Communication and Eye Contact
COMMUNICATION 1. Communication Introduction: Communication is a process whereby information is enclosed in a package and is channelled and imparted by a sender to a receiver via some medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of communication require a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, however the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication in order for the act of communication to occur. Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality.
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There are verbal means using language and there are nonverbal means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, haptic communication, chromatics, and eye contact, through media, i. e. , pictures, graphics and sound, and writing. It is essential that the basic elements of communication be identified. These elements are: • Sender/encoder/speaker • Receiver/decoder/listener • Message • Medium • Feedback/reply Sender/encoder/Speaker: The person who initiates the communication process is normally referred to as the sender. 2. Receiver/decoder/listener: The listener receives an encoded message which he attempts to decode. . Message: Message is the encoded idea transmitted by the sender. The formulation of the message is very important for an incorrect patterning can turn the receiver hostile or make him lose interest. 4. Medium: Another important element of communication is the medium or channel. It could be oral, written, or non-verbal, prior to the composition of the message, the medium/ channel should be decided. 5. Feedback: This is the most important component of communication. Effective communication takes place only when there is feedback. 2. TYPES OF COMMUNICATION, MEDIA, BARRIERS.
Communication of information, messages, opinions, speech and thoughts can be done via different forms of modern communication media, like, e-mail, telephone and mobile. Some of the basic ways of communication are by speaking, singing, sign language, body language, touch and eye contact. There are many different types of communication but they can be classified into four basic types of communication. These four types of communication are as follows: Verbal Communication: Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking. Language is said to have originated from sounds and gestures.
There are many languages spoken in the world. The bases of language formation are: gender, class, profession, geographical area, age group and other social elements. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and is again classified into two type’s viz. interpersonal communication and public speaking. Good verbal communication is an inseparable part of business communication. Fluent verbal communication is essential to deal with people in business meetings. Also, in business communication self-confidence plays a vital role which when clubbed with fluent communication skills can lead to success.
Public speaking is another verbal communication in which you have to address a group of people. In public speaking, the speech must be prepared according to the type of audience you are going to face. All the main points in your speech must be highlighted and these points should be delivered in the correct order. Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion. Creative and aesthetic non-verbal communication includes singing, music, dancing and sculpturing. Symbols and sign language are also included in non-verbal communication.
Body language is a non-verbal way of communication. Body posture and physical contact convey a lot of information. Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the signals conveyed by a body posture. Physical contact, like, shaking hands, pushing, patting and touching expresses the feeling of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Written Communication: Written communication is writing the words which you want to communicate. Good written communication is essential for business purposes. Written communication is practiced in many different languages.
E-mails, reports, articles and memos are some of the ways of using written communication in business. The written communication can be edited and amended many times before it is communicated to the second party to whom the communication is intended. This is one of the main advantages of using writing as the major means of communication in business activity. Written communication is used not only in business but also for informal communication purposes. Visual communication: Visual communication is visual display of information, like, topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs.
Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication. Media of communication Media may refer to: * Media (communication), tools used to store and deliver information or data * Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising * Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass electronic communication networks * Digital media, electronic media used to store, transmit, and receive digitized information * Electronic media, communications delivered via electronic or electromechanical energy * Hypermedia, media with hyperlinks Mass media, all means of mass communication * Multimedia, communications that incorporate multiple forms of information content and processing * New media, a broad term encompassing the amalgamation of traditional media with the interactive power of computer and communications technology * News media, mass media focused on communicating news * News media (United States), the news media of the United States of America * Print media, communications delivered via paper or canvas * Published media, any media made available to the public * Recording media, devices used to store information
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION No matter how good the communication system in an organisation is, unfortunately barriers can and do often occur. This may be caused by a number of factors which can usually be summarised as being due to physical barriers, system design faults or additional barriers. There may be some faults /barriers in the communication system that prevents the message from reaching the receiver, these barriers are as follows: * Language Barrier: Different languages, vocabulary, accent, dialect represents a national/ regional barriers.
Semantic gaps are words having similar pronunciation but multiple meanings like- round; badly expressed message, wrong interpretation and unqualified assumptions. The use of difficult or inappropriate words/ poorly explained or misunderstood messages can result in confusion. * Cultural Barriers: Age, education, gender, social status, economic position, cultural background, temperament, health, beauty, popularity, religion, political belief, ethics, values, motives, assumptions, aspirations, rules/regulations, standards, priorities can separate one person from another and create a barrier. Individual Barrier: It may be a result of an individual’s perceptual and personal discomfort. Even when two persons have experienced the same event their mental perception may/may not be identical which acts as a barrier. Style, selective perception, halo effect, poor attention and retention, defensiveness, close mindedness, insufficient filtration are the Individual or Psychological barrier. * Organizational Barrier:
It includes Poor Organization’s culture, climate, stringent rules, regulations, status, relationship, complexity, inadequate facilities/ opportunities of growth and improvement; whereas; the nature of the internal and external environment like large working areas physically separated from others, poor lightening, staff shortage, outdated equipments and background noise are Physical Organizational Barrier. * Interpersonal Barrier:
Barriers from Employers are :- Lack of Trust in employees; Lack of Knowledge of non-verbal clues like facial expression, body language, gestures, postures, eye contact; different experiences; shortage of time for employees; no consideration for employee needs; wish to capture authority; fear of losing power of control; bypassing and informational overloading, while Barriers from Employees includes Lack of Motivation, lack of co-operation, trust, fear of penalty and poor relationship with the employer. * Attitudinal Barrier: It comes about as a result of problems with staff in the organisation.
Limitation in physical and mental ability, intelligence, understanding, pre-conceived notions, and distrusted source divides the attention and create a mechanical barrier which affects the attitude and opinion. * Channel Barrier: If the length of the communication is long, or the medium selected is inappropriate, the communication might break up; it can also be a result of the inter-personal conflicts between the sender and receiver; lack of interest to communicate; information sharing or access problems which can hamper the channel and affect the clarity, accuracy and effectiveness.
