Following are the topics which are covered in this section. You can choose from the sub sections or continue directly below the sub sections.

How can we increase the efficiency of speech by the effective use of body language?

The correct body language goes a long way in increasing the effectiveness of a speech. Body language is not only can find to gesture and posture but also includes the appearance of the speaker including his cloths, hair, shoes, jewellary and cosmetic etc. The below mentioned tips can help us in effective use of body language while indulging in public speaking.

(i) Look at the Audience: It is easier said than done but looking at the audience while speaking is very important. The reactions of the audience tell a speaker if they are interested in the speech or not. When the audience stops looking at the speaker it clearly indicates that they are not listening. While speaking to small groups, a speaker should look at all the members of the group and maintain eye contact with them, including those sitting at the extreme left or right side. While speaking to a large group, eye contact can be maintained with the group by looking at them in the shape of alphabet M or W. Eye contact is essential if the speaker wants to retain the interests of the audience in what is being said.

(ii) Smile: A good public speaker should learn how to smile with eyes. It can be learnt by practice though initially it can be quiet difficult especially when the speaker is some what nervous. Smiling while speaking creates an impression that the speaker is happy even if he is not. It is also surprising to not how very often the audience also smiles back.

(iii) Avoid creating barriers : It is always tempting to hide behind a desk or a lectern, especially for those speakers who face nervousness while speaking publicly but in order to make the speech more effective it is very important that a speaker gets as near the audience as possible.

(iv) Stand upright: A speaker should find the most comfortable position for standing while speaking with the public but leaning up against furniture or standing with hands in pockets should be avoided strictly. Usually the best position is to stand straight with feet slightly apart.

(v) Stay clear of distracting mannerisms: It is common for most of us to use our hands while speaking and we should continue with it during speaking publicly but gesture like waving your arms should be avoided as these can distract the audience. Jingling coins or keys in pockets or clanking jewelry can also distract the audience. If the audience is distracted it becomes difficult for them to concentrate on what is being said to them.

(vi) Be natural: It is also difficult especially for the first time public speaker but with time one learns to stop worrying about himself and concentrate on the message that has to be delivered through the speech.

How can we make a speech more effective?

The attention of the listeners can be held by relating with their feelings instead of only through reason. We can make our speech more effective by giving some attention to the tone, tempo, emphasis and phrasing.

(a) Tone: Most speakers of the British English tend to use only two or three tones of the musical scale. The Americans add a nasal twang to it. For Indian speakers of English, care should be taken that they articulate clearly, smoothly without introducing angularities of their mother tongue. Sing-song as well as halting articulation manners need to be avoided.

(b) Tempo: Speed of speech is measured by the number of spoken words per minute. Peace is measured by how quickly the listeners feel that the time is passing. Speech is more interesting to the listeners when the speed is varied. If your average speed is too slow your listeners become bored and impatient. On the other hand, if your average speed is too fast, your listeners do not have enough time to take in what you are saying and once again they lose interest.

(c) Emphasis: We put meaning into words by placing emphasis at appropriate points. Emphasize important words and phrases.

(d) Phrasing: The unit of writing is single word. The unit of speech is phrase. It is in the moments of silence, between phrases, however small, that the listener interprets the meaning. Therefore, see that the phrases are separated by pauses so that the listeners can ‘get the picture’ of the spoken speech. A pause should not be too long.

(e) Do not worry about speaking up or speak out.

(f) Try not to think to the mechanics of speech while actually talking to people. Train yourself to speak more clearly in a definite practice period and so gradually make the ‘artificial’ way to become the ‘natural’ way.

(g) Learn a few passages by heart to practices in space moments when alone.

What are the skills require for effective public speaking?

Speaking is a much more powerful way of communicating than writing. It is a common perception that business executives sit in their chamber only and are hardly involved in any public speaking but on the contrary business executives have to constantly involve in public speaking talking with groups and individuals. These days it is common to see senior executives appear before the media to explain the corporate policies and other affairs of public interest. To make pubic speaking more effective, the first and the most important requirement is to have the right attitude, the willingness to speak when required to do so. The tone of the voice, the choice of language and the link between what is said and how it influences the audience is also important. Another important thing to kept in mind while speaking publicly is that there is a difference between transmitting information and communicating with the public. The speech should not over load with facts and figures or comparison and contrast etc. Fourthly, your speech must have a poetic touch. It does not mean that versus should be recited while speaking. It means that the speaker should articulate a vision of this mission, plan or objective, and speak in a manner that inspires the audience. It also implies that the speaker’s speech must reflect his character, honesty and integrity.

