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Communication is derived from the Latin word Communico which means to share. Hence theword communication means: the process of sharing. One may ask, sharing what? Obviously sharinginformation, which could be facts, ideas, thoughts, feelings, needs, etc. This sharing takes place from oneperson to another so that it is understood. This process involves systematic and continuous process ofspeaking, listening, and understanding. Therefore, Communication is a process, which involves sharing of information between people through acontinuous activity of speaking, listening, and understanding. Why is Communication Important? Communication is a learned skill. Most people are born with the physical ability to talk. But inorder to speak well and communicate effectively you have to learn the art and improve upon your abilityto talk. Speaking, listening, and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal meanings are the skills wedevelop in various ways. We learn basic communication skills by observing other people and changingour behaviors based on what we see. We also learn communication skills directly through education,practice and constant evaluation of the responses we get from people around us. Importance of communication has always been realized in all times because it is the most vitalmeans by which people are connected together in the society. However, today communication plays acrucial role in almost all aspects of life. Work in business, government or organizations are impossiblewithout communication. People have to communicate with each other, exchange information, makedecisions, talk about new ideas, plans, proposals etc. They also have to communicate externally withforeigners and people of other races and languages. For a moment, turn your eyes inward and see how much of your waking hours you spend in communication. Nearly 70% writing, reading, speaking, & listening. As a college student, 69 percent ofyour communication time is spent on speaking and listening. You spend 17 percent of yourcommunication time on reading and 14 percent writing.Dont forget, therefore, that communication is inevitable in ones life. Today, in this age & world, asuccessful person is the one - who can communicate effectively.Pick up any newspaper and scan the jobs wanted advertisements. You will find that communication skillsare one of the essential prerequisites in most of the occupations. Be it engineers, business managers, salesofficers, operators, etc. Any vocation you choose- oral communication skills are identified as valuable forboth obtaining employment and successful job performance. Big corporations and multinationalorganizations need better communication skills in their employees so that they are able to work in teamsand with people from diverse backgrounds. Remember we are living in acommunications revolution; we are living inan age of increasing talk. When we have totalk, we might as well talk well, and talkwise.

The Communication Process or Cycle Many of the problems that occur in anorganization are the direct result of peoplefailing to communicate. Faultycommunication causes the most problems. It leads to confusion and can cause a good plan to fail.Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. It involvesa sender transmitting an idea to a receiver. And effective communication occurs only if the receiverunderstands the exact information or idea that the sender intends to transmit. Studying the communication process is important because you coach, coordinate, counsel, evaluate, andsupervise through this process. It is the chain of understanding that integrates the members of anorganization from top to bottom, bottom to top, and side-toside.Let us look into the details and see: What is involved in the communication process? The steps involved in this process are: 1. Idea: Information exists in the mind of the sender (who is the source). This can be a concept,idea,information, or feelings. 2. Encoding: The source initiates a message by encoding the idea (or a thought) in words or symbols andsends it to a receiver.The message is the actual physical product from the source encoding. When we speak, the speech is themessage. When we write, the writing is the message. When we gesture, the movements of our arms andthe expressions of our faces are the message. 3. The Channel: The channel in the communication process is the medium that the sender uses totransmit the message to the receiver. Care needs to be exercised in selecting the most effective channel foreach message. Even though both an oral and a written medium may be appropriate to transmit a particularmessage, one medium may be more effective than the other. To illustrate, lets assume that an individualdesires an immediate reply to a question. Although the message could be in either an oral or a writtenform, the oral medium most likely will be more effective because of the immediacy, if required.In selecting an appropriate channel, the sender must assess the following factors, as the situationdemands: a. need for immediate transmission of message, (Fax instead of letter) b. need for immediate feedback, (Phone instead of fax) c. need for permanent record of the message, (Written rather than oral) d. degree of negotiation and persuasion required, (Personal meeting face-to face) e. the destination of the message, and (Far flung area letter only) f. the nature of the content of the message. (Has to be a contract written) In addition, the sender should take into consideration his/her skill in using each of the alternativechannels, as well as the receivers skill in using each of the channels.Communication rarely takes place over only one channel; two or three even four channels are normallyused simultaneously.

Example: in face-to-face interactions, we speak and listen but we also gesture and receive these signalsvisually. 4. Decoding: It is the act of understanding messages (words or symbols). This is known as Decoding.When the sound waves are translated into ideas, we are taking them out of the code they are in, hencedecoding. Thus, listeners and readers are often regarded as Decoders.During the transmitting of the message, two processes will be received by the receiver. Content andContext. 5. Content is the actual words or symbols of the message which is known as language i.e. spoken andwritten words combined into phrases that make grammatical and semantic (meaning) sense. We all useand interpret the meanings of words differently, so even simple messages can be misunderstood (Are yougoing to give me or not?). And many words have different meanings to confuse the issue even more (Youare smart.). 6. Context is the way the message is delivered and is known as PARALANGUAGEtone of voice, the look inthe sender's eye's, body language, hand gestures, state of emotion (anger, fear, uncertainty, confidence,etc.). Paralanguage causes messages to be misunderstood as we believe what we see more than what wehear; we trust the accuracy of nonverbal behaviors more than verbal behaviors.Many managers think they have communicated once they told someone to do something, "I don't knowwhy was not the work done?...I told my Secretary to do it." As a matter of fact, the secretarymisunderstood the message. Remember: A message is never communicated unless it is understood by the receiver.Question arises then, how do you know a message has been properly received? 7. Feedback: By two-way communication or feedback. This feedback will tell the sender that the receiverunderstood the message, its level of importance, and what must be done with it.So the feedback loop is the final link in the communication process. Feedback is the check on howsuccessful we have been, in transferring our messages as originally intended. It determines whetherunderstanding has been achieved or not.The purpose of feedback is to change and alter messages so the intention of the original communicator isunderstood by the second communicator. It includes verbal and nonverbal responses to another person'smessage. There are five main categories of feedback. They are listed in the order in which they occur mostfrequently in daily conversations. a) Evaluation: Making a judgment about the worth, goodness, or appropriateness of the sender'sstatement. b) Inte rpretation: Paraphrasing - attempting to explain what the sender's statement means. c) Support: Attempting to assist or support the sender. d) Probing: Attempting to gain additional information, continue the discussion, or clarify a point.

e) Unde rstanding: Attempting to discover completely what the sender means by his/her statement. f) Noise: The presence of noise can result in fairly significant problems in the communication process.Unfortunately, communication is effected by noise, which is anything whether in the sender, thetransmission, on the receiver that hinders communication. For example: A noisy environment may hinder the development of a clear thought. Encoding may be faulty because of the use of ambiguous symbols. Transmission may be interrupted by noise in the channel, such as a poor telephoneconnection, misprinted text, or maybe a typographical mistake. Inaccurate reception may be caused by inattention.