To communicate effectively one need to overcome these barriers. Working on breaking the barrier is a broad-brush activity and here are certain measures. DO’S FOR BREAKING THE BARRIER: * Allow employees access to resources, self expression and idea generation. * Express your expectations to others. * Use less of absolute words such as “never”, “always”, “forever”, etc. * Be a good, attentive and active listener. * Filter the information correctly before passing on to someone else. Try to establish one communication channel and eliminate the intermediaries. * Use specific and accurate words which audiences can easily understand. * Try and view the situations through the eyes of the speaker. * The “you” attitude must be used on all occasions. * Maintain eye contact with the speaker and make him comfortable. * Write the instructions if the information is very detailed or complicated. * Oral communication must be clear and not heavily accented. * Avoid miscommunication of words and semantic noise. Ask for clarifications, repetition where necessary. * Make the organisational structure more flexible, dynamic and transparent. * Foster congenial relationship which strengths coordination between superior and subordinate. * Focus on purposeful and well focused communication. * The message of communication should be clear and practical. * Get Proper Feedback. DONT’S FOR BREAKING THE BARRIER: * Be a Selective Listener, this is when a person hears another but selects not to hear what is being said by choice or desire to hear some other message. Be a “Fixer”, a fixer is a person that tries to find other person’s fault. * Be a daydreamer. * Use long chain of command for communication. * Use too many technical jargons. * Jump to conclusions immediately. * Interrupt the speakers and distract him by asking too many irrelevant questions. 3. BUSINESS LETTERS 4. AGENDA AND ITS STRUCTURE An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment.
It usually includes one or more specific items of business to be considered. It may, but is not required to, include specific times for one or more activities. An agenda may also be called a docket. In business meetings of deliberative bodies, the agenda may also be known as the orders of the day. The agenda is usually distributed to a meeting’s participants prior to the meeting, so that they will be aware of the subjects to be discussed, and are able to prepare for the meeting accordingly. FORM OF AGENDA:
The agenda is usually headed with the date, time and location of the meeting, followed by a series of points outlining the order of the meeting. Points on a typical agenda may include: * Welcome/open meeting * Support for absence (what ever that is) * Approve minutes of the previous meeting * Matters arising from the previous meeting * A list of specific points to be discussed — this section is where the bulk of the discussion as well as decisions in the meeting usually takes place * Any other business (AOB) — allowing a participant to raise another point for discussion. Arrange/announce details of next meeting * Close meeting An effective meeting agenda, which states what activities will take place during the meeting, serves various important functions: * It forces the meeting leader or group to think out what needs to be accomplished * Provided ahead of time (as it should be), the agenda lets people know what to expect and allows them to prepare as necessary * It provides a blueprint or path for the meeting to follow * It reminds people of what there is left to cover if time gets to be an issue Sample agenda . MEETINGS-DO’S AND DON’T’S Formal or informal deliberative assembly of individuals called to debate certain issues and problems, and to take decisions. Formal meetings are held at definite times, at a definite place, and usually for a definite duration to follow an agreed upon agenda. In a corporate setting, they are divided into two main groups (1) Organizational meeting: normally a regular meeting involving stockholders (shareholders) and management, such as a board meeting and annual general meeting (AGM). 2) Operational meeting: regular or ad hoc meeting involving management and employees, such as a committee meeting, planning meeting, and sales meeting. A meeting is typically headed by a chairperson, and its deliberations are recorded in a written form called minutes. Meetings, while disliked by many, are an essential part of myriad business operations. They are often the best venue for communications to take place, for issues to be discussed, for priorities to be set, and for decisions to be made in various realms of business management.
Because it is more common for responsibility to be spread out across an organization these days, and because cross-functional efforts are common at almost every business, meetings are the best method for achieving organizational participation. Holding successful meetings, then, is essential. Poorly run meetings waste time and fail to generate ideas, and unfortunately, far too high a percentage of business meetings are characterized by ineffective processes. Indeed, some analysts estimate that up to 50 percent of meeting time is wasted.
Entrepreneurs and small business managers should thus take the appropriate steps to ensure that the meetings that they call and lead are productive. Do’s ; Don’ts Everyone in business needs to understand meeting etiquette is an important part of business communications and there is a need to follow proper procedures for professional conduct in them. Bad meetings reflect on one’s ability to conduct professional group communications and have an adverse influence on problem solving. Here is a baker’s dozen list of meeting do’s and don’ts to improve meeting etiquette knowledge. Do set a convenient time and place for meeting and confirm this with attendees well in advance of the meeting date. This shows respect for their time and confirmation of their attendance better enables meetings where specific people are required for decision making or problem solving. * Don’t invite people who do not need to attend the meeting to accomplish its purpose. Inviting people who don’t need to be there is inconsiderate of their time and may actually cost everyone else time in the meeting as they may have to stop and explain why the person was invited. * Do arrange to attend the entire meeting time.
Going in and out during meetings is disruptive and can throw off the flow of the meeting for others. If leaving early or going to arrive late, ask leaders permission to do so before the meeting begins so agenda can be rearranged if necessary. * Do not start the meeting late or run over the communicated stop time as this indicates a lack of respect for other’s time. All attendees should be punctual. It is ok to arrive early, but never to be late. Keeping people waiting is rude and it should not be expected that they will wait to begin once everyone arrives. * Do be sure everyone knows the meeting purpose and agenda.
Put this on meeting reminders and go over it with everyone at the beginning of the meeting to insure all agree. Once everyone is in agreement, it is easier to follow the agenda and stick to time limits. * Don’t forget to assign a recorder to document decisions and actions. Having a recorder will not only insure completion of actions outside the meeting, their visible records in the meeting can help to keep group focused. * Do turn off phones and pagers. Some people will find this impossible. For those people, ask they at least set it to vibrate in their pockets.