Once we have acquired the skill of public speaking, it boosts our self confidence as nothing else can.

Discuss the personal barriers to Effective Communication?

The major barriers to effective communication falling in the category of personal barriers are:

(i) Listening:
Listening is the most neglected aspect of communication. While the formal education teaches us how to read, write and speak listening is always neglected. Ineffective listening takes place when we hear only with our ears and not with our mind. A manager who over comes the barriers to listening succeeds in generating an atmosphere which promotes the upward flow of communication. Listening can be made more effective by following some of these methods: (i) Finding an area of interest, how communication can be useful for the listener. (ii) Listen to content not delivery. (iii) Allow the speaker to finish before starting to speak. Listen to the central idea and listen with an open mind. Taking notes or making an outline can also increase the effectiveness of listening.

(ii) Vocabulary deficiency:
The range of word available is so great that the vocabulary of a source may include a large number of words that are not recognized by the listener. The problem is further magnified as multiple meanings to a single word can be assigned. For example there are more than 600, 000 words in English but an average users is familiar with 20,000 to 40,000 words and only uses around 10,000 words of these. A large number of misunderstandings can be avoided if we try to enhance the effectiveness of communication by increasing a work vocabulary.

(iii) Selective attention:
As our eyes can handle more than 5 million bits of data per second, our brain can only handle 500 bits of this data. Similar disparities exist in each of our other senses. Thus a communicator should control his gesture, facial expressions and body movements in such a way that the non-verbal cues reinforce the verbal cues. It is important to realize that maintenance of attention is a hard but essential work.

(iv). Word-thought-thing relation:
Even if the sender and the receiver are familiar with the dictionary meaning of the words use in communication the difference in perception and individual experiences may lead them to have different meanings of the same word. This may prevent the sender from accurately expressing his thoughts through verbal and non-verbal language symbols. The meaning of these may even the lost during the process of coding and decoding. A lot of misunderstanding can be avoided if the receiver takes a moment to consider that his reaction may be a result of some experiences over which the sender has no control and he has no knowledge of these experiences.

(v) Failure to react to feed-back
There are two types of failures in reacting to feed back. These could be either over looking or over reacting. When a source over looks the verbal or non-verbal message signals the whole process of communication is threatened. It can result in bored, confused or angry listeners. In contrast there are some who over react to feed back irrespective or the fact that it is positive or a negative feed back. While a small nod by one of the listener is taken as the overwhelming acceptance of his views by the speaker or a yawn by one of the listeners is taken as a sign of boredom by the listener. Such over reaction to feed back should be avoided by a good speaker.

(vi). Bipolar thinking:
Bipolar thinking frequently interferes with effective communication. We have a natural tendency to reduce a complex, COM phenomenon to simple either good or bad conceptualization. We fail to realize the world is north as simple so as to allow such a reduction to the two values systems. We must recognized that the refusal to accept and out right rejection are to different situations. Sometime employees are afraid of questioning a policy least their move is viewed as a total rejection of it. Good managers should encourage feed back, even negative feed back if it is conceptive in nature.

(vii) Tendency to evaluate:
The tendency to evaluate is also a major barrier in effective communication. It is our natural tendency to evaluate or to approve or disapprove the statement of the other person from our point of view. Such an evaluation does not happen in isolation. One negative response builds upon another and the stage comes when finally even the positive statement are interpreted negatively. Such a frame of references results in our misunderstanding of the whole situation.

(viii) Status and power of the source
The status and power of the source can also act as the barrier ineffective communication. We tend to reserve our comments and do not offer them fearing the other party may take affront of it. It is important for managers to create such an atmosphere where this fear complex is not present and a free flow of upward communication is allowed.

Discuss organizational Barriers to Communication?

