Effective Communication Strategies

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communication Strategies ・APA ・10 Sources

Communication is the voluntary or involuntary change of information between a sender and a recipient. It is one of the important elements of the human community, and it must use the correct techniques to transmit that information otherwise the complete story collapses. Communication has correctly advanced its method from long ago instances of paper writing to modern day computer technology, and this had has open fields to each film and television manufacturing (Collie 2007, 26). It is significant for people no longer to take for granted the various ways of relaying facts because the subject remember can be misconstrued. This effort to maintain the issue in a dialog is so important, and that's where Communication strategies come into place.

Types of Communication Strategies

Communication strategies can be verbal, nonverbal, or visual. To transmit information, integrating all the strategical aspects together will enable one to relay information effectively.
Verbal communication strategies can be brought down into the two categories of both written and oral communication. Written strategies include modes such e-mail, cell phone text, and chat. Oral examples include; phone calls, online video chats, and everyday face-to-face conversation.
Nonverbal communication strategies are constituted by visual cues, such as human body language, facial expressions, the physical distance in between communicators, or the vocal tone of one's voice. These cues might be deliberately or otherwise not intended. However, it is significant to realize the message one means to transmit otherwise the content of the message could be misconstrued.
Visual communication strategies can be seen as; signs, internet web pages, and, drawings or illustrations. These strategies are employed in the workplaces or at home to assert attention and provide documentation.
To demonstrate how these modes of communication can be combined to pass some given information, this project will illustrate how several pictures can be used to tell a story, how they independently can relay the information but when script words are introduced; the complete information becomes live and real. Information is more efficiently transmitted when more than one mode are used in the context (Curran 2007, 23).

The fictional story

This is a story of the diehard friend who saves the other from his depressive addiction. This is a story of James, a high school student who is friends with Lisa (an alcoholic). James and Lisa have been friends for six years, and they have known each other's highs and lows. They have travelled all over the world together since Lisa parents are wealthy and can afford to pay for her lavish lifestyle and James loves travelling but comes from a low-income family. The two shared a liking for artwork and first met at an art gallery organized by the art symposium. James never thought that Lisa would turn out to be the charming lady she later became, and she on the contrary never thought that that guy whom she saw wearing old fashioned clothes would prove to be the best friend she would ever have had in her life.
So one day their school organized an art project where the winner was to be awarded a scholarship for a year. James, a lover of art, knew that this was his only chance to get through with education and knew he had to win that project. Lisa saw that as an opportunity to meet the boys and have a night of drinking, partying and having endless fun.
So in this very evening, while it rained heavily, Lisa had bought her usual carton of beer and invited her best friend Benson to tag along. James arrived late into the symposium and had to rush through his presentation due to time limitation. When it came to Lisa's turn to present her artwork, all hell broke loose; as she staggered to the stage, everyone knew she was drunk and had prepped their cell phones to record her make a fool of herself. Once Lisa was on stage, she gathered her courage and stood straight, she placed her work on the stool provided and before she could utter a word, she dropped flat on her artwork sending every single mosaic detail flying towards the crowd. Cheers and laughter were heard all over, as cell phone flashlights filled the auditorium. Quickly the organizers rushed the stage and dragged her out with disgust written all over their face. What James saw that night became the turning point of his life. Left as the only competent candidate, the judges had no choice but to declare him the winner. Even as he jumped up in jubilation, his mind still thought of how Lisa had embarrassed herself and lost. Late that night he passed by her house and asked her mother who had already grounded her if he could talk to her. Grudgingly she accepted since she had always considered James as that downtown geek.
As the two talked, James couldn't help but notice that Lisa was so entangled in her addiction that and she was always making silent cries for help with no one noticing. Her addiction felt like she was drowned in an ocean and only her hand stayed afloat screaming for help.
The picture below depicts what it felt for James - notice the use of emotion sensitive words to capture the attention of the reader. In media production, as Conley puts it, that for communication to be effective. The author has to use sentimental words (help me please) to capture the mind of the reader in the initial phase (Conley 2006, 14). Notice a paper crafted arm (Lisa) afloat a cup of coffee - an addictive drink, crying for help – coffee represent her addiction to alcohol.

