“Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages or transferring information from one part (sender) to another (receiver). “

Communication Theory. n.d. Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication.

Have you ever sent a voice message and recorded it repeatedly, rephrasing it each time you record, changing the whole meaning of the message? There can be a vast difference in how we think we sound, and how we actually sound? You can hear yourself say the words, but did you sound harsh, nervous, or just speak quickly?

It’s difficult to create a message that is designed to communicate with a wide range of people who may have a different language perception or production other than your own.  Communicating with someone who has a learning disability, autism or a sensory processing disorder may bring its own challenges but with the right method, you can build effective communication skills.

Things to think about!

Who is receiving the message? Think carefully about who you will be communicating with, and the best way to adapt your vocabulary, body language, and tone of voice to deliver the message in the way you want it to be interpreted. Understanding exactly who you’re talking to is vital.

Prepare in advance: Find out what communication difficulties may be present and adjust where necessary. Consider using simple words rather than complex language, keep sentences short and simple and make sure you allow plenty of processing time. Not everyone can absorb information at the same rate.

Try a more relaxed flexible approach: Remember, the words we use only account for around 7% of communication, with someone with a communication difficulty it will be a lot less. Good communication isn’t about imposing yourself on others and using a vocabulary that is vast and complex, it’s about; using a language that is easy to understand, adapting your non-verbal communication such as tone of voice, body language, facial expression, etc to make sure you get your message across and are understood.

Remember! It’s not what you say it’s the way that you say it, that’s what gets results.

“Total communication is an approach to create a successful and equal communication between human beings”

Written by: Lesley Rowcroft, Engagement & Total Communications Officer

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