Some of the major barriers to effective communication caused by organizational weaknesses are the lack of a communication policy or the authoritarian attitude of the management or in sufficient training in communication. We will discuss the major barriers in detail:

(i) Lack of communication policy:
Very few organizations have a clear and explicit communication policy for inter organization and intra-organizational interaction. A well defined communication policy helps in the creation of a climate that is conducive to effective communication. It is also an adequate proof of the earnest desire of the management to improve the flow of information. To create such a climate free exchange of ideas and information in all directions – downward, upward and horizontal, should be promoted.

(ii) Authoritarian attitude of management:
In the absence of clear communication policy in the organization the managers and supervisors start following the philosophy of “I order you execute” the free flow of upward communication helps in curtailing this attitude. In the absence of the upward flow of communication, managers are not in the position to judge the degree to which the ideas policies and rule and regulations of the organization have been accepted by the employees. A free and frank interaction can result in the contribution of valuable ideas and it also helps in unearthing problem areas before they become trouble areas. The setting up of a formal procedure for handling grievances goes a long a way in removing the hurdles in the way of upward communication.

(iii) Poorly Defined Authority and Responsibility:
Many a times, it is seen that the organization chart does not show where true authority and responsibility is vested. In the absence of this knowledge, the communications may by-pass individuals or certain levels. This by-pass may be by design or may just be an act of omission. Such a situation leads to the emergence of power of communication centers, due to leadership qualities, access to information or technical knowledge of some people in the organization.

(iv) Too Many Levels in Organization Structure:
Longer the passage through which a message is to travel, more are the chances of its distortion. It can also result in delays or even total failure of the message to reach its destination. If the distance through which a message has to travel is great, there is every possibility that it may be changed, modified, shortened, amended or interpreted during transit in such a manner that even the original sender may not be able to recognize the contents of the communication. Thus can additional level in the organizational hierarchy may not be added just to please somebody. It should be need based.

(v) Insufficient Communication Training:
Communication Training, apart from being important for managerial purposes, is also morale-builder. Yet only a few firms have a formal communication training program. It is a sadly neglected area, some techniques which can help gain insight into communication problems are human relation programmes and such exercises as Sensitivity Training, T- group sessions and Transactional Analysis.

What are the different types of barriers to effective communication?

Barriers to effective communication can be faced in three different ways in an organization. These barriers could be between one department and the other, between the manager or supervisor and his subordinates and between individuals working at the same level in the organization.

The barriers to communication have been broadly divided into three categories :

(i) Physical Barriers: Environment hindrances can, to a big extent, reduce or even prevent the sending and receiving of messages. Such hurdles may be caused by distance, distracting sounds, breakdown of media or elimination of a channel.

(ii) Personal Barriers: They psychological make up of human beings differs. Such differences among individuals can also account for barriers in communications.

Semantic Barriers: Language idiosyncrasies can create problems in the flow and proper understanding of communications. Multiple meanings of words, different connotations and interpretation of language and words in the light of an individual’s experiences can easily lead to break-down of communication.

How can we increase the effectiveness of communication?

An effective communication is said to have take place when the information to be communicated from source to destination reaches correctly and the message is convey in the exact way the sender desired. If this does not happen the communication is ineffective or defunct. Ineffective communication can have serious implications. While effective communication helps a great deal in the achievement of organizational goals, ineffective communication fails to do so. Hence it become necessary that proper guidelines are devised to guide effective communication. There are certain guides that help in effective communication. These are :

(i) Clarity : By clarity we mean any thing that is clear that can be seen or heard easily. Similarly clear directions can be followed with least trouble. If a message has not been understood clearly it can result in confusion, misunderstanding and ambiguity. But such a thing never happens if the message has been communicated clearly. Hence the message should be clear and in simple language which can be understood by any person with average knowledge.

(ii) Consistency: The information communicated should be consistent and there should be no contradiction in it. For example if a supervisor has been directed to manufacture thread of 10 lbs strength and he says to manufacture threads of one and half lbs. Capacity, such kind of order would be inconsistent. The message communicated would be ineffective, because the employees will fail to have clear instruction to a specific kind of job.

(iii) Adequacy: The information communicated should be adequate neither too less nor too much. It will be difficult to understand if it is too short and will become confusing if too much detail is given. Hence adequacy should be ensured if we want the communication to be effective.

