By: Olansile Ajetunmobi Umar
IN 1968, three scholars, Watzlawick, Beaven and Jackson said, “Man cannot but communicate.” This logical expression might look confusing to those who are not in communication field; however, it is not. Simply put, I may decide not to have a talk with a lady for a whole day, but I cannot say I won’t communicate with her. Still confused? My decision not to have a talk with her is still a form of communication! The ratio decidendi for this article is to correct the levity many speakers of today take communication. Communication has been trivialised by many of them, forgetting that it is a life-long skill to be acquired. Honestly, many of whom I have seen and still see only talk(ed) , but don’t communicate. What do I mean?
A communicator doesn’t waste people’s time. Time is not only money, but also one’s life-support machine. When a speaker talks without switching on the ignition and brain box of his audience, he or she is just wasting his or her time and the precious tick-tack of the audience. Wasting time can also occur in the preamble. If you have thirty minutes to deliver a talk, common sense will even laugh at you for spending twenty minutes in the introduction. Instead of exchanging meanings (communicating) before the end of your time, you will just be talking like an unanswered walkie-talkie after the lapse of your time. Don’t just talk ; communicate!
Also, a communicator doesn’t impress people with words. A talkative speaker only opens his or her mouth and utters some gibberish, mouth tearing and jaw breaking words. Tell me, what is the essence of a communication encounter with no symmetrical comprehension? In communication and language, we say that content is noisy while the feedback is equally ineffective. A speaker who communicates is always simple in his or her choice of words, to the extent that an eight year old child should be able to understand him or her. That is difficult you say? Start giving it a trial now!
Moreover, a communicator understands the linguistic features of his or her listeners. Many a time I have seen speakers communicate in English with people who cannot even utter “How are you?” I have equally seen a situation where speakers bamboozle the audience with Arabic, despite the fact that these people don’t even know how to pronounce “Kataba Zaydun”, let alone know its meaning. What is my point here? The point is that it is your duty as an effective communicator to break down your content into the best of language your audience will jointly comprehend. Don’t try to show off with your language prowess, deapth and strength; you are a communicator and not an attention seeker!
Stop telling us lies or what we did call fààbú when we were very young! A communicator speaks with authority because he has read more than the size of his head. A communicator sieves information before he accepts such information in its totality. A communicator doesn’t say things he has no convincing proofs for ; he keeps quiet whenever he is not sure of something, instead of confusing others with fallacies and conjectures. With my little experience in communication business, I have come to realise that we have many talkers, but smaller number of communicators. It’s so because those who think they are communicating are really not; they are mere talkative. Don’t be like a whirlwind with no actual direction!
Oh my dear handlers of those “kine-potential” microphones! Oh my dear podium demonstrators! Oh my dear spirit living in that solo talking drum! Don’t just talk because you have nothing to say; don’t just talk because you want to show your presence ; don’t just vibrate because you want to show your intelligence! You know what? Communicate to achieve measurable outcomes ; communicate to express and communicate in order to be effective! TALK LESS ; LET’S JUST COMMUNICATE!