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Chapter 5. Say It Right—Write It Right > Communication Effectiveness - Pg. 48

Say It Right--Write It Right 48 Learn as much as you can about what you are communicating. Here are some tips on starting the assignment: · · · · · · · Gather all possible information about your topic. Jot down ideas, key words, and phrases. Use all research sources within and outside the company to saturate yourself with information. Be sure to learn about the latest developments in the area you will discuss. Identify the major points you wish to make. Organize facts to support your main points. Prepare notes to ensure you cover every point. Be aware of the objections to your ideas and be prepared to discuss and rebut them. Know Your Audience Even the most skilled orator or writer has failed to communicate effectively if the audience didn't understand the message. Whether your audience is just your own team or a large group, choose words that your listeners or readers will easily understand. If the people you're addressing all come from a technical background, you can use technical terminology. Your listeners and readers will clearly and readily understand these special terms. But if you present technical subject matter to an audience unfamiliar with it, skip the technical language. If your audience can't understand your vocabulary, your message will be lost. It's easier to communicate with your own team. You all speak the same language, use the same terms, and usually have good knowledge of the subject. Within the team, tailor your message to their interests and know-how by using analogies to which you know they'll relate. For example, you can compare the new project with one they had previously worked on or refer to accomplishments or problems experienced in the past that will help them understand the matters being discussed.