How to determine your audience Audience analysis is crucial to understanding how communication needs to be approached. Communication is dynamic process of understanding and sharing meaning. For it to be dynamic and shared and understood, communication should be tailored based on the audience social, economics, demographic traits. Success of your communication depends on the understanding of your audience and what their needs and interest are. “To be an effective writer, you must use language that is audience-centered, not writer-centered.
In other words, transcend your own perspective and consider the needs and nterests of your readers. If you don’t define words and concepts that your readers need to understand your document, then your writing will be unsuccessful. Transforming a writer- centered draft into an audience-centered draft can be one of the most important challenges you face as a writer. Audience awareness is one of the major keys to effective writing” ( Moxley,Consider your Audience). Questions below should be used as guidelines when completing audience analysis;
1. Who are persons in the audience, and how many will be there? . How much do they know and understand the subject? 3. What are their average age, educational, economic, cultural background, and sex ratio? 4. Are they from different nationalities? Do we need a translator services if they speak different language? 5. What is their interest? 6. Do they prefer use one communication channel over another? Why? 7. What are their needs and expectations? 8. What needs to be addressed? 9. What are expectations on the time and communication turnaround? Please note, questions listed above can be used as a guidelines, however you are not limited to these questions only.
Please use your knowledge of the situation and your skills to etermine if these need to be changed or adjusted. Basic Guidelines for Formal and Informal Communication Formal Communication “A type of verbal presentation or document intended to share information and which conforms to established professional rules, standards and processes and avoids using slang terminology”. (Business Dictionary) There are four main types of formal communication within a business;
1. Downward or Top- Down Formal Communication Communication moves from higher management to the employees 2. Upward or Bottom-up Formal Communication Communication moves from the employees to the anagement information – 3. Horizontal or Lateral Formal Communication – Communication where information is shared between the department working at same level. 4. peers of different Crosswise or Diagonal Formal Communication – Communication between the employees of two different departments working at different levels. Communication needs to be supported by documentary evidence, secrecy of the communication is requested and it should be executed only through predefined channels.
It should be used for any type of requests, commands, orders and reports. Formal Informal Communication Informal Communication is a type of verbal communication in which the interchange of information does not follow any channels, communication stretches in all direction, also known as grapevine communication. “( Key Differences between formal and informal communication, Unit 3) There are four types of informal communication within a business;
1. Single Strand Chain -Communication in which one person says something to another, who then continues to share information with another person and process goes on. 2. Cluster Chain -Communication in which one person tell something to some f its trusted people and they tell to their trusted people and communication continues. 3. Probability Chain -Communication in which a person randomly chooses someone to pass some information which is of little interest. 4. Gossip Chain -Communication happens when a person share information with a group of people and they pass information to more people and in the end it’s passed to everyone. Informal communication can be used for discussion of work related problems.
Please note this type of communication does not contain any documentary evidences, and is less reliable than formal communication. It is difficult to be maintained as secrecy. Any conversation that should be contained, that has confidential information that should not be shared with other people should not be part of the informal communication; proper formal communication channels should be used. Guidelines for Written Communication (internal and external) Internal Communication Internal Communication involves communication with employees and employers at all levels of the business.
Main types of business internal written communication are memorandums, reports and emails. Proper etiquette needs to be followed when creating or replaying to any internal essages. All communication needs to be respectful; abbreviation and jargon should not be used. When responding to the emails please respond to the original email and ensure that your response time is within one business day. Each email needs to have following elements; Subject line needs to be clear and concise indicating intent of the message • Body of the email, for internal communication addressing does not need to be formal .
Use block body style with breaks between body and salutation. • Closing signature line, for internal communication your first name can be included nly. External Communication “External written communication involves clients, independent contractors, industry colleagues and other individuals not working directly for the company. ” (What is Written Communication in Business, Morgan Rush) External written communication occurs between business and any other outside party.
Business Letters, memorandums, reports, email can be used for external written communication. External written communication represents the business, and it is of utmost importance that certain rules are followed when creating this documentation. Please see below rules for creating external written communication; • Ensure that all communication follows proper etiquette (addressing, greeting, good grammar). • Communication needs to be clear and concise. Timely response is needed. Specific format needs to be used with company logos (see below).
Specific rules for Email communication to external clients’ apply; • Subject line needs to be clear and concise indicating intent of the message, do not use abbreviation. Insert the address from your contact list so full name is displayed. • Open the body with standard greeting, such as “Dear Mr. Smith “if it is your first email. For subsequent emails you can use less formal greeting, depending on the relationship you have established with the client. Keep professional tone because all communication represents our business.