Communication in general is process of sending and receiving messages that enables humans to share knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Although we usually identify communication with speech, communication is composed of two dimensions - verbal and nonverbal. The research by various communication experts suggests that: 93% of communication is nonverbal 55% through facial expression, posture, gesture 38% through tone of voice

Nonverbal can include: Shaking hands, posture, facial expressions, appearance, voice, tone, hairstyle, clothes, expression in your eyes, smile, how close you stand to others, how you listen, confidence, your breathing, the way you move, the way you stand, the way you touch people, colour choice, silence.

Nonverbal communication has been defined as communication without words. It is defined as: attributes or actions of humans, other than the use of words themselves, which have socially shared meaning, are intentionally sent or interpreted as intentional, are consciously sent or consciously received, and have the potential for feedback from the receiver - Burgoon&Saine

Communication is complex. We cannot quantify the relative contribution of non-verbal communication to verbal communication, but non-verbal communication often provides much more meaning than people realize. Indeed, when we a re not certain about another persons feelings or our feeling about him or her, we may rely far more on nonverbal cues and less on the words that are used.

You cannot say nothing! Try to sit for one minute without speaking. Even if you are able to keep from moving you will still communicate rigidity, anxiety, or something. We are always saying something. It is important to observe and try to understand what is being communicated. In many situations people say what they think intellectually rather than what they feel emotionally. There is some truth in the old clich actions speak louder than words.''Body language, carefully observed and interpreted, can tell a lot about what others are feeling.

Nonverbal communication is learned and practiced often on an unconscious level. We attract people by using these nonverbal signals, and sometimes those we attract (or who are attracted to us) are unwholesome. As we grow older and become more aware of

ourselves we should be able to recognize and weed out the unwholesome in favor of those for whom we have an affinity.

Non-verbal communication consists of all the messages other than words that are used in communication. In oral communication, these symbolic messages are transferred by means of intonation, tone of voice, vocally produced noises, body posture, body gestures, facial expressions or pauses

When individuals speak, they normally do not confine themselves to the mere emission of words. A great deal of meaning is conveyed by non-verbal means which always accompany oral discourse intended or not. In other words, a spoken message is always sent on two levels simultaneously, verbal and non- verbal. Non-verbal behaviour predates verbal communication because individuals, since birth, rely first on non- verbal means to express themselves. This innate character of non-verbal behaviour is important in communication. Even before a sentence is uttered, the hearer observes the body gestures and facial expressions of the speaker, trying to make sense of these symbolic messages. They seem to be trustable because they are mostly unconscious and part of every-day behaviour. People assume that non-verbal actions do not lie and therefore they tend to believe the non-verbal message when a verbal message contradicts it. This was proven in tests in which subjects were asked to react to sentences that appeared friendly and inviting when reading them but were spoken angrily. In short, people try to make sense of the non-verbal behaviour of others by attaching meaning to what they observe them doing. Consequently, these symbolic messages help the hearer to interpret the speakers intention and this ind icates the importance of non-verbal communication in the field of interpretation. In daily conversations it often happens that we do not understand what the other person wants to say. Thus we ask questions such as What do you mean by this so that the speaker clarifies his message. The interpreter is deprived of this possibility and therefore has to fall back on other means allowing him to understand the speaker. This is the moment when non- verbal communication comes in, giving him subtle hints on how the message is to be understood.

From the speakers point of view, however, there are numerous functions of non-verbal behaviour even if he or she is not aware of them. Human beings use non- verbal means to persuade or to control others, to clarify or embellish things, to stress, complement, regulate and repeat verbal expressions. They can also be used to substitute verbal expression, as this is the case with several body gestures. Non-verbal communication is emotionally expressive and so any discourse appealing to the receivers emotions has a persuasive impact.

Although many non- verbal means are innate and universal, (i.e. people in different cultures have a common understanding of these cues), the contribution of non-verbal communication to the total meaning of a discourse can be culturally determined and differ in different countries

IMPORTANCE OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION A person should be aware of the impact of non- verbal communication. Nonverbal messages may not always be intended or planned; neverthele ss, they clearly communicate to people and influence their interpretation.

Nonverbal messages may aid or hinder communication. The following summarizes the more important characteristics of nonverbal communication: The nonverbal communication can be unintentional The sender may be unaware that he or she is sending a nonverbal message and, consequently, may not be aware of the impact that the message may have. A nonverbal communication may be more honest than a verbal one In a person-toperson communication, the message is sent on two levels verbal & nonverbal. Nonverbal cues may be transmitted unconsciously and without having planned. So if the nonverbal cues and the spoken message are not compatible, the receiver of the message tends to base the interpretation and the intent of the message on the nonverbal message.

Nonverbal communication makes, or helps to make, a first impression First impressions are powerful. They often result in frozen evaluations, images that can be very difficult to alter. Nonverbal communication is always present Neither oral nor written communication exists without nonverbal communication. Examples of nonverbal messages being sent even when the communication may not be face-to-face include tapping the phone receiver, loudly rearranging papers, or silence.

Knowledge of non-verbal communication is important managers who serve as leaders of organizational "teams," for at least two reasons:

To function effectively as a team leader the manager must interact with the other members successfully. Non- verbal cues, when interpreted correctly, provide him with one means to do so.

The team members project attitudes and

feelings through non-verbal

communication. Some personal needs such as approval, growth, achievement, and recognition may be met in effective teams. The extent to which these needs are met is closely related to how perceptive the team leader and team members are to non-verbal communication in themselves and in others on the team.

Although nonverbal messages are powerful, a listener should not become so intent on interpreting them that he or she fails to listen to the speakers words

LIMITATIONS OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION Human beings invented language for a reason--if you try the silent day exercise, you will realize both how creative nonverbal communication can be AND how limited it is:

Is imprecise Can't explain complex ideas

Hard to convey two things at once Can't convey sarcasm (=contradiction between vocal tone and verbal words) Only communicates for limited distances, and only in the present moment Doesn't come across phone lines or in written text Often cannot transmit factual information Is open to multiple interpretations -- easy to misread


Nonverbal communication comes in various forms. Some of the common types of nonverbal communication are as follows:


Body language is a term for communication using body movements or gestures instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language or other communication. It forms part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are not verbal language. This includes the most subtle of movements that many people are not aware of, including winking and slight movement of the eyebrows. In addition body language can also incorporate the use of facial expressions. Body language always conveys meaning. It is:

Omnipresent: It always accompanies spoken communication Emotionally Expressive: It expresses mainly the feelings of the speaker and also of the listener. Dominates interaction: It is more communicative than words Seems trustable: It usually felt to be more truthful than spoken words.