As she sat on her bed crying helplessly, imagining how the rest of her mean classmates would upload their recordings sending her viral, she cried and long to die. James had never seen a girl such broken before and even though her loss meant his gain, he vowed to help her out of her mess. James never knew how dire the situation was and only thought; a few talks would remedy the situation. So he promised to help her out.
The following picture depicts his hand holding the paper crafted arm (Lisa) trying to pull her up her pool of alcohol addiction.
After a while, James realized that his efforts were not bearing fruits and that she was still slipping back to her old self. She used to drink at night but then she had started to drink during the day and would go to school top notch drunk. Lisa became uncontrollable; she had become the talk of her school, she couldn't bear being referred to as James' new girlfriend, that title, she couldn't bear. To drown all that humiliation she drunk more and more, the more James tried to talk to her, and reason with her, all she could say was she couldn't live a day without alcohol since it was pulling a fish out of the lake.
Notice the use of non-verbal pictures to concretize the information given in the story. A snake is a non-verbal symbol of slander, cunningness or evasiveness. And hence Melmed expresses it; that the use of what is natural to communicate a standard message that one need not have to say, is always efficient was to communication(Melmed 1991, 98)
The following picture depicts him still struggling to pull her out of her misery, but the very hand (Lisa) had turned into some fish (a creature that can't live out of the water).
Days passed, and the more encountered each other, the more James started feeling what he couldn't distinguish as love or friendship. However Lisa couldn't so easily break from her addiction and no matter how much James tried to convince her, she secretly drunk and used mouthwash to remain fresh. But as the situation grew worse, she started evading him; she started calling in sick and stood him out on several occasions. In effect, she started becoming slippery and the grip James though she had on her began to lose. However, he remained committed to helping her, the very thought of how she cried that night always reminded him of his vow.
Below is a picture depicting how that strand that was once a fish (can't live without water- alcohol) had turned to be a snake (a very slippery reptile).

So one day, James decided that enough was enough, rather than talk her out of it, he would go to her house, ransack it and dispose of all the liquor she had stashed there and that she drunk alone at night. So he planned his way in and up the flight of stairs and used his spare key to gain access to her room. To his shock, Lisa had subscribed to a pub drinking online game where the participant would record themselves drinking down a whole bottle of dry Gin and upload it on the web. The winner was to get a free one month supply of the Gin of their choice. The winners were selected by the number of likes recorded, and James couldn't help but drop his jaw upon realizing that Lisa had more than a million like on her uploads. Angry he took all that stash and poured it down the drain just when she was walking in the bedroom. Stunned she asked him why he was there yet they had no appointment that day. The truth was, she wanted him to justify why he had an empty bottle of her favourite Gin in his hand. A quarrel ensued with words thrown at each other, and she told him never to come back at her place anymore or even speak to her. She became hostile to him and even threatened to use her influence to hurt him.
(Below is a picture that depicts the strand turn to an alligator)

After that night James knew had crossed the line and that his decision had ruined the real chance he had to help her, yet even as he vowed never to help her or talked to her again. He still felt a burning obligation to finish off the work he had started. Meanwhile, their relationship took a plateau phase, she avoided him, and he never made deliberate efforts to talk to her. The situation appeared to be peaceful on the surface but deep within James was burning with the desire to finish off his work and Lisa, on the other hand, had begun missing the only friend who never ridiculed her in school.;
(The following picture depicts the strand turn to a leafy cord – a symbol of a rather ironic ‘peaceful' state)

This silent period progressed for several weeks, so while each of the desired to reconnect; they still both had the pride feeling of not wanting to be the first to extend the olive branch. However, during this time, James had, had sufficient time to think and rethink whether he still wanted to continue with his now depressing mission or let it go. So one night he woke up early in the morning and sat on the edge of his bed, he took a picture of his late mother from his bedside drawer and whispered to himself that was the last time he was going to do it. The following day while headed to school, he bumped onto Lisa, as usual, she never spoke or looked at him but determined to say something and not let the opportunity pass, he shouted at her; ‘Lisa, don't know how to say it better but i love you.' Upon those words, she froze and dropped her books. Not wishing to appear aware of what had just happened, she turned and ran as fast as she could home. As James was left there, he knew that something had happened. A spark had light, and he had finally unlocked the puzzle that had made Lisa such a spoilt case; she needed someone to love her, she needed someone to alleviate that feeling of disapproval that had poisoned her esteem.
(The following picture depicts James pulling out the leafy cord that consequently pulls out a sachet – the very cause of her addiction)

Just then, James took his bike and cycled as fast as he could to catch up with Lisa, as he approached the more his heart appeared to burn, he quickly dropped his bike a ran on foot after her, only to catch-up with her at the downtown corner of Jim cart Park. As he grabbed her hand an electric feeling surged up his arm and little did he knew fate had led them together. She wanted to run away but still wanted to be there at that moment with him
(The following picture depicts James having half way pulled Lisa out of the addiction)

Just as he thought she would embarrass him in the park, she turned back to him and with tears in her eyes she whispered: I love you, James, never again will I drink, and I have finally heard those words I thirsted for'. At that moment they held each other and what run in his mind was, I have finally saved her.
(This last picture depicts James having endured all that came upon his way and finally managed to accomplish the mission he began)

–END-
To arrive at this project creation, I had to sketch and cut out those patterns in my room personally. I used locally available materials and tried to make the story easy to relate with both at a fictional level and at a pictorial point of view. Here below are two pictures of my production process.

