signposts

“Signposts” (or indicators), are key words that alert the audience to a change in topic, a tangential explanation, an example, or a conclusion.

Check for Understanding

Ask clarifying questions. Make time for feedback and plan for it.

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