Ask anyone who keeps them on to leave the room if they feel they must respond to a call so the meeting is not interrupted by their conversation. * Do not turn on laptop (or PDA) unless it is to be used it for a short time to present information to the group. This equipment often prevents attendees from paying attention to the meeting and is considered rude by others in the meeting as it gives the impression that the meeting topic is not important. * Do actively participate in discussion, idea generation, and problem solving. Respect the purpose for the meeting by making sure what you say is relevant to meeting and be brief. Don’t interrupt anyone who is speaking. Be polite and pay attention, as good listening skills are important to increase communication and understanding. Show respect by remembering only one person at a time talks, so take turns. * Do honour you presenters by making them aware or their time slot and what is expected during that time. They should arrive early and be prepared with any reports or visuals. During presentations, hold questions and comments until the end and keep questions brief. * Do not carry on conversations during meeting discussion or presentations.
Having multiple conversations is not only rude, but it can be both confusing and distracting to other meeting attendees. * At the end of the meeting, do thank the group for their time, summarize what was accomplished, review and assign actions, and then plan any necessary follow-up. 7. INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES/SKILLS DO’S AND DON’T’S An interview is a meeting between an employer and an applicant to discuss a job. While job interviewing for most people may not seem to “come naturally”, there is much that can be done in advance to increase your effectiveness as a candidate.
Some individuals believe that just being they is sufficient for successful job interviewing. However, you are participating in a highly competitive selection process. You need to know how to effectively sell yourself, communicate your skills and experience, and to portray your personality as one that will fit in with the culture of the organization. Being properly prepared and informed about the interviewing process can help you positively focus your energies on what needs to be done and help you find the right job. INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES Goals of the interview Goals of the Candidate (you): 1.
To obtain information about the job and the organization. 2. To determine whether the job is suitable for you and whether you want it. 3. To communicate important information about yourself. 4. To favourably impress the employer. Goals of the Interviewer: 1. To promote the organization and attract the best possible candidate. 2. To gather information about the candidate. 3. To assess how well the candidate’s qualifications match the job requirements. 4. To determine whether the candidate will fit in with the organization and the staff. Preparation for the interview * Research the organisation: Find out some basic information about the organization before you go for the interview. * You will be in a better position to ask intelligent questions and you will impress the interviewer with your initiative and your knowledge of the organization. * Research the job: Just as you are looking for the ideal job, employers are looking for the ideal employee. Analyze the job description and match your experiences, skills, interests, and abilities to the job. You may find that some of the qualifications are less essential than others. Emphasize your strong points to minimize the effect of possible limited experience.
Talk with people who have worked in similar positions in that organization or in other companies. Read about the specific job category in the career literature. As a result of your research, you will have gained information about the nature of the job, the level of education and/or training necessary, future potential, and other pertinent details. * Prepare ; anticipate questions: Anticipate questions that may be asked of you in an interview. Prepare answers beforehand to some of the more difficult or sensitive questions. This does not mean memorizing responses or writing a script.
It does mean planning the points you want to make. Also, prepare questions you would like to ask the employer. * Practice good communication skills: It is important that you be friendly and use good communication skills during the interview. Practice with a friend, with a career counsellor, or by videotaping a mock interview. Work on the following communication skills: * Presenting yourself in a positive and confident manner * offering a firm handshake * speaking clearly and effectively * listening attentively and maintaining eye contact * avoiding the use of unnecessary verbal and non-verbal distractions Dress appropriately: Dress professionally for the interview. Remember that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Your appearance should be neat and clean, pressed and polished. Conservative business attire is appropriate for most settings. * Be punctual: Be on time for the interview. Plan to arrive about fifteen minutes early. Check in with the interviewer or the secretary about five to ten minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. Use your waiting time to check your appearance, review the questions and answers you prepared, and read any company literature that may be on display.
Take advantage of this time to get a feel for the work environment by observing the surroundings and interactions among staff. During the Interview The first few minutes are crucial; studies have shown that interviewers form their overall impression of applicants within the first four minutes of the interview. Be sure to keep in mind the following basic things: * Stand tall. * Make eye contact. * Shake hands firmly. * Be polite; use the formal address of Mr. , Ms. , unless invited to do otherwise. * Wait for invitation; do not sit until invited to do so.
Sit straight and tall and look attentive and enthusiastic. All of these things indicate that you want to be there and that you are calm, confident and professional. Do’s & Don’ts: What to Do…. * Do express yourself clearly with a strong voice and good diction and grammar. * Do pay close attention to your personal appearance; dress to your advantage. * Do make concrete goals in planning for your career. * Do offer a firm handshake. * Do look the interviewer in the eye (but don’t stare him or her down). * Do fill out applications neatly and completely. Do have as much knowledge about the industry, employer, and position as possible. * Do take criticism gracefully. * Do equip yourself with a strong knowledge of the company. * Do have prepared questions about the employer and position. * Do display a sense of humor. * Do display self-confidence. * Do bring a pen and small notebook with you to the interview. * Do remember the interviewer’s name and use it during the interview. * Do take time to think before answering difficult or unexpected questions. * Do take an extra copy of your resume and a list of references with you to the interview. Do follow-up with a thank-you note restating your interest in the position. * Do contact the employer by phone if the interviewer does not contact you one week after the time from which he or she indicated you would be notified. What Not To Do…. * Don’t be overbearing, overaggressive or conceited. * Don’t show a lack of interest or enthusiasm. * Don’t emphasize money as your main interest in the job. * Don’t expect too much too soon – be open to the idea of starting at the bottom and working your way up. * Don’t make excuses for unfavourable factors on your record. Don’t condemn past employers or institutions of education; keep comments positive. * Don’t display a marked dislike for schoolwork. * Don’t be indecisive. * Don’t display intolerance or prejudice. * Don’t interview unless you are interested in the job… don’t just “shop around. ” * Don’t be late to the interview. * Don’t state specific geographic restrictions. * Don’t contradict yourself in responses. * Don’t take notes during the interview – jot down your notes immediately after the interview. * Don’t forget: YOU control the content of the interview. Don’t glorify your past experiences – getting into a job for which you are under qualified is not recommended. * Don’t assume that all employers will be delighted to hear of your plans for graduate school. * Don’t smoke; chew gum, etc. even if offered or if the interviewer does so. 8. GROUP DISCUSSIONS-DO’S AND DON’T’S A Group Discussion can be defined as a formal discussion involving ten to 12 participants in a group. It is a methodology used by an organization to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its members.
