An important aspect of communication mentioned in the readings is being aware of the different signals that you send as you communicate. WOVEN or Written Oral Visual Electronic Nonverbal, includes all the different things that a presenter or communicator should consider when presenting something. Simply knowing the material, going in front of a group and presenting is not enough anymore. Looking presentable, making sure to keep weird mannerisms in check, and having a good visual are other things that should be considered. A good point on this that was mentioned in the readings was about how everyone learns differently. I myself am more of a visual kind of person. If a teacher shows a picture while lecturing, it gives my mind something to pinpoint the information I am receiving with. Considering the different kinds of learners in an audience would probably make a presentation more effective.
The readings also mentioned that knowing the audience and context is important, and I agree. If everyone sent out texts in the same kind of writing that they would use for a textbook, it would be inappropriate. [It, however, would probably be even more inappropriate to write a textbook in the same manner that a person would write a text.]
A special point in the reading that I would like to discuss is the theory by “Benjamin Whorf, who speculated that language determines the way [people] think”. That was definitely food for thought. I’m with the people who think that his theory is too extreme. It’s hard to think that someone who knows Chinese for example, is predetermined by their language to think differently than a Russian speaker. I would say that perhaps cultures help to determine the way people think. Some people are raised to think that women are more superior than men. [I didn’t wish to go with the cliche of a man thinking he is superior to a woman, so bear with me here.] That’s inscribed in the culture, not the language. However, a good friend of mine, Jonathan, argued that language is a part of a person’s culture; so perhaps Whorf has a point.
The last thing that the readings touched on was self-reflection. For obvious reasons, reflecting is good and encouraged. For example, reflecting on a past presentation is helpful in improving future presentations.
Looking at all these things that a person should consider to be a good communicator feels overwhelming. I guess that’s the price to pay if you want to reach out correctly to widespread audiences. [Side Note: Reading these tips on being a good communicator is making me go back through my blog and question, “am I being too casual? This is for an English assignment if you think about it; but then again a blog is a reflection and is therefore more personal.” Guess that’s more food for thought.