Use block body style with breaks between body and salutation. Avoid embellishments, such as italics or bold. Per company policy Times New Roman should be used for all communication. Do not use color font or HTML. • Closing signature line, formal greetings sincerely and thank you are mandatory. Your signature needs to have your full name, company logo, your hone number and email address, and address of the business. (Maria Christensen, Proper Business Email Format) Attached below are the examples that need to be used when creating email, memo or business letter.
Email sample (Unit 4) Memo Sample (Unit 4) Business Letter (Unit 4) Tips for effective listening and feedback Effective Listening Effective listening is important part of the business communication. Communication involves the sharing and understanding of meaning. To fully share and understand, we need to listen. Listening is being fully attentive, fully present in the moment of interaction. We need to pay attention to both the actual words and for other clues to meaning, such as tone of voice or writing style.
Below are some tips to help you facilitating effective listening Maintain eye contact • Don’t interrupt the conversation, don’t multitask • Focus attention on message not internal monologue • Restate the message in your own words and ask if understood correctly • Ask clarifying questions to communicate interest and gain insight · Set aside time and space, not to be disturbed • Be nonjudgmental and accepting • Keep your cool Feedback Final step in the communication process is feedback. It is defined as receiver’s response to a source.
When delivering feedback we need to ensure that feedback is taken constructively. Feedback is vital part of the communication process; it is the last step of the cycle. Feedback provides an idea how much of the information we shared has been understood, what areas need to be reviewed and address again, what needs to changed or adjusted. We need our audience to be engaged and to share their feedback with us. Audience can respond different ways, below are some different forms of the feedback; Indirect Feedback -this type of feedback is not communicated directly to the source.
The fact that it has not been communicated directly limits its use or reliability, still provides valuable information. Direct Feedback – Response that comes directly from the receiver to the source. This type of feedback enables us to engage with the received in the further conversation. Internal feedback -feedback produced by the source in response to message created by the same source. When providing internal feedback ensure that message meets following criteria; • Correct • Clear • Concise • Ethical
External feedback -received from the receiver, it consist valuable information and receiver becomes source of the information themselves. Feedback is an opportunity to engage with your audience, peers to simulate your thinking, and improve your writing Therefor it can be categorized in additional five groups; 1. Evaluative 2. Interpretive 3. Supportive 4. Probing 5. Understanding Interpreting Nonverbal Communication “Nonverbal communication is the process of conveying a message without the use of words. It can include gestures and facial expressions, tone of voice, timing, and posture and where you stand as you communicate.
It can help or hinder the clear understanding of your message, but it doesn’t reveal (and can even mask) what you are really thinking. ” (Principles of Nonverbal Communication, Unit 7) Nonverbal communication is very important part of the communication. It helps us deliver our message; it helps us understand the message. Nonverbal communication is fast communication that consists of many different elements, which all need to be viewed in the context, they cannot be singled out. If you pay attention to only one element the whole message will change the meaning.
Nonverbal communication is Universal Confusing and contextual Can be intentional and unintentional Communicates feelings and attitudes By paying attention to the nonverbal cues we can understand the behavior, below are few tips which point to deceptive behavior; • Reduction in eye contact while engaged in a conversation • Awkward pauses in conversation • Higher pitch in voice • Deliberate pronunciation and articulation of words • Increased delay in response time to a question • Increased body movements like changes in posture • Decreased smiling • Decreased rate of speech
Nonverbal communication cues help us understand other people behavior and decipher communication, we also need to ensure that our nonverbal communication is aligned with our verbal communication, otherwise message across may not be well received or understood. Tips for Effective Intercultural Communication “Communication is sharing of the understanding and meaning”. (Intercultural and International Communication, unit 8) Diversity plays major part in lives of the business today.
In order to ensure that communication is successful across different diverse parts of business we need to understand what intercultural communication is and how can we be lead successful intercultural communication. Intercultural Communication is communication that occurs not only between people from different countries, but also between people with different socio-economics, educational, geographic, linguistics background. All these are traits that influence our communication and our understanding. Major obstacle in intercultural communication is ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is viewing other cultures inferior to your own.
The company will not tolerate ethnocentric behavior or any of the tendencies, stereotyping, and prejudice or assume similarity. Stereotyping -is predetermined notion about the a group of people Prejudice – Preconceived opinion not based on the actual experience Assume Similarity – assuming that people are similar, denying their culture, education and other differences. In order to lead effective international communication there are few factors that we need to pay attention; 1. Political system of the country -based on how people and business are governed it will influence how and what they are able to communicate and govern business.
Economic Systems -it reflects customs and norms of the people. Based on the relationship between people and their government we will be able to understand what approach we need to have. 3. Ethical System -this system is not formally institutionalized, but still has an impact on trades and interactions. Ethical system refers to set of norms and principals that related to individual and group behavior including businesses and organization. (Intercultural and International Communication, Unit 8)