(iv) Timing: Timing is an important factor that increases the effectiveness of communication. Any information communicated at an odd hour will have less effectiveness. In the same manner the information communicated should be up to date. The communication would become ineffective if out of date information is provided in it.

(v) Distribution: There are different levels of authority in any organization. The orders should move in their proper directions so that they reach the desired destination and do not bypass any layer of authority. Any such by passing could affect the efficiency of the communication and could also result in work spoilage, disturbance and indiscipline.

(vi) Adaptability and uniformity: The information conveyed in the communication should be adaptable. This means that there should be flexibility of action to meet the requirements of the situation and condition. Similarly there must be uniformity in communication. Uniformity means that a uniform pattern should be followed and there should not be any deviation from the pre determined standards.

(vii) Interest and acceptance: The message communicated must coincide with the interests and acceptance of the person to whom the message is communicated. The message could become ineffective if it has not been accepted or it contains such an order which is contrary to the objective of the communique and he refuses to accept that order.

Thus we see that effective communication goes a long way in the achievement of organizational goals. We can increase the effectiveness of communication by adapting the above mention methods.

Explain the media of the communication?

Communication plays an important role in the management of organizations and the achievement of their goals. A manager passes information to employees working at different levels orally and in writing also. He receives the replies in the same manner.

The different media of communication used in an organization are :
(i) Oral Communication
(ii) Written Communication
(iii) Visual Communication
(iv) Non-Verbal Communication.

What ever be the media of communication it should maintain the clarity of facts, opinion and information. It should presented in a decent manner with proper wording and timing. The information must be clear without any confusion and ambiguity. The communication of information must be well worded, properly timed and transmitted in decent manner. It is also necessary that the message must be consistent i.e. the action must coincide with saying. It the supervisor makes a lot of promises, but not fulfill them in such a case it would be called that consistency does not exit. Feedback of information is necessary to adjust the action to desired objective.

Oral communication:
In most of the cases oral communication is more effective than any other method of communication. Managers, supervisors and executives use oral communication with their subordinates. As it is more informal in nature it is like by the employees. But oral communication can not be used in some cases; like for legal purposes and for maintaining records.

Different forms of oral communication are discussed below:
(i) Talking: Talking is the most common form of communication. It is the easiest, quickest and the most economical way of communication. A person can talk to another person or to a large number of a person. Talking is very helpful in situations like when a supervisor is talking to the employees while resolving a dispute. Such disputes can be solved through oral or verbal communication only and written communication can not provide speedy solution to such disputes.

(ii) Interview: An interview is also a form of oral communication. It serves three purposes. (i) to obtain information (ii) to provide information and (iii) to motivate people. Interviews provide and appraisal of the training, educational qualifications, working experience and personality of the interviewee. It helps in checking the responsiveness, alertness, presence of mind and manners and poise of the persons being interview.

(iii) Tours: Business organization commonly send their representatives like salesmen, advertising agents, market surveyors and research personnel to get quick information. During these tours the representatives discuss the matter, provide information and also collect information for the organization. The dealers may ask several questions or certain matters regarding their commission on sales or the acceptability of the products of the company are also discussed during these tours.

There are some other forms of oral communication: These are group discussion, seminars and telephone.
Group discussion: A group of trainees is assigned a problem much in advance together with necessary reference of books to be consulted. The group prepares a paper for discussion. The leader of the groups discussion the problem and the rest of the trainees can contribute come ideas during the course of discussion which is controlled by the leader of the class. Group discussion is possible along persons of equal status. In that case the chairman of the group shall act as group leader. Most of the time the attitude of the leader is passive and most of the discussion is made by group members.

Seminars: Oral discussions are a main part of seminars also. The seminars are used to collect information to deal with a problem. Usually the research scholars are informed in advance about the research methodology. The familiarity with the proper methodology of research helps in dealing with the problem in hand quickly and accurately. The names of the participants and their assignments are announced well in advance.

Telephone: Telephone is the quickest and easiest method of conveying information to persons within the organization and outside also. The organization has to pay to the service provider for the use of external telephone service.

Other than these oral communication can also take place through a public address system, radio telephone, speaker tubes, tele-printer and messengers.