Body language can accent, complement, repeat and substitute for verbal communication. It can also contradict verbal communication

It is complex and is influenced by many factors: Biological certain body shapes, skin colour and features cause persons to have some kinds of gestures, expressions and postures. Besides, we constantly try to adjust and adapt our body to our environment which we may or may not find comfortable. Some gestures and postures are related to this adjustment. Habitual Some movements and expressions are learnt as habits in the process of adapting oneself to the environment; they also arise from ones occupation which requires constant posture or movement of certain kinds. Certain speaking styles and phrases are also occupational habits. Cultural Customs like not sitting cross- legged before elders, not looking straight into the eyes of the elders or superiors, are culture specific. Customs of receiving guests, introducing, social conduct, also induce some gestures and stylistic features.

Body language can be divided into conscious and sub-conscious: Conscious Conscious movements, postures and voice modulations are deliberately used. Actors are specially trained for this; skilled communicators, especially good presenters, also learn to make conscious use of body language. Unconscious Unconscious movements are of biological origin, acquired habits and cultural customs. No one can gain full control of ones body language, but it is possible to enlarge ones awareness of ones body and gain a good deal of control on ones posture, gestures,

movements and voice modulation. If we develop increased sensitivity to our own body language, our ability to read others body language is increased.

Following are the various aspects of body language:

Physical Appearance

Physical appearance is an important type of nonverbal communication. An individual will form a first impression from a letters envelop, stationery, letterhead, format and neatness. The first impression will definitely influence the receivers reaction to the letter.

The physical appearance of a speaker influences an oral message as much as the appearance of a letter influences a written message. Listeners use physical appearance as a clue to the speakers credibility. That is why an accounting professional who is dressed in casual, trendy clothes will find it difficult, if not impossible, to be taken seriously when presenting the result of an audit. Physical appearance also influences the receivers perception of a speakers socioeconomic status and judgement. For example, an individual who wears designer clothes, custom made shoes, and expensive jewellery will transfer a nonverbal message. This nonverbal message will be perceived differently by receivers depending on the occasion for which the individual is dressed. If the individual is going for lunch or dinner at an elegant restaurant, most people will perceive the person to be wealthy and successful. If the individual is washing a car or mowing a lawn, many people will perceive the person to be eccentric or to lack common sense. Clothing and Accessories

Clothing is a very important aspect of body language. It requires good taste / judgement to make a subtle impression by what you wear. The colour, design, cut, and fitting combine to make up the dress. In India we have several choices as it is acceptable to wear

clothing of national style or of Western style. Appropriateness for the occasion is essential; the formality of the occasion, the time of the day, the season, the cultural background of the people who will be present, and the conventions of your own organization should provide good guidance. Many organizations have a dress code for occasions in order to ensure that its representatives convey the desired impression.

As a general rule, avoid wearing patterned clothing, especially on the upper half of the body, because it tends to shorten the attention span of the person with whom you are speaking.

Accessories like tie, footwear, jewellery need careful selection and should be comfortable to wear. Handbag or briefcase is included in accessories; so is an umbrella if it is necessary to carry one. Whatever you carry on your person or in your hands ought to look comfortable and gracefully carried; otherwise it will convey a poor image. Posture

Posture is the way we hold ourselves, the way we stand or sit. It indicates something about our feelings and thoughts, attitudes and health. Posture can indicate disregard or disrespect for others. Polite and well bred persons are usually careful of how they stand or sit in the presence of visitors and in formal situations. Graceful posture is a great asset in any business. There are two kinds of 'posture' and it is the wise communicator that manages and utilizes both. Posture 1 The first type of 'posture' is the one we think of intuitivelythe straight back verses the slumped shoulders; the feet-apart confident stance verses the feet together, hand-wringing of the nervous; the head up and smiling versus the head down and frowning.

And every one of the positions we place the various elements of our body in tells a storya powerful, nonverbal story. For example, stand upright, shoulders straight, head up and eyes facing the front. Wear a big smile. Notice how you 'feel' emotionally. Nowslump your shoulders, look at the floor and slightly shuffle your feet. Again, take a note of your emotional state. Notice the difference? Your audience surely will, and react to you and your message accordingly. A strong, upright, positive body posture not only helps you breath easier (good for helping to calm nerves!) but also transmits a message of authority, confidence, trust and power. If you find yourself challenged to maintain such a posture, practice in front of a mirror, or better yet join a speaking club like Toastmasters International. Posture 2 The second type of 'posture' comes from your internal mental and emotional states. You can have great body posture but without internal mental and emotional posture your words will sound hollow to your audience. For example, the car salesman at a car showroom might have great body posture and greet you with a firm handshake, a steady gaze and a friendly smile. But if in his heart he is seeing you as just another intrusion then sooner or later his internal conflict between what he says and what he really thinks will cause him to 'trip up'. His body will start betraying his real, underlying intentions and you'll start to feel uncomfortable around him, even if you can't figure out why.

But, if that same used car salesman had a genuine desire to help you find the right car for you, and he puts your needs before his own, then his words and actions will remain congruent (in harmony) with his underlying intentions and you will trust him, even though you might not be able to identify why. This second type of 'posture' is fundamentally tied to truth and honesty. It is about 'walking the talk' and being who you say you are. It's about not trying to sell something you don't believe in or use yourself. It's about not trying to pass yourself off as an expert when all you've ever done is read a book on the subject. It's all about making sure that your words and your intentions are underpinned by truth and honesty. Because all of us, no matter how polished a presenter we might be, are at the mercy of our body and its ability to 'tell the truth' in spite of what our lips might utter. Gestures

Most of us, when talking with our friends, use our hands and face to help us describe an event or objectpowerful nonverbal aids.

We wave our arms about, turn our hands this way and that, roll our eyes, raise our eyebrows, and smile or frown. Yet many of us also, when presenting to others in a more formal setting, 'clam up'.

Our audience of friends is no different from our business audiencethey all rely on our face and hands (and sometimes legs, feet and other parts of us!) to 'see' the bigger, fuller picture.

It is totally understandable that our nervousness can cause us to 'freeze up', but is is in our and our communication's best interests if we manage that nervousness, manage our fear of public speaking, and use our body to help emphasise our point.