In this methodology, the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss it among themselves for 15-20 minutes. Here are some of the most important personality traits that a candidate should possess to do well at a GD: * Team Player * Reasoning Ability * Leadership * Flexibility * Assertiveness * Initiative * Creativity/ Out of the box thinking * Inspiring ability * Listening * Awareness 1. Team Player It is essential for managers to be team players. The reason: Managers always work in teams.
At the beginning of his manager) career, a manager works as a team member. And, later, as a team leader. Management aspirants who lack team skills cannot be good managers. 2. Reasoning Ability Reasoning ability plays an important role while expressing your opinions or ideas at a GD. 3. Leadership There are three types of situations that can arise in a GD: * GD where participants are unable to establish a proper rapport and do not speak much. * A GD where participants get emotionally charged and the GD gets chaotic. * A GD where participants discuss the topic assertively by touching on all its nuances and try to reach the objective.
Here, a leader would be someone who facilitates the third situation at a GD. A leader would have the following qualities: * He shows direction to the group whenever group moves away from the topic. * He coordinates the effort of the different team members in the GD. * He contributes to the GD at regular intervals with valuable insights. * He also inspires and motivates team members to express their views. Caution: Being a mere coordinator in a GD does not help, because it is a secondary role. Contribute to the GD with your ideas and opinions, but also try and steer the conversation towards a goal. . Flexibility You must be open to other ideas as well as to the evaluation of your ideas: That is what flexibility is all about. But first, remember: Never ever start your GD with a stand or a conclusion. By taking a stand, you have already given your decision without discussing the topic at hand or listening to the views of your team members. Also, if you encounter an opposition with a very strong point at the 11th hour, you end up in a typical catch-22 situation: If you change your stand, you are seen as a fickle-minded or a whimsical person.
If you do not change your stand, you are seen as an inflexible, stubborn and obstinate person. 5. Assertiveness You must put forth your point to the group in a very emphatic, positive and confident manner. Participants often confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness. Aggressiveness is all about forcing your point on the other person, and can be a threat to the group. An aggressive person can also demonstrate negative body language, whereas an assertive person displays positive body language. 6. Initiative A general trend amongst students is to start a GD and get the initial kitty f points earmarked forth initiator. But that is a high risk-high return strategy. Initiate a GD only if you are well versed with the topic. If you start and fail to contribute at regular intervals, it gives the impression that you started the GD just for the sake of the initial points. Also, if you fumble, stammerorm is quote facts, it may work against you. Remember: You never ever get a second chance to create a first impression. 7. Creativity/ Out of the box thinking An idea or a perspective which opens new horizons for discussion on the GD topic is always highly appreciated.
When you put across a new idea convincingly, such that it is discussed at length by the group, it can only be positive. You will find yourself in the good books of the examiner. 8. Inspiring ability A good group discussion should incorporate views of all the team members. If some team members want to express their ideas but are not getting the opportunity to do so, giving them an opportunity to express their ideas or opinions will be seen as a positive trait. Caution: If a participant is not willing to speak, you need not necessarily go out of the way to ask him to express his views.
This may insult him and hamper the flow of the GD. 9. Listening Always try and strike a proper balance between expressing your ideas and imbibing ideas. 10. Awareness You must be well versed with both the micro and macro environment. Your awareness about your environment helps a lot in your GD content, which carries maximum weightage. DO’S ; DON’TS Do’s of participating in a GD: * Listen to the subject carefully * Put down your thoughts on a paper * Initiate the discussion if you know the subject well * Listen to others if you don’t know the subject * Support you point with some facts and figures Make short contribution of 25-30 seconds 3-4 times * Give others a chance to speak * Speak politely and pleasantly. Respect contribution from other members. * Disagree politely and agree with what is right. * Summarize the discussion if the group has not reached a conclusion. Don’ts of participating in a Group Discussion * Initiate the discussion if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the given topic. * Over speak, intervene and snatch other’s chance to speak. * Argue and shout during the GD * Look at the evaluators or a particular group member Talk irrelevant things and distract the discussion * Pose negative body gestures like touching the nose, leaning back on the chair, knocking the table with a pen etc. * Mention erratic statistics. * Display low self confidence with shaky voice and trembling hands. 9. REPORT WRITING AND SAMPLE REPORT The basic aim of the report is to communicate the objectives of the work done, the procedures used in sufficient detail so that the work can be reproduced, discussion of results, and conclusions. It should give a list of symbols used, and references that have been cited in the body of the report.
It should have appendices that contain all the details of data, and an example of calculation of quantities that have been reported in the body of the report but that had to be obtained from the observations or raw data. Appendices can also contain other details relevant to the report but which would hinder the flow of presentation if they were included in the main body of the report. Types of report Technical Report In the technical report the main emphasis is on (i) the methods employed, (ii) assumptions made in the course of the study, (iii) the detailed presentation of the findings including their limitations and supporting data.
A general outline of a technical report can be as follows: 1. Summary of results: A brief review of the main findings just in two or three pages. 2. Nature of the study: Description of the general objectives of study, formulation of the problem in operational terms, the working hypothesis, the type of analysis and data required, etc. 3. Methods employed: Specific methods used in the study and their limitations. For instance, in sampling studies we should give details of sample design viz. , sample size, sample selection, etc. 4. Data: Discussion of data collected their sources, characteristics and limitations.
If secondary data are used, their suitability to the problem at hand be fully assessed. In case of a survey, the manner in which data were collected be fully described. 5. Analysis of data and presentation of findings: The analysis of data and presentation of the findings of the study with supporting data in the form of tables and charts be fully narrated. This, in fact, happens to be the main body of the report usually extending over several chapters. 6. Conclusions: A detailed summary of the findings and the policy implications drawn from the results be explained. 7.
