Despite digital communication playing a key role in the Australian workplace, there is still a lot of value in face-to-face communication.
There are many contexts where communication needs to take place face-to-face. You should consider the following factors when communicating face-to-face as they will affect how you communicate.
Know your audience and tailor your message accordingly. Consider the following:
- What they already know about the topic
- Their educational background
- Their linguistic and cultural background
- Possible sensitive issues
Identify the purpose of your message to choose an appropriate communication style. Consider how your communication style would vary for each of these purposes:
- To instruct a group of learners
- To present a proposal to your supervisor
- To brief your supervisor about a client’s mental health
- To engage your mentor for support.
Know your context before you identify the language, medium and time to communicate your message. Consider the following:
- Is it a formal context or an informal context?
- Is this a sensitive topic or confidential?
- How well does the audience know you?
Answering these questions will guide you to craft your communication appropriately.
Do not assume that your audience will understand your message. They may speak a different language or may not be used to the cultural background that you come from. To make your message clear:
- It is important for you to pronounce your words clearly. Use an online dictionary to hear how a word is pronounced if you are unsure.
- Speak grammatically correctly. Errors and mistakes in grammar can affect communication.
- Do not rush through your message. Take the time to make sure your listener understands.
Be aware that the tone you use is a reflection of the way you are feeling at that moment. Your audience can sense your feelings from your words, intonation, body language and volume.
If you don’t feel confident professionally communicating in English, prepare so you can get the most out of your WIL experience! Practise, role-play and make use of support services available at your University.
- Practise the pronunciation of common terms and vocabulary that are used at your site.
- Ask your mentor or supervisor to review anything that you have written to ensure it is grammatically correct.
Succeeding in your WIL Activity: Communication Skills
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