Enlisted below are some nonverbal gestures: Openness, confidence:

open hands, palms up unbuttoning or removing jacket (men) eye contact smile, leaning forward, relaxed hands away from face, possibly behind back standing straight, feet slightly apart, shoulders squared hand in belt thumb hooked in waist clucking snapping fingers smacking palm

Coope ration, readiness:

standing with hands on hips, feet apart, head tilted uncrossed legs a person moves closer to another unbuttoned coat (men) head cocked, finger to face, blinking or squinting welcoming handshake open arms or hands (palms out) smile eye contact rubbing palms together indicating expectation of something pleasant hand to chest in a man indicates loyalty (but in a woman it is defensiveness) touching, patting, holding hands to give reassurance


taking notes evaluation gestures especially hand to face leaning forward use of space in seating so as to avoid barriers eye contact absence of gestures indicative of dominance, indifference, defensiveness, etc. (See section M.) Take notice of gestures signifying a desire to interrupt: ``school'' gesture of raising hand displaced to tugging ear or just raising hand from table and then dropping back

index finger to lip to restrain from interrupting hand on arm of speaker

Indifference, bore dom:

leg over arm of chair rhythmic drumming, tapping legs crossed shaking one foot (women) straighten up then slouch ``cold shoulder,'' turning away especially toward exit glancing at exit rigid, unmoving posture with fixed stare yawning hand holding up face, drooping eyelids fidget or rock turning up nose and/or ``tsk'' sound (signifying disgust)

Evaluation, inte rest:

hand to cheek gesture in style of Rodin's The Thinker statue

slight blinking or squinting chin stroking hands touching face especially upper lip leaning forward (positive) and leaning back (negative) head tilted, ear cocked peering over top of glasses sucking on tip of pencil or earpiece of glasses indicates wish for nourishment in form of more information

arched eyebrows licking lips wrinkling nose scratching head ruffling hair


pacing hand over nose eyes closed brow furrowed arched eyebrows frown scratching in front of ear rubbing eyes hand to face gestures (evaluative) pacing with head down and hands behind back or just standingunwise to interrupt a person thus engaged

scratching head pinching bridge of nose, especially with head lowered

Suspicion, secretiveness:

folded arms, moving away from another crossed legs head tilted forward rubbing nose lack of eye contact hand covering mouth scratching in front of ear frown scrunching in with head down stolen look, sideways glance sideways positioning ``poker face'' deception indicated by lack of eye contact anxiety gestures looking at floor frequent swallowing wetting lips throat clearing scratching head

Need for reassurance:

clenched hands with thumbs rubbing stroking arms cuticle picking hand pinching sucking on pen, glasses, etc. touching chair before sitting hand to throat (women) often displaced to seemingly checking to see if necklace is still there


nail biting finger movement sighing hand wringing rapid, twitchy movements clearing throat tremors, especially knees heavy breathing voice strained lips quivering rapid eye movement rigidity crossed fingers chewing on things

Frustration, anger:

making fists hands on hips stomping if sitting on edge of chair (ready for action) chin out kicking the ground lips pressed together, jaw muscles tight running fingers through hair rubbing back of neck hand in pocket snorting clenched hands with white knuckles

pointing or jabbing hot under collar putting out cigarette especially if with grinding motion change in skin color hostile stare


hands in pocket hands behind back clenched hands men with jackets button up folded arms (can be reinforced by making fists) crossed legs body twisted away, moving away, sitting back looking at door head tilted forward, possibly squinting stalling for time by cleaning glasses, rearranging, etc. hand rubbing back of neck.

Selfcontrol, inner conflict:

hand holding wrist or arm arm locked behind back locked ankles gripping arms of chair as in dentist's chair suppressed gestures or displacement activities such as fist clenched hidden in pocket

hand to mouth in astonishment or fear (suppressed scream) hand rubbing back of neck, running fingers through hair (displaced hitting out), ``stiff upper lip'' or reacting as little as possible

blowing nose and coughing (disguised tears)


elevating self, like standing when others are sitting taking a different posture than others in a group, especially hands behind head sitting straddling the chair standing with arms spread and hands gripping desk or table loud voice or low voice carefully enunciated standing or walking with hands behind back and chin up thumbs in lapels

Superior and subordinate:

the superior usually has hand on top in a handshake while the person who is subordinate offers his hand with palm up

the superior makes the motion to terminate the encounter the superior can violate the subordinate's space, and can express doubt, evaluation, domineering gestures

the subordinate is more likely to signify selfcontrol, anxiety, defensiveness gesture clusters

when putting feet on desk the superior should recognize that subordinates dislike this gesture, superiors pretend to ignore it, and equals take little note of it

Eye contact

Eye contact is a very important communicative factor. Good eye contact helps your audience develop trust in you, thereby helping you and your message appear credible. Poor eye contact does exactly the opposite.

So what IS 'good' eye contact?

People rely on visual clues to help them decide on whether to attend to a message or not. If they find that someone isn't 'looking' at them when they are being spoken to, they feel uneasy.

So it is a wise business communicator that makes a point of attempting to engage every member of the audience by looking at them.

Now, this is of course easy if the audience is just a handful of people, but in an auditorium it can be a much harder task. So balance your time between these three areas:

slowly scanning the entire audience, focusing on particular areas of your audience (perhaps looking at the wall between two heads if you are still intimidated by public speaking), and looking at individual members of the audience for about five seconds per person.

Looking at individual members of a large group can be 'tricky' to get right at first.

Equally, it can be a fine balancing act if your audience comprises of just one or two membersspend too much time looking them in the eyes and they will feel intimidated, stared at, 'hunted down'.

So here's a useful tip: break your eye-to-eye contact down to four or five second chunks. That is, look at the other person in blocks that last four to five seconds, then look away. That way they won't feel intimidated.

Practice this timing yourself, away from others. Just look at a spot on the wall, count to five, and then look away. With practice you will be able to develop a 'feel' for how long you have been looking into your audience member's eyes and intuitively know w hen to look away and focus on another person or object.

When focusing on individual members in a large meeting or auditorium, try and geographically spread your attention throughout the room. That is, don't just focus your personal gaze (as distinct from when you are scanning the room or looking at sections of the room) on selected individuals from just one part of the room. Unless you are specifically looking to interact with a particular person at that moment of your presentation, select your individual eye-contact audience members from the whole room. Movement

Ever watch great presenters in actionmen and women who are alone on the stage yet make us laugh, cry and be swept along by their words and enthusiasm? Watch them carefully and you'll note that they don't stand rigidly in one spot. No, they bounce and run and stroll and glide all around the stage.

Why do they do that?

Because they know that we human beings, men in particular, are drawn to movement. As part of man's genetic heritage we are programmed to pay attention to movement. We instantly notice it, whether we want to or not, assessing the movement for any hint of a threat to us.

This, of course, helps explain why many men are drawn to the TV and seem transfixed by it. It also helps explain why men in particular are almost 'glued' to the TV when there is any sport on. All that movement!

