In order to see how much good communication skills affect everyday life, I took a trip to our local church. I listened to our priest speak, and as he spoke, I realized that all of the skills we learned in Communications 101 were in use. Examples would be something along the lines of vocal variety, pauses, pitch. Father Bob started his sermon with an activity (writing a definition on a notecard) and then worked it into asking questions and getting the mass involved.
As Father Bob’s sermon progressed, I actually felt oddly bored. Probably because he started rambling on and on about stewardship, but that’s when it hit me. If you try too hard to relate a topic to the audience, if can actually bore them or turn them off to whatever you are trying to talk about. Another thing is talking too much about the same topic. I’ve learned that people are turned off when someone talks endlessly about one specific topic, rather than moving from topic to topic with enough information to keep your audience’s attention. These are parts of the big things that I learned this semester.
I learned that using vocal variety is important, but you also have to be knowledgeable about your topic before you try to share your viewpoints. Knowledge is power and it is definitely shown during a presentation, especially when it includes all of the basic communication skills we used in this winterim semester.