I apologize that I have not written in a while. Our cohort has been in a transition phase from lecture to highly-independent learning. With various avenues to accomplish these self-learning tasks, it took some time to figure out the most efficient direction while creating demo-able applications for job interviews.
Luckily, I now have the time to write and work on my blog to provide some insight on communication in the technology sector (from my limited perspective).
I just finished an interesting edX course on business communication. Among the topics discussed:
- Analyzing your audience
- Preparing to Communicate
- Mastering Mechanics
- Tailoring your Message
- Advanced communications
I found that the "Tailoring your Message" and "Storytelling" sections were most valuable.
Why "Tailoring your Message"?
Luckily, I took communication classes before (public speaking, interpretive prose, non-verbal communication) and had a solid understanding on the general informative speech writing but lacked knowledge in persuasive speech writing.
Informative speeches focus on your ability to educate your audience; you tell them information hoping they can use the knowledge or skills. This form of speech typically has an audience that is already interested in the subject and wish to learn more.
Yet, I have never delved in persuasive writing. And that is a majority of the writing you need to ensure a successful career. Most people have their own ideas and stick by them. Why change? A persuasive speaker utilizes emotions and perspective to:
Engage: Members in the audience fall into three categories.
- Those that want to hear your message. Your task as a speaker is not dissuade them from listening
- Those that do not want to hear your message; these people are difficult to convince because their minds are set.
- Those on the fence; these people are your best shot for convincing one way or another.
Educate / Convince: Similar to informative speeches, except some more pointed arguments might be necessary to properly convince the audience.
Incite Action: Get your audience to actually do whatever you are trying to convince them to do.
"You cannot fill a cup that is already full." - Avatar
There is more work necessary to teach or convince someone of something they don't understand, yet believe they do. This translates well to the business world. People believe they know the right thing to do (or fake it until they make it) and it is our job as employees to figure out how to convince others diplomatically, if we believe otherwise. There are various diplomatic approaches to convincing others, but the one I have found most successful is to share your ideas and allow them to take the credit. It may hurt your pride to see your ideas gaining praise without you, but it will be noticed eventually. Those people you help, help the company. Each company you work for will have better ideas and the trend of your success will follow you throughout your career.
Who doesn't love a good story?