But to get back to the stage and you on it... ensure that any movement you make is meaningful and not just nervous fidgetting, like rocking back and forth on your heels or moving two steps forward and back, or side to side. This is 'nervous movement' and your nervousness will transmit itself to your audience, significantly diluting the potency of your communication and message. Facial Expression

A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the muscles of the face. These movements convey the emotional state of the individual to observers. Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication. They are a primary means of conveying social information among humans, but also occur in most other mammals and some other animal species.

Humans can adopt a facial expression as a voluntary action. However, because expressions are closely tied to emotion, they are more often involuntary. It can be nearly impossible to avoid expressions for certain emotions, even when it would be strongly desirable to do so; a person who is trying to avoid insult to an individual he or she finds highly unattractive might nevertheless show a brief expression of disgust before being able to reassume a neutral expression. The close link between emotion and expression can also work in the other direction; it has been observed that voluntarily assuming an expression can actually cause the associated emotion.

Some expressions can be accurately interpreted even between members of different species- anger and extreme contentment being the primary examples. Others, however, are difficult to interpret even in familiar individuals. For instance, disgust and fear can be tough to tell apart.

Because faces have only a limited range of movement, expressions rely upon fairly minuscule differences in the proportion and relative position of facial features, and reading them requires considerable sensitivity to same. Some faces are often falsely read as expressing some emotion, even when they are neutral, because their proportions naturally resemble those another face would temporarily assume when emoting. Some examples of feelings that can be expressed are:

anger concentration contempt desire

disgust excitement fear happiness confusion sadness surprise

Physical Environment Environmental factors such as furniture, architectural style, interior decorating, lighting conditions, colors, temperature, noise, and music affect the behavior of communicators during interaction. Environmental conditions can alter the choices of words or actions that communicators use to accomplish their communicative objective. There are two types of physical environment viz;

Proxemics (Space) Chronemics (Time)

Proxemics - Space

Proxemics is the study of how people use and perceive the physical space around them. The space between the sender and the receiver of a message influences the way the message is interpreted.

The perception and use of space varies significantly across cultures and different settings within cultures. Space in nonverbal communication may be divided into four main categories: intimate, social, personal, and public space. The distance between communicators will also depend on sex, status, and social role.

Proxemics was first developed by Edward T. Hall during the 1950s and 60s. Hall's studies were inspired by earlier studies of how animals demonstrate territoriality. The

term territoriality is still used in the study of proxemics to explain human behavior regarding personal space. Hargie& Dickson identify 4 such territories:

1. Primary territory: this refers to an area that is associated with someone who has exclusive use of it. For example, a house that others cannot enter without the owners permission. 2. Secondary territory: unlike the previous type, there is no right to occupancy, but people may still feel some degree of ownership of a particular space. For example, someone may sit in the same seat on train every day and feel aggrieved if someone else sits there. 3. Public territory: this refers to an area that is available to all, but only for a set period, such as a parking space or a seat in a library. Although people have only a limited claim over that space, they often exceed that claim. For example, it was found that people take longer to leave a parking space when someone is waiting to take that space. 4. Inte raction te rritory: this is space created by others when they are interacting. For example, when a group is talking to each other on a footpath, others will walk around the group rather than disturb it.

Chronemics - Time

Chronemics is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication. The way we perceive time, structure our time and react to time is a powerful communication tool, and helps set the stage for communication. Time perceptions include punctuality and willingness to wait, the speed of speech and how long people are willing to listen. The timing and frequency of an action as well as the tempo and rhythm of communications within an interaction contributes to the interpretation of nonverbal messages. Gudykunst& Ting- Toomey (1988) identified 2 dominant time patterns:

Monochronic time schedule (M-time): Time is seen as being very important and it is characterized by a linear pattern where the emphasis is on the use of time

schedules and appointments. Time is viewed as something that can be controlled or wasted by individuals, and people tend to do one thing at a time. The M-pattern is typically found in North America and Northern Europe.

Polychronic time schedule (P-time): Personal involvement is more important than schedules where the emphasis lies on personal relationships rather than keeping appointments on time. This is the usual pattern that is typically found in Latin America and the Middle East.

PARALANGUAGE It refers to the non-verbal elements of communication used to modify meaning and convey emotion. Paralanguage may be expressed consciously or unconsciously, and it includes the pitch, volume, and, in some cases, intonation of speech. Sometimes the definition is restricted to vocally-produced sounds. The study of paralanguage is known as paralinguistics. The term paralanguage is sometimes used as a cover term for body language, which is not necessarily tied to speech, and paralinguistic phenomena in speech. The latter are phenomena that can be observed in speech, but that do not belong to the arbitrary conventional code of language.

The paralinguistic properties of speech play an important role in human speech communication. There are no utterances or speech signals that lack paralinguistic properties, since speech requires the presence of a voice that can be modulated. This voice must have some properties, and all the properties of a voice as such are paralinguistic. However, the distinction linguistic vs. paralinguistic applies not only to speech but to writing and sign language as well, and it is not bound to any sensory modality.

One can distinguish the following aspects of speech signals and perceived utterances:

Perspectival aspects Speech signals that arrive at a listeners ears have acoustic properties that may allow listeners to localize the speaker (distance, direction). Sound localization functions in a similar way also for non-speech sounds. The perspectival aspects of lip reading are more obvious and have more drastic effects when head turning is involved.

Organic aspects

The speech organs of different speakers differ in size. As children grow up, their organs of speech become larger and there are differences between male and female adults. The differences concern not only size, but also proportions. They affect the pitch of the voice and to a substantial extent also the formant frequencies, which characterize the different speech sounds. The organic quality of speech has a communicative function in a restricted sense, since it is merely informative about the speaker. It will be expressed independently of the speakers intention.

Expressive aspects

The properties of the voice and the way of speaking are affected by emotions and attitudes. Typically, attitudes are expressed intentionally and emotions without intention, but attempts to fake or to hide emotions are not unusual. Expressive variation is central to paralanguage. It affects loudness, speaking rate, pitch, pitch range and, to some extent, also the formant frequencies.

Linguistic aspects

These aspects are the main concern of linguists. Ordinary phonetic transcriptions of utterances reflect only the linguistically informative quality. The problem of how listeners factor out the linguistically informative quality from speech signals is a topic of current research.

Some of the linguistic features of speech, in particular of its prosody, are paralinguistic or pre-linguistic in origin. A most fundamental and widespread phenomenon of this kind is known as the "frequency code". This code works even in communication across species. It has its origin in the fact that the acoustic frequencies in the voice of small vocalizers are high while they are low in the voice of large vocalizers. This gives rise to secondary meanings such as 'harmless', 'submissive', 'unassertive', which are naturally associated with smallness, while meanings such as 'dangerous', 'dominant', and 'assertive' are associated with largeness. In most languages, the frequency code also serves the purpose of distinguishing questions from statements. It is universally reflected in expressive variation, and it is reasonable to assume that it has phylogenetically given rise to the sexual dimorphism that lies behind the large difference in pitch between average female and male adults.