Written Communication:
In a business organization written communication is sent to following persons, organizations or agencies. These could be the employees, consumers, management, labor, suppliers, distributors or the stock holders of the company. Written communication is also sent to government departments, bankers, insurance companies and security agencies. The different forms of written communication are:-
(i) Reports: Reports are prepared to show the working results of the organization, department, factory, plant or any other institution. These are also prepared to show the result of an enquiry. Many institutions like banks, insurance companies, educational institutions and other business enterprises prepare annual reports which show their achievements in the past year an also the obstacles, the impact of economic conditions, working results and the plans for the future. Some reports are of confidential nature also. A report must be based on facts and cover a specific period of time. It must serve an objective and suggests the future course of action.

(ii) Business Letters: The business letters are also an important form of written communication. A business letter should be written in a formal way and in simple language without any scope for confusion. It should be polite and courteous but should also convey and idea impressively. Usually business letters are written on printed paper containing the name and address of the company along with the date and reference number. As business letters can be used for legal purposes also, these should be written with grate care.

(iii) News letters: Business houses often use business letters to inform their customers about new products, change in channel of distribution, enhancement of commission for distributors, improvement in the quality of the produce, reduction in price, improvement in packaging, increase in weight and a new use of their product etc. News letters are used for promotional activity. They must be lucid, impressive, forceful simple convincing and precise.

(iv) Advertisements : Advertisements are meant to inform the people, of company products and service ; The more a company carries on advertising campaign, the more it succeeds in increasing its sales Advertisements are made in newspapers, magazines, periodicals, evening issues, radio commercials, T.V. programmes, cinema slides and sales demonstrations. All advertisements must be appealing, attractive, convincing and should succeed in achieving the objectives of the company i.e., increase in sales. Advertising is not a waste of money but it helps both the company as well as the customers. By advertising the sales of the products and services of the company increase, providing the company with economies of large scale production consequently the profits increase, cost of production falls down and the company enjoys ability to complete.

(v) Manuals : Job manuals are a form of written communication and help in defining duties and responsibilities of the employees. All big companies have job manuals. In the absence, they follow standard job manuals. The specific duties of an executives or high officials of the company can be ascertained, through job manual. A job manual denotes exactly what are the powers and duties of the person. How many people would work under him? What would be the reporting relations and who would be responsible to whom ? Job manuals also mention the levels of structure of wage and salaries.

(vi) Signs : Signs are also used to communicate information. If a van with ‘+’ sign in red colour passes on the road it indicates that it belongs to hospital or Red Cross. A signal over the railway track also indicates the arrival or non-arrival of the train. If the signal is down passengers shall get ready and wait anxiously for the arrival of the train.

(vii) Annual Reports:Usually all the companies publish their annual reports for the consumption of their shareholders, employees, public and government agencies. These reports consist of working results, information about public liking and admiration of company products and services. Annual reports also mention the economic problems faced by the company and efforts of the directions to solve them. What company’s plans are for future action?

(i) Bulletins :
Some companies publish their bulletins informing people about the products and services provided by the company, the standard of workmanship and technical know-how, place of the company in reaction to share of the market, future plans and efforts of the company to fulfill its obligations towards social responsibility. Universities also publish bulletins mentioning their educational progrmames, areas of specialization, names of degrees, diplomas, tuition fee for each programme, other charges, hostel facilities provided, scholarships and fellow-ships offered and mode of admissions.

(ii) Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Charts, graphs and diagrams are also used for written communication. Doctors use graphs to indicate the changing temperatures of the patient in morning, noon and evening. Statisticians use graphs to show the results over a period of few years like India’s exports and imports as compared to those of last year. Banks use charts for public consumption and to invite more bank deposits. Banks provide charts showing the amount invested, duration covered and the amount of interest to be earned etc.

Memoranda are of a great use to the executives. These are sent to the concern executives so that they are well informed and their decisions may be appropriate under the circumstances. The memoranda also called memo could contain information concerning the industry or the industrial enterprise, employees, laour productivity, cost of production and such other matters. Other than the technical information the memo’s could also contain information about the employees. This could be regarding a fring benefit or a revision in wages or any other matter concerning the employees. The memos supply upto date information to the executives and also make them aware of the on going trends in the business. This is a low cost of method of keeping the executives well informed.

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