Bibliography: Bibliography of various sources consulted be prepared and attached. 8. Technical appendices: Appendices be given for all technical matters relating to questionnaire, mathematical derivations, elaboration on particular technique of analysis and the like ones. 9. Index: Index must be prepared and be given invariably in the report at the end. B) Popular Report The popular report is one which gives emphasis on simplicity and attractiveness. The simplification should be sought through cleat writing, minimization of technical, particularly mathematical, details and liberal use of charts and diagrams.
Attractive layout along with large print, many subheadings, even an occasional cartoon now and then is another characteristic feature of the popular report. Besides, in such a report emphasis is given on practical aspects and policy implications. We give below a general outline of a popular report. 1. The findings and their implications: Emphasis in the report is given on the findings of most practical interest and on the implications of these findings. 2. Recommendations of action: Recommendations for action on the basis of the findings of the study is made in this section of the report . Objective of the study: A general review of how the problem arises is presented along with specific objectives of the project under study. 4. Methods employed: A brief and non-technical description of the methods and techniques used, including a short review of the data on which the study is based, is given in this part of the report. 5. Results: This section constitutes the main body of the report wherein the results of the study are presented in clear and non-technical terms with liberal use of all sorts of illustrations such as charts, diagrams and the like ones. 6.
Technical appendices: More detailed information on methods used, forms, etc. is presented in the form of appendices. But the appendices are often not detailed if the report is entirely meant for general public. There can be several variations of the form in which a popular report can be prepared. The only important thing about such a report is that it gives emphasis on simplicity and policy implications from the operational point of view, avoiding the technical details of all sorts to the extent possible. Presentation A significant aspect of any report is the way it is presented.
Check your course information booklet for instructions about how you are expected to do this. The following is a general overview, in terms of sequence and format, of what to consider as you finalise your document prior to presentation: Sequence The different sections of your report will generally be put together according to the following sequence (including whatever sections are required in your assignment): * Title page * Letter of transmittal * Acknowledgements * Table of contents * Executive summary * Introduction * Presentation of information (the findings) and analysis * Conclusion * Recommendations Reference List * Glossary * Appendices Format Use a clear and consistent system to enable the reader to readily identify the stages of your report. Common systems include headings, spacing, numerals, capital letters, dot points, bold fonts. In particular: Headings Use a maximum of three levels: one level for the major headings, one level for the sub-headings, and one for further sub-headings. These different levels are indicated by different font sizes and styles. Numbering A decimal numbering system is commonly used, with single numerals (I, 2, 3,…) for the main headings, one decimal (1. 1, 1. 2, 1. ,…) for the second level of headings and two decimals (1. 1. 1, 1. 1. 2,…) for any third level headings. Report outline – an example An example of a report outline, given below, shows the three different sections (Preliminary, Main and Supplementary), and how the stages in the main section have been developed into three levels of numbered headings. Note that only the main section is numbered. Outline of a typical report showing sections, headings and numbering Section | Heading and numbering | Preliminary Section | Report on the proposal to establish a national music centre in East Greenwood| | Table of Contents | Executive Summary | Main Section: Stage 1 | 1. 0 Introduction | | 1. 1 Background to the initiative 1. 1. 1 Summary of 2001 survey | | 1. 2 Summary of the State Arts Council’s proposal | | 1. 3 Aims and objectives of the proposal | Main Section: Stage 2 | 2. 0 Key Findings and Analysis | | 2. 1 National need for a Music Training and Resource Centre 2. 1. 1 Musicians 2. 1. 2 Current facilities 2. 1. 3 Current venues 2. 1. 4 Community response | | 2. 2 Analysis of findings | Main Section: Stage 3 | 3. 0 Conclusion | | 3. 1 Feasibility | | 3. 2 Funding | | 3. 3 Locale | | 4. 0 Recommendations | 4. 1 Establishment of links at: 4. 1. 1 local level 4. 1. 2 national level 4. 1. 3 international level | Supplementary Section | Reference List | | Appendices| | Appendix I | | Appendix II | 9. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONS Definition: “nonverbal communication involves those nonverbal stimuli in a communication setting that are generated by both the source [speaker] and his or her use of the environment and that have potential message value for the source or receiver [listener]. Basically it is sending and receiving messages in a variety of ways without the use of verbal codes (words).
It is both intentional and unintentional. Most speakers / listeners are not conscious of this. It includes — but is not limited to: * touch * glance * eye contact (gaze) * volume * vocal nuance * proximity * gestures * Facial expression ? pause (silence) * intonation * dress * posture * smell * word choice and syntax * sounds (paralanguage) Why is non-verbal communication important? Basically, it is one of the key aspects of communication (and especially important in a high-context culture). It has multiple functions: * Used to repeat the verbal message (e. g. oint in a direction while stating directions. * Often used to accent a verbal message. (e. g. verbal tone indicates the actual meaning of the specific words). * Often complement the verbal message but also may contradict. E. g. : a nod reinforces a positive message (among Americans); a “wink” may contradict a stated positive message. * Regulate interactions (non-verbal cues covey when the other person should speak or not speak). * May substitute for the verbal message (especially if it is blocked by noise, interruption, etc) — i. e. gestures (finger to lips to indicate need for quiet), facial expressions (i. . a nod instead of a yes). Note the implications of the proverb: “Actions speak louder than words. ” In essence, this underscores the importance of non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is especially significant in intercultural situations. Probably non-verbal differences account for typical difficulties in communicating. Cultural Differences in Non-verbal Communication 1. General Appearance and Dress All cultures are concerned for how they look and make judgements based on looks and dress. Americans, for instance, appear almost obsessed with dress and personal attractiveness.