In text-only communication such as email, chatrooms and instant messaging, paralinguistic elements can be displayed by emotions, font and color choices, capitalization and the use of non-alphabetic or abstract characters. Nonetheless, paralanguage in written communication is limited in comparison with face-to-face conversation, sometimes leading to misunderstandings.


Communication is not always successful. Several things can prevent the message from reaching the intended recipient or from having the desired effect on the recipient.

There may be some fault in the communication system which prevents the message from reaching. Some of these defects are in the mechanical devices used for transmitting, that

is, the medium. Some are in the symbols we use for communicating, that is, la nguage or other symbols used for encoding. Some are in the nature of the persons who are engaged in communication, that is, the sender and the receiver. In an organization, these barriers can become quite complicated and can cause information gaps leading to problem in its working. Barriers can be divided into broad groups: Physical Barriers Semantic and language Barriers Socio-psychological Barriers Organizational Barriers

PHYSICAL BARRIERS Obstacles that prevent a message from reaching the intended recipient may be outside and beyond the control of the persons concerned. Some can be controlled by the management; some cannot be controlled because they are in the environment. Defects in the medium Defects in the devices used for transmitting messages are external and usually not within the control of the parties engaged in communication. The telephone, the postal system, the courier service, or electronic mail may fail. Messages can get delayed, distorted and even lost while being transmitted. Noise in the environment Noise is any disturbance which occurs in the transmission process. In face-to-face communication which is carried by air vibration, the air may be disturbed by noise such as traffic, factory work, or people talking. Information overload

When there is too much information, some of it is blocked in transit and may not reach the intended audience. Advertising and sales information is an example of overload; so much communication about products floats through so many media that a good deal of it does not reach the potential buyer. SEMANTIC AND LANGUAGE BARRIERS Semantic means pertaining to or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols. Language is our most important and powerful tool of communication; and yet it is a tricky tool that needs skill in handling. Following are few examples: Similar sounding words like excess and access, Flower and Flour, cite, Site and Sight, week and weak, steal and steel can cause misunderstanding in speech Sentences can convey entirely different meanings depending on how they are spoken. Consider the sentence, what can I do for you? It means something different with every shift of emphasis from one word to another. In oral communication, the speaker can signify the meaning by emphasising particular words; but in written communication, the reader is in control and may read with different emphasis. This barrier becomes all the more visible and difficult when the communication takes place between two different cultures, two different languages, two different education system et al.

SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS All persons are not skilled communicators. Skill in communicating has to be cultivated. Most people have problems which come in the way of good communication. In order to be skilful communicator you have to watch yourself

constantly and make an effort to overcome your deficiencies or problem in communicating. It is useful to understand how barriers develop in persons, and what problems prevent communication from being successful. People have feelings, desires, fears and hopes, likes and dislikes, attitudes, views and opinions. Some of these are formed by family background and social environment; some are formed by the individuals own intelligence, inherited qualities, education, and personal experiences. They form a sort of emotional filter around the mind, and influence the way we respond to messages that we receive and to new experiences. Factors like the time, the place and the circumstances of a particular communication also influence our understanding and response. Problems of understanding, interpretation and response to communication arise partly from our socially learnt-attributes and partly from our personal attributes. These are called socio-psychological barriers. In order to understand these barriers, it is a must to deal with a received message. We receive a message at three levels: a. Noticing is at the physical level. We notice the message with our senses; when we become aware that a message is addressed to us, we focus attention on it. It is quite possible that our eyes or ears miss it on account of other competing messages which claim our attention. Sometimes we may not notice a message addressed to us. b. Understanding is at the level of intelligence. We must be able to understand the language or any other symbols used in the message. Also, the ideas and concepts in the message must be within our understanding and knowledge. c. Acceptance is at the emotional level. There is usually an emotional response of pleasure or dislike or indifference to every message that we receive. If the message arouses an unpleasant feeling, we may reject it, resent it or forget it. Emotional blocks may even make us fail to understand the message correctly.

Most of the socio-psychological barriers discussed below operate at the emotional level:

Self-centred Attitudes We tend to see and hear everything in the light of our own interests and needs and desires. We pay attention to the messages which are useful to us, and often ignore those that do not interest us. If we look at every thing from the point of view of our interests and desires, we may miss some useful information and develop narrow ideas. Group Identification All persons have a sense of belonging to a group, like family, the larger family of relatives, people of our locality or city, our religion or language group, age group, nationality, economic group and so on. Many of our ideas, values and attitudes are picked up from the group. We tend to reject an idea which goes against the interests of the group. Sometimes it is difficult for parents and children to agree because of the different age group ideas; there are disagreements between women and men because of different gender values and attitudes; employees and the management cannot come to an agreement because the interests are different. It is difficult for persons of one group to understand how persons of another group think and feel. This becomes a barrier to communication. Self-image We have certain idea of ourselves. Self-image is our idea about what we are, what we look like and what impressions we make. It is usually based on some truth and some exaggeration of our good points. A self-image is built up over the years, and it is quite difficult to accept any ideas which go against it. This makes it particularly difficulty to give and take feedback. Selective Perception

Sometimes, we fail to get the complete message which is sent to us. We see, read or hear selectively according to our own needs, interests and experience. We project our expectations into the communication as we interpret the message. We may not perceive some of the aspects and information content of the message. Defensiveness If we feel threatened\by a message, we become defensive and respond in such ways that reduce understanding. We may question the motives of others or become sarcastic or judgemental. Such defensive behaviour prevents understanding. This is a particularly harmful barrier in handling complaints and grievances and in resolving conflicts. Filtering Filtering is the process of reducing the details or aspects of a message. This barrier is particularly applicable in an hierarchical situation where a message passes from one end to another. The more the levels of hierarchy, the greater is the filtering and loss of information. Status Block Higher the status, greater is the inability to listen to the subordinates. This posses barrier due to the social distance between the manager and the worker. Resistance to Change This is a serious psychological barrier. Some people strongly resist new ideas which are against their established opinions or traditions or social customs. They may avoid new ideas because they feel insecure or afraid of changes in methods or situations. Closed Mind

