Effective Communication Reflection

2 February 2017

Effective communication is undoubtedly an important module in the course of study in NTU. Studies done over the years have concluded that two of the most important skills, regardless of professions, are oral communication skills and interpersonal abilities. As such, I would like to reflect on a very crucial skill, public speaking. The first part of public speaking would be the preparation; planning a speech. The PAC-SSS model would prove to be useful in this task. The purpose chosen should not be too general.

The profile of the audience, as well as the interests and needs, should also be taken into account. The substance should be tailored such that it is suitable for the audience. A formal and standard language as well as an appropriate tone should be adopted in the speech. Complex sentences should be avoided as they are more difficult for audience to follow. A fail-safe structure to follow would be ‘Tell them what you are going to say’, followed by ‘Say it’, and ending with ‘Tell them what you have just said’.

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The next part of public speaking would be the delivery of the actual speech.

The 7%-38%-55% Rule by Albert Mehrabian, currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, states that in human communications, verbal words accounts for only 7% of the message, whereas vocal tone accounts for 38% and visual effects accounts for 55%! Body motions, such as eye contact, facial expressions, gesture and posture, cannot be neglected in a presentation. Paralanguage, accounting for vocal characteristics and vocal interferences, is also an important aspect of a presentation. All these skills learnt in this module are crucial to me not only in the future, but also right now.

Firstly, on a daily basis, being able to communicate effectively and speak convincingly will impact my life significantly. For example, being able to speak convincingly would help me gain the confidence of others with ease. Secondly, it will also aid possible presentations in school in the near future. Last but most importantly, it will be the number one skill needed at work. Lee Lacocca once said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your brains won’t get you anywhere. ” Effective communication is a lifelong skill.

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