Reflection

During the production of my project, I had the question in my mind of how i would incorporate the visual and the verbal modes to create a story that would capture both of these modes and effectively communicate the message I intended. So as I prepared my pictures, I knew as I had learned in the Grundy book that a good journalist must appeal to the emotional aspect of the human person if at all he hopes to capture their attentions on the onset (Grundy 2007, 45). So I choose to use as the first introductory picture a message that I knew would capture the mind of the reader (please help me). People are emotional and always tend to show signs of empathy when they are confronted with matters appealing to their emotions. So before i knew that by inserting those words there, I would have already captured the mind of the reader even before they knew the contents of the story.
Another aspect that I also learned in the production of my project was that; for information to be efficiently relayed well, it needs to unfold in a sequential manner (Hills 2013, 23). Human beings tend to grasp more efficiently information that is communicated in a sequential manner than information that is all jumbled up. To present it in a sequential way, the reader can flow with the author and relate one set of information with the rest. That way they do not end up confused or misreading the content. Therefore as one would notice, I presented the cut out pictures in a sequential manner such that there is a connection between one picture to the next. As one would see, the images flow well with the story presented above; they tend to illustrate or give the reader a mental picture of what they are reading.
Talking about mental pictures leads us to the next point I noted. The use of conventional signs and symbols in communication is an effaceable way to enabling the reader to create a mental picture of what they are reading. Visuals tend to define what the reader is reading and place him in context. That's why many online portals incorporate both visuals and sound effects in their video uploads to bring the audience into context (Miller 2007, 63).
Another aspect that I found interesting is how to relay the information in the simplest way possible. In most cases, complex sets of information end up misread or misunderstood. Such as the reader has read and reread again to get to the crux of the matter. Harris puts it that, if it is complicated to write then it's hard to read and understand (Miller 2007, 50). And so I learned that, for my pictures to be able to communicate effectively the story I attached to them, they must be simple, conventional and clear to understand. I leaned that if it I choose complicated images to depict then the information would either have been misread or would have failed to contextualize in the reader's mind. So I had to settle using standard observable animal pictures that had a common symbolism such as snakes, fish, and alligator. By presenting information that way, the message appears to be both practical though fictional (Sissons 2006, 70).
Therefore to sum up my entire attainment of knowledge and how much educative the presentation of this project was, I present the graph below that will indicate how much time i took in the production and how educative those steps were.

Another aspect that was quite significant was the presentation of the information. Information presented in both a sequential and non-interfered with manner tends to be more receptive than information that has been presented with many different backgrounds of blueprints (Phillips 2008, 25) this is often because the human mind tends to classify information that is related together and synthesize it as one. Mcleish notes that the reason as to why radio journalism is never effective than television journalism is because the former has one mode of transmission (verbal) and has several voice relays that displace the mind (McLaeish 2005, 10). In short, just as mentioned previously, the listener always find it hard to draw a mental image of the information they are receiving and on this point, they end up with more than one mental, verbal images to process. That way the information is never efficiently synthesized. Neither can it be remembered for long as opposed to information that the reader say, listened to and read about.
Finally, information is what runs the world, if it is transmitted correctly it leads to progress but if it is relayed incorrectly, it may lead to chaos. Hence the very tenets of information transmission must be at the very fingertips of one who wishes to be a good communicator or a journalist. To communicate information correctly is the best way to ensure that it doesn't lose its subject matter and that the recipients understand it correctly. That is the goal of effective communication strategies (Garrand 2006, 20).

References

Conley, D. and Lamble, S.G., 2006. The daily miracle: An introduction to journalism. The Daily Miracle: an introduction to journalism, 3rd ed.
Curran Bernard, S., 2007. Documentary storytelling–Making stronger and more dramatic nonfiction films. 2.
Garrand, T., 2006. Writing for multimedia and the Web: a practical guide to content development for interactive media. CRC Press.
Grundy, B., Hirst, M., Little, J., Hayes, M. and Treadwell, G., 2012. So You Want To Be A Journalist?: Unplugged. Cambridge University Press.
Hill, G.M., 2013. The complete project management office handbook. CRC Press.
McLeish, R., 2005. Radio Production, 5 th. Edition. ABD: Focal.
Miller, M., 2007. YouTube 4 you. Pearson Education.
Melmed, A.J., 1991. The art and science and other aspects of making sharp tips. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena, 9(2), pp.601-608.
Phillips, A., 2007. Good Writing for Journalists: Narrative. Style, Structure. London: Sage.
Sissons, H., 2006. Practical journalism: How to write news. Sage.

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