Limited intellectual background, limited reading and narrow interests can cause a persons mind to be narrow. This limits the ability to take new ideas and suggestions for change. Persons with a closed mind have limited understanding of human nature; this makes it difficult for them to receive communications with sympathy. Poor Communication Skills Lack of writing and speaking skill prevents a person from framing the message properly. Oral communication can be handicapped by a number of problems. Written communication can be handicapped by poor skills in using language. Lack of reading and listening are more common even though these are really the more important communication skills. Poor reading habits and faulty listening are both psychological short-comings, and need careful training to overcome. State of health Physical condition can affect communication efficiency. The mind is not sufficiently alert; there will be gaps in attention while reading or listening; there is lack of energy to think clearly and to find out right words. Perception is low when the state of mind is poor. Emotions, which play an important part in successful communication, are easily disturbed. ORGANISATIONAL BARRIERS In an organisation, the gaps and barriers become more complex. The movement of papers and of information gets held up by the system itself. A great deal of information loss occurs when the message moves vertically, horizontally and laterally. More the levels in a communication channel, greater is the loss, distortion or misinterpretation of message. Also deliberate withholding of information from peers who are perceived as rivals become a barrier in horizontal communication

Too much dependence on written communication also acts as a barrier. Circulars, bulletins, notices and even letters are not always read carefully. Many employees are unable to read and understand long messages. The resulting information gap can be harmful; therefore, cutting across the official chains of communication is sometimes necessary for the sake of speed and efficiency. CROSS-CULTURAL BARRIERS Culture is a shared set of values and attributes of a group; it is the sum total of the ways of living built up by a group and transmitted from one generation to another. Culture is so much part of an individuals manner of talking, behaving and thinking, that communication style and competence are influenced by it. In a world that is becoming global in its business, skill in communicating with people of different culture is vital to success. Some of the most significant differences between cultures are: Language The language of any group directly reflects their culture. For example: It has been pointed out that Russians cannot understand the concepts of free market, regulation, efficiency as the British or the Canadians too. Among the countries that speak the same language like the British and the Australians, a word may not have the same significance. Connotations of words differ in different cultures. When the Japanese say yes they mean Yes; Im listening. The Americans may take it to mean, Yes, I agree. Negotiations are made difficult because of this.

Values Values are our ideas of what is good and what is evil; they form the basis of our behaviour and actions. Notions of good and evil vary between cultures. Besides, norms, rules and manners of cultures differ. Social Relationships Social relationships depend on the groupings in that society. All societies have groups like families, classes, castes and so in. The Indian caste system, though officially abolished, still plays an important role in social behaviour. Significance of family relationships in India is reflected in the elaborate system of words which can describe the precise relationship of two persons indicating the descent three or four generations back. In Western languages, the all covering word cousin describes a variety of relationships. Concept of Time Concept of time is perhaps the most troublesome difference that causes barriers in cross-cultural communication, especially eastern and western cultures. The Eastern concept if time is circular, while the Western concept is that it is linear. Apart fr om this, time orientation varies; in some cultures, time is money and is more important than personal relationships; for others, time is subordinate to relationships. As a result of perceiving time differently, work and social behaviour vary greatly and poses major problems in cross-cultural communication. Concept of Space Concept of space influences design and use of shapes and colours in design. Besides, it has an important effect on behaviour and the distance between speakers during conversation; in some cultures, speakers stand close enough to touch often, while in others they maintain distance to denote respect. Thought Process

Thought processes vary between cultures; some are strictly logical and rational while others may be holistic and emotional. The frame of reference, that is, the higher perspective from which we view a situation makes a difference to the way we see it. Thinking process is affected by acceptance or rejection of superstition, belief in magic, miracles and so on; cultures where these beliefs are rejected are likely to view the world as logical, clear and law-based. Non-verbal Behaviour Non-verbal Behaviour is another area of trouble in cross-cultural communication. Body language is a major factor that varies between cultures. Not only are gestures understood differently, but the amount of use of gesture varies. Indians use much more natural gesture than the British; the Japanese have many formal gestures for social interaction but less free body movement. Appearance Appearance tends to be an unconscious basis for evaluation. We react unconsciously to the biological appearance as well as the acquired appearance of persons we communicate with. Appearance of people of different cultures varies significantly. Use of Voice Use of voice is another source of trouble with cross cultural communication. Cross cultural confusion arises from the way we use our voice. Some examples are as follows: People in many countries are put off by loud Indian voices and noisy Indian tourists. Some Western cultures speak in such low voices that we can hardly hear them and may wonder if they intend to be secretive. Differences in the speed of talking makes the faster talking people consider the slow talking people as slow and lax.

The amount of silence that is considered as right during a conversation can cause confusion. Like: The Japanese believe, Those who know do not speak those who speak do not know; this is quite contrary to Americans who are embarrassed by silence and hasten to fill it by speaking. Closely related are the rules in turn-taking in conversation. Most Western cultures consider interrupting as very impolite; each speaker is allowed to complete speaking; in India interrupting others in a conversation is acceptable. Also, breaking into a conversation between others is acceptable here, but not in Western cultures. Perception Perception is influenced by culture. We perceive some things and ignore others; we particularly perceive what is contrary to our own culture and what makes us uncomfortable. What smells good or bad is perceived differently. Rain means something different for Indians from what it means for the British. Differences of perception of the world can be amazing. Our world view and attitudes to life affect our meanings. Keywords: communication, process of communication, objectives of

communication, principles of communication and barriers to communication. Summary: Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions by two or more persons. Communication skills are generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral and written language. The classification of communication includes: Verbal and non-verbal,

Technological and non-technological, Mediated and non-mediated, Participatory and non-participatory.

Communication can best be summarized as the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver in an understandable manner. The communication process is made up of five key components. Those components include ideation, encoding, medium of transmission, decoding, and Feedback.

A medium of communication is, in short, the product of a set of complex interactions between its primary constituents: messages, people (acting as creators of messages, consumers of messages, and in other roles), languages, and media.

Communication playsan important role in an organization. For effective business communication one should follow principles of communication. Principle of Clarity, Principle of completeness, Principle of Conciseness, Pr inciple of Consideration, Principle of Courtesy, Principle of correctness, Principle of drawing conclusions, Principle of credibility of communication, Principle of consistency, Principle of coherence, Principle of chronology.

The communication in an organization could be directed from seniors to subordinates(Downward Communication), from subordinates to seniors (Upward Communication), or between persons of equal status (Lateral / Horizontal Communication). The objectives of communication in all these forms would vary. The Objectives of Downward CommunicationInformation, Advice, Order, Instruction, Suggestion, Persuasion, Education, Warning, Raising Morale and Motivation.

Communication is not always successful. Several things can prevent the message from reaching the intended recipient or from having the desired effect on the recipient. In an organization, these barriers can become quite complicated and can cause information gaps leading to problem in its working. Barriers can be divided into broad groups such as Physical Barriers, Semantic and language Barriers, Socio-psychological Barriers and Organizational Barriers.