Consider differing cultural standards on what is attractive in dress and on what constitutes modesty. Note ways dress is used as a sign of status? 2. Body Movement We send information on attitude toward person (facing or leaning towards another), emotional statue (tapping fingers, jiggling coins), and desire to control the environment (moving towards or away from a person). More than 700,000 possible motions we can make — so impossible to categorize them all! But just need to be aware the body movement and position is a key ingredient in sending messages. 3. Posture
Consider the following actions and note cultural differences: * Bowing (not done, criticized, or affected in US; shows rank in Japan) * Slouching (rude in most Northern European areas) * Hands in pocket (disrespectful in Turkey) * Sitting with legs crossed (offensive in Ghana, Turkey) * Showing soles of feet. (Offensive in Thailand, Saudi Arabia) 4. Gestures Impossible to catalog them all. But need to recognize: 1) incredible possibility and variety and 2) that an acceptable in one’s own culture may be offensive in another. In addition, amount of gesturing varies from culture to culture.
Some cultures are animated; other restrained. Restrained cultures often feel animated cultures lack manners and overall restraint. Animated cultures often feel restrained cultures lack emotion or interest. 5. Facial Expressions While some say that facial expressions are identical, meaning attached to them differs. Majority opinion is that these do have similar meanings world-wide with respect to smiling, crying, or showing anger, sorrow, or disgust. However, the intensity varies from culture to culture. Note the following: * Many Asian cultures suppress facial expression as much as possible. Many Mediterranean (Latino / Arabic) cultures exaggerate grief or sadness while most American men hide grief or sorrow. * Some see “animated” expressions as a sign of a lack of control. * Too much smiling is viewed in as a sign of shallowness. * Women smile more than men. 6. Eye Contact and Gaze In USA, eye contact indicates: degree of attention or interest, influences attitude change or persuasion, regulates interaction, communicates emotion, defines power and status, and has a central role in managing impressions of others. * Western cultures — see direct eye to eye contact as positive (advise children to look a person in the eyes).
But within USA, African-Americans use more eye contact when talking and less when listening with reverse true for Anglo Americans. This is a possible cause for some sense of unease between races in US. A prolonged gaze is often seen as a sign of sexual interest. * Arabic cultures make prolonged eye-contact. — believe it shows interest and helps them understand truthfulness of the other person. (A person who doesn’t reciprocate is seen as untrustworthy) * Japan, Africa, Latin American, Caribbean — avoid eye contact to show respect. 7. Touch Touch is culturally determined!
But each culture has a clear concept of what parts of the body one may not touch. Basic message of touch is to affect or control — protect, support, disapprove (i. e. hug, kiss, hit, kick). * USA — handshake is common (even for strangers), hugs, kisses for those of opposite gender or of family (usually) on an increasingly more intimate basis. Note differences between African-Americans and Anglos in USA. Most African Americans touch on greeting but are annoyed if touched on the head (good boy, good girl overtones). * Islamic and Hindu: typically don’t touch with the left hand. To do so is a social insult. Left hand is for toilet functions.
Mannerly in India to break your bread only with your right hand (sometimes difficult for non-Indians) * Islamic cultures generally don’t approve of any touching between genders (even handshakes). But consider such touching (including hand holding, hugs) between same-sex to be appropriate. * Many Asians don’t touch the head (Head houses the soul and a touch puts it in jeopardy). Basic patterns: Cultures (English, German, Scandinavian, Chinese, Japanese) with high emotional restraint concepts have little public touch; those which encourage emotion (Latino, Middle-East, Jewish) accept frequent touches. Paralanguage Vocal characterizers (laugh, cry, yell, moan, whine, belch, yawn). These send different messages in different cultures (Japan — giggling indicates embarrassment; India – belch indicates satisfaction) * Vocal qualifiers (volume, pitch, rhythm, tempo, and tone). Loudness indicates strength in Arabic cultures and softness indicates weakness; indicates confidence and authority to the Germans,; indicates impoliteness to the Thais; indicates loss of control to the Japanese. (Generally, one learns not to “shout” in Asia for nearly any reason! ). Gender based as well: women tend to speak higher and more softly than men. 0. AUDIO VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS Audio visual communication is communication through visual aid. It is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, colour and electronic resources. It solely relies on vision. It is form of communication with visual effect. It explores the idea that a visual message with text has a greater power to inform, educate or persuade a person. It is communication by presenting information through visual form.
The evaluation of a good visual design is based on measuring comprehension by the audience, not on aesthetic or artistic preference. There are no universally agreed-upon principles of beauty and ugliness. There exists a variety of ways to present information visually, like gestures, body languages, video and TV. Here, focus is on the presentation of text, pictures, diagrams, photos, et cetera, integrated on a computer display. The term visual presentation is used to refer to the actual presentation of information. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability.
Graphic designers use methods of visual communication in their professional practice. TELECONFERENCING A group of people interacting with each other by means of audio and video media with moving or still pictures is called teleconferencing. Full motion video is frequently used to hold meetings among managers. Not only they hear each other but they can also see each other’s expressions as well as visual displays. a. Training Aids: Usually instructors will use training aids, for instance, instructional videos, to help students understand a particular subject or idea.
DVDs or videotapes cover an assortment of topics, allowing the teacher to select premade material to enhance his subject. Training aids can be played on an MP3 player, laptop, TV or CD player. b. Presentation slides: Teachers create their own presentation slides to add personality to lessons. They can use graphics, music, photos and charts as needed for each component of a topic. Computer programs that create slides include Microsoft PowerPoint, Goggle Presentation, Adobe Publisher and Apple Keynote. c. Digital projectors:
Digital projectors allow instructors to display 3-D images large enough for the audience to view and to demonstrate material or simulate assembly of components for a particular project. d. Audio Recordings: Instructors who want to include a speech or lecture from an authoritarian source use audio recordings to supplement class discussions. e. Multimedia: Multimedia combines elements from a variety of audiovisual aids, allowing a teacher to use his own materials with others’. Multimedia may use websites, slide shows, computer-based training courses and TV in one teaching session.
