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Oral communication message response

Many problems arise in schools and colleges each day, simply as a result of poor verbal communication.

The ten tips below are designed to help maximise the effectiveness of your verbal communications with colleagues.


Be as clear and as specific as possible in all verbal communications and especially when you are asking someone to carry out a task for you.


If you are not sure that people understand you, either summarise what you have said in different words, or ask them to summarise your message in their own words.

Observe Responses

Observe response to your message. What people are thinking is not always expressed verbally. Read people’s thoughts by watching their facial expressions, hand and foot gestures. Look at their eyes for signs of confusion, disagreement, disbelief, resistance or understanding.

Background Noise

If there is background noise, speak loudly or move to a quieter area. Reinforce verbal communication, especially in noisy areas, with gestures.

Use of Voice

To keep people’s attention, modulate your voice. Speaking more loudly or softly, more quickly or slowly increases interest in what you say. Pause before and after a key point to allow it to fully register.

Eye Contact

Maintain eye contact with those to whom you are talking. Bear in mind their cultural background. In some cultures, excessive eye contact is a sign of disrespect.

Undivided Attention

Pay attention. Avoid interruptions. Don’t hold two conversations at the same


Emphasise Important Points

To communicate an important point, raise your voice slightly or speak deliberately. Let your body language reflect the importance of what you are saying by leaning forward, opening your eyes wider, and using appropriate hand gestures.


Begin conversations positively. If there is potential for conflict, start off with

something on which you both agree to set a positive atmosphere.

Choose your words

Avoid using ‘but’ to join sentences. ‘But’ puts people on the defensive. Use

‘and’ to join sentences, it is far more positive. And where possible, use ‘I’ messages. Using ‘you’ makes people defensive.

Influencing Your Audience: Making Your Persuasive Message Stick

Capturing interest at the start of a message is important, but in persuasive writing, you also need to sustain the audience’s attention throughout the message. That’s how you influence people’s thinking and motivate them to accept your ideas. Here are a couple of ideas:

Tailor your appeal to something the audience wants, needs or values.

      For a manager, that means you must know what motivates your employees. There are various wants, needs, and values that move people: a bonus, a promotion, time off, self-esteem, a challenge, an appeal to their leadership potential. Others value inclusion: They appreciate the opportunity to be part of a group.


      In a different situation, maybe you are trying to persuade people to support or oppose a developer’s project in your community. If you are persuading people to approve it, you might focus on jobs, tax revenue, or shopping convenience. If you want to persuade people to oppose the project, perhaps on environmental grounds, consider what is important to the audience. Will the public lose access to open space? Will wetlands be sacrificed? Will pollution be an issue?

Present your persuasive appeal in a context familiar to the audience. News stories about a foreign country often will refer to the country as being “about the size of Iowa” or some other state. Such a comparison gives people context, which is important in making a message persuasive, because you need to present your argument within the realm of the audience’s experience. You need to make it real for people.
If you are appealing for a contribution to help the poor, and the audience doesn’t know what it means to be in poverty, compare what the audience takes for granted every day to what poor people never have. That helps the audience to “see,” and your appeal is more likely to move them.