If speaking is silver, then listening is gold. -- Turkish Proverb The principle of listening,someone has said, is to de velop abig ear rather than a big mouth.-- Howard G. Hendricks Before we get into the techniques of effective listening, lets define what we mean by theword listening. Listening - the process of receiving, constructing meaning from, and respondingto spoken and/or nonverbal messages.Without a doubt, listening is an activity that most of us are not really taught how to doeffectively. We tend to be overly concerned with the outgoing sounds, rather than the incomingsignals -- for thats what they are. Listening is as important, maybe even more important, thanspeaking. Without proper listening skills it is difficult to communicate effectively with others.Weve all met the person who talks a mile a minute and doesnt really want to hear what othershave to say. Is this person actually communicating? The answer is NO. If you do all of thetalking and never listen, you will never really communicate very well with others. In this unit wewill investigate effective listening skills, barriers to effective listening, and methods of improvingour own listening skills.

Barrie rs to Effective Listening Daydreaming -Many people daydream when they are supposed to be listening. Instead of focusing on thespeaker and attempting to learn something -- or even mentally composing a response to what isbeing said -- they will think about a party from last weekend or an upcoming camping trip.Daydreaming effectively closes down the possibility of retaining information. If the speaker isbeing paid to present information to you, time and money is being wasted. Mentally Arguing with the Speaker - Instead of listening to what someone is saying, a poor listener will disagree mentally andthink about a rebuttal. People will actually play out a complete argument in their own mind at thesame time they should be paying attention to what the other person is really trying to say. Thiskind of mental arguing is very damaging to the communication process and will often lead tomisunderstanding and conflicts between people. The effective listener will wa it until the speakeris totally finished with hir or her statement before making an evaluation or judgement prior toresponding. Desire to Talk - The most common barrier to effective listening is jumping into a conversation before theother person has finished. This includes talking loudly to others in the audience. This isconversational bad manners. It is intrusive and disruptive. Granted, most of us feel more involvedand active when we are talking. Even so, its always good manners to remember that listening isjust as important as talking. Lack of Inte rest - Lack of interest in the speakers topic does create a difficult situation. How does the sayinggo? Deal with it. Good listeners try to find useful information in any

presentation or message. Alistener with a negative attitude about the message or the speaker will have a tough time beingeffective as a listener. A good way to increase listening effectiveness is to maintain a positiveattitude about the speaker and really work at listening for useful information. Negative Reaction to the Speakers Appearance or Delivery Style - Some listeners are quick to find fault, any fault, with the speakers dress, voice, ormannerisms.This tendency to hasty judgement makes it difficult to concentrate on the message the speaker istrying to deliver. This happens frequently with radio personalities. Often, a speakers looks aretotally different from that implied by the sound of the voice. The old adage, you cant judge abook by its cover, applies here. Because someone appears odd, different, or doesnt match withthe mental image you had conjured up, doesnt mean that the message will be ineffective orunrewarding. Keep an open mind when listening to people -- you may be surprised at what youlearn.

Methods of Improving Your Listening Skills Improving your listening skills requires commitment and effort. The payoff will be well worthit. You will learn more, comprehend more, and be a better communicator -listening or speaking. Key Points for Effective Listening 1. When its your turn to listen -- Stop Talking! People cannot talk and listen at the same time -- it does not work! 2. Identify with the Speaker This means putting yourself in the speakers place. Try to really understand the speakersview point. What is the motivation behind the message? How do his or her views match upwith yours? What is the speakers agenda? 3. Ask Questions When you ask questions, two good things happen: First, it fuels your own interest level. Ifyou are in the presence of a good speak er, meaningful questions should bring you somesignificant added information. Second, your questions may encourage the speaker to expandon the topic of the speech. Be careful not to ask too many questions. This could make youlook like you are trying to dominate the speaker, and other members in the audience maybecome irritated. Nevertheless, dont be afraid to ask the questions that need to be asked. Ifyou have a question, chances are that others in the group have the same question. 4. Concentrate Focus all of your attention on the speaker and the message being delivered. Being able toconcentrate is definitely a skill -- one that we all need in todays information rich world.

5. Show the speaker that you want to listen This applies primarily to one-on-one or small group discussions. Look and act interested inthespeakers comments. Listen to understand. Reserve your arguments until its your turn tospeak.With this approach, most speakers will actually communicate directly with you as theypresent their message. This will make the listening experience much more meaningful to you. 6. Control your e motions and your temper Uncontrolled emotions and/or temper can cause misunderstanding when you are trying tolisten. If you allow your feelings to interfere with your rationality your listening skillswill nosediveand your comprehension will be reduced. Also, it is unlikely that you will retain the attentionof the speaker. 7. Eliminate distractions Avoid fidgeting with pens, notebooks, or other stuff. If its your respo nsibility to handleaudience control, close the door to reduce outside noises. Make sure everyone in the audienceis seated, quiet, and paying attention. It is difficult to concentrate on a presentation when thereare distractions from others in the room. Typ ically, etiquette dictates that people should notenter or leave the room after the speaker has started speaking. This practice may vary dependingon the locale and situation. 8. Look for areas of agreement Listening for areas of agreement will make the speakers message more meaningful foryouand will also make the speaker more comfortable; people can tell if you agree or disagree withwhat is being said. 9. Avoid jumping to conclusions and making hasty evaluations If you are using your mind and attention-span to formulate conclusions before the speaker isfinished you may not hear the complete message. You may end up making incorrect conclusionsand leave with the wrong message. This is a trap that catches many listeners. Its the same asleaving the theater before the movie ends, or the baseball game before the last inning ends -just to beat the parking lot jam. You may miss the best part of the whole show. You cannotevaluate someones message without hearing it completely. 10.Listen for the main points Speakers may present many details in a message. Try to concentrate on the main points being made. This will help you develop a clear understanding of what the real message is. 11.Take notes Taking notes may not always be possible, but when it is note taking can help you to concentrateon the main points. Dont try to record every word, just get the main ideas.

THE 4 P's PLAN, PREPARE, PRACTICE AND PRESENT YOUR PRESENTATION A successful presentation exhibits a well- groomed personality. But a successful presentation is not something that happens by chance. Careful planning and practice can increase the chances for success. The most important thing to keep in mind is the fundamentals and the dynamics of a successful presentation. These two things can really turn a presentation that is a failure in the making to a star one. So, it is not only important but there are other factors which make solid and successful presentation. The following are the few points for a successful presentation: No matter what you think you are actually doing, what really matters is how you are perceived. To get the desired result from a presentation you have to establish some sort of rapport or relationship with the audience. It is important to determine what your natural style is. How you sound to the audience strongly determines the impact. Visual aids make a huge difference. You must pay as much attention to the visuals as the content. Speak directly to your audience and not to your visual aids. Determine the best manner to relay the content. Try something original. Pay proper attention to physical space and