Multimedia offers an arrangement of communication tools for an audience that may include several learning styles. The Merits and Demerits of Communication Technology Communication today is barely recognizable when compared to communication of the past. Cell phones, instant messaging, texting, email and video conferencing have completely altered the landscape of interpersonal communication. While many of these changes come with hefty benefits, there are also disadvantages to consider. Advantage: Convenience ? New communication technology has made getting in touch tremendously convenient.
You can send out a company-wide email from your cell phone. You can work from your pajamas at home and still be able to conference with your clients with Skype. This has made it very easy to get in contact with whomever, whenever. Advantage: Speed ? In many cases, time is of the essence in communication. Fortunately, communication technologies allow you to pass along messages at lightning speed. This makes it easier to prevent major mistakes because of distance. Everyone can be in sync at once. Disadvantage: Lack of Context ? When you text or email, there’s no vocal tone and you can’t see facial expressions.
As such, it is easy to misread a message that is intended to be sarcastic or not understand the severity of a situation. This can lead to major misunderstandings. 11. CONDUCTING SEMINARS AND CONFERENCES Seminar is, generally, a form of academic instruction, either at an academic institution or offered by a commercial or professional organization. It has the function of bringing together small groups for recurring meetings, focusing each time on some particular subject, in which everyone present is requested to actively participate.
This is often accomplished through an ongoing Socratic dialogue It is relatively informal, at least compared to the lecture system of academic instruction Increasingly, the term “seminar” is used to describe a commercial event (though sometimes free to attend) where delegates are given information and instruction in a subject such as property investing, other types of investing, Internet marketing, self-improvement or a wide range of topics, by experts in that field. Seminar presentations are also intended for the improvement of technical knowledge of people.
The presentations may also be uploaded in the internet for further reference by people. The word seminar is derived from the Latin word seminarium, meaning “seed plot” CONFERENCE Conference – a prearranged meeting for consultation or exchange of information or discussion (especially one with a formal agenda) Group meeting, meeting – a formally arranged gathering; “next year the meeting will be in Chicago”; “the meeting elected a chairperson” Symposium – a meeting or conference for the public discussion of some topic especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations Seminar – any meeting for an exchange of ideas
Colloquium – an academic meeting or seminar usually led by a different lecturer and on a different topic at each meeting Conferee – a member of a conference Steps in conducting seminar The seminar is perhaps the most common event that planners will organize. And most seminars are scheduled either as a ? day or a full day. For those interested in creating a checklist for planning a seminar, the following offers a high level structure for planning and executing a seminar. And for those who are planning a multi-day or multi-session conference, consider taking a similar approach.
However, your seminar planning checklist will simply be longer. 1. Confirm the Purpose of the Event Before conducting any research into venue selection, make sure you are familiar with the basic objectives behind the event: * Who is the audience? * What is the topic of the seminar? * Where should be located? * Why will people attend? * What is the seminar’s agenda? 2. Review the Apex Event Specifications Guide The Convention Industry Council has established a series of tools that should be viewed as an excellent source of best practices that will help the event or meeting planner to keep track of the details for planning events.
With free download tools, it will help any event planner to create a list of relevant details. This includes, but isn’t limited to: * Event profile (date, times, location, contacts, etc. ) * Event organizer/host contact information * Supplier contact information * Attendee profile * Space needed * Food and beverage * A/V requirements * Function/room setup 3. Create an Event Profile Once a planner has some of the basic questions around the event covered, it’s time to research possible venues for the meeting.
It’s important to work closely with the event organizer/host to determine the type of venue and where the seminar may be most convenient for both organizer and guest (the list of ideas can be endless): * Local hotel Local conference facility Private restaurant space Private club Museum/art gallery 4. Outline Seminar Needs and Request Venue Proposals. Most venues are happy to provide an estimate for a possible seminar. The catering or sales contact will need the following BEO information: * Possible date(s) for the event * Number of attendees * Style of room setup (classroom, u-shape, etc. * Time of the event (account for setup/tear down) * Food and beverage requirements * A/V needs (including screens, mics, etc. ) * Room setup Tip: Hire an A/V technician to be dedicated to your event from the hotel. 5. Confirm and/or Develop the Agenda It is critical for the event planner to work closely with the event organizer/host because the event agenda will frequently change from the initial conversation until the actual day of the event. The event planner must be ready to adjust the plan and work closely with the venue to make sure everything runs smoothly. 6.
Confirm the BEO Agreement Once the planner knows the targeted number of attendees and logistic requirements for the seminar, he or she should secure the event space and related requirements. Most agreements should allow the planner an opportunity to reduce/increase food and beverage requirements up to a certain number of days prior to the event. However, many agreements will cap how much they will allow a group to reduce quantities, so estimate well. 7. Create Event Communications and Materials This is an item that some planners may be involved with, while others may ot. Essentially, some meeting planners will be responsible for each of the following: * Creating event invitations * Printing agenda and other material * Securing attendee gifts/raffles * Producing name badges * Shipping event signage and displays 8. Work Closely with Event Host to Finalize Logistics Prior to the event, there are a couple of important steps that a meeting planner completes prior to the event. This includes confirming the following: * Event speakers * Event A/V requirements * Event attendee count Host roles and responsibilities * Event materials needs (check multiple times) 9. Event Setup Be sure to allow time in the BEO schedule for event setup, and it’s recommended to arrive approximately two hours prior to the event. Tip: If the seminar is scheduled in the morning, ask the venue sales contact to allow your group to setup the night before (but do not leave anything valuable in public site). All event materials, handouts, signage, displays, gifts, registration tables, name badges and more must be ready for the event.
Warning: Speakers sometimes change slides the night before and provide new presentations that need to be added to the power point 10 minutes prior to the event. 10. Event Execution After you’ve prepared, it’s time for the seminar. Expect the following: * Some attendees will always arrive early. * Some attendees will always arrive late. * There is frequently some sort of technical glitch. 12. EVALUATION OF ORAL PRESENTATION Oral presentations are a common requirement in many courses. They may be short or long, include slides or other visual aids, and be done individually or in a group.
In your postgraduate studies, you may have the opportunity to deliver lectures, seminars and tutorials as well, and the more practice you have at any of these, the easier it gets. Planning and structuring an oral presentation is similar to the process of writing an essay, except you need to be conscious of a live audience and use spoken language instead of written. However, the final preparation and presentation differ significantly from editing and polishing an essay. The major steps in oral presentations are planning, structuring, preparing and presenting. Let’s have a look at the key concerns of each of the stages.
Plan Like any form of presentation of your research, an oral presentation needs attention to research and planning. If you follow the usual sequence of idea generation, wider reading leading to narrowed focus, and consideration of your audience and purpose, the next stage, structuring, should be fairly smooth. * Purpose – What is the aim of your research? Why are you presenting it in oral form? What is important about your findings? What is the key focus of your presentation? * Audience ? – To whom are you presenting your findings? Are they more or less knowledgeable on the topic than you?
Pitch your data to the appropriate level. What does your audience expect to gain from listening to you. Structure Also like an essay, an oral presentation needs an introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction, you may like to include a brief (and relevant) anecdote or provocative question to engage your audience from the beginning. A question that includes your audience will make them want to follow through with you to find out the implications as they relate to them directly. The conclusion should point to further research or conclusive results if possible.
Try to end with a clear concluding statement, something with rhetorical flourish perhaps, so that you aren’t forced to finish by saying, “um, that’s it. ” Spoken vs. written language There are both subtle and significant differences in speech and writing, and it’s good to know what they are when preparing an oral presentation. For one thing, a speech should sound more like natural speech. * First person One of the most obvious ways in which to achieve this is to speak sometimes in the first person – you can refer to yourself in an oral presentation, for example, “I’d like to start by… or “Let me give you an example… “, whereas in written projects it is best to keep the use of the first person to a minimum. * Jargon and nominalisation Because your audience needs to be able to follow you without being able to refer back to written text, try to unpack your language somewhat – don’t be too academically dense or use too much jargon. * Signposting You will be accustomed to signposting in essays, where you foreshadow or guide your readers through your argument with phrases such as “The focus of this paper will be… or “I’d like to move on to… ” This technique is crucial in oral presentations, where the audience does not have the luxury of referring to the writing in front of them. Visual aids PowerPoint The most common way to incorporate visuals or slides nowadays is through the use of Powerpoint. If you have the option (that is, you have Powerpoint on your computer and access to a data projector in the room), you should choose Powerpoint instead of an overhead projector (OHP) and transparencies. It is much easier to manage and more professional when used appropriately.
Having said that, there are some very important tips of what to do and what not to do when using Powerpoint. Do’s * Ensure in advance that the room has a projector. * Do a number of practice runs through the presentation before the real thing. * Be prepared for all technology to fail and either have backup transparencies for images or a full set of notes in order to give the presentation without any slides. * Limit how many slides you include – you usually need far less than you think you do. Again, practice will help you gain confidence to know how many are sufficient. Only use keywords and simple phrases. * Use a large enough, easy-to-read font (and no Comic Sans! ). * Label any graphs, charts, figures and diagrams (again in a readable font size). * Include images for visual interest occasionally if relevant. Don’ts * Rely too heavily on the Powerpoint presentation, which may experience technical difficulties on the day. * Include slabs of text – not only is it distracting, you then are tempted to read it verbatim. * Simply read from your slides – let them be reminders and key points. Use amusing fonts – stick to the basics such as Times or Arial. * Use unnecessary slide or text transitions – it’s distracting and slow to watch letters appear one at a time. * Use Powerpoint sounds or any other sounds unless it’s part of the presentation. * Choose a template that’s busy and doesn’t relate to the presentation. Prepare The more prepared you feel, the less nervous you’re likely to be. There are a few key considerations in preparation for an oral presentation, namely time limits, speaking from notes, body language and use of voice. * Time limits
Practise the presentation a number of times to get the pacing right and ensure you fit the information into the time provided. Do not go over time as that doesn’t match the audience’s expectations and can lead to impatience, boredom and confusion. Don’t finish too early either or it seems that you don’t have sufficient command of the material. * Speak from notes It is preferable not to read your entire paper as you will tend to lose eye contact, intonation and good posture. It’s preferable to reduce the original paper to bullet points and then practise filling in the gaps while practising.
Even if you know the material very well, it can help to have a few key points in note form in addition to the points on a Powerpoint presentation. * Body language Try to make a sort of roving eye contact with the audience whilst maintaining good posture and using appropriate gestures with your hands. * Voice Speak loudly enough for your audience to hear you clearly and slowly enough for them to easily follow your argument. Use silence and pauses effectively when making particular points, and maintain interesting intonation patterns – avoid speaking in a monotone.
Nerves Everybody feels nervous at some point when asked to give an oral presentation. If you’re feeling particularly nervous, take a few deep breaths and focus on speaking slowly. Also try to focus clearly on your message. Acting horribly nervous just makes you feel worse – it’s a difficult cycle to escape. The best antidote to nerves is to act as though you feel fantastically confident – you’ll be amazed at how much more confident it ends up making you actually feel! Present If you’ve prepared well, you should be ready for a confident presentation.
By now you should have the presentation fitting comfortably into the time limits and you should be speaking fluently just from dot-point notes. When you’re actually in front of the audience, remember your body language and voice projection. Try to relax and enjoy the experience of sharing information you’ve gathered and analysed – and don’t forget to welcome questions at the end. 13. DRAFTING SPEECH Remember speeches are generally made to do three things A: influence people B: Tell a story C: or inform people about a certain subject
Also you generally want to make your topic about something you either A: are passionate about or B: are very knowledgeable about this will help you with another important part of speech making Tone: Once you have chosen your topic you have to have a tone to write your speech in. Tone is important because with the correct tone you can make people become determined to do well in their life or even rise up in revolt. Also it is good to write about something you are passionate about because it will help keep you from developing a monotonic tone.
Also, just as a note when you write your speech, unless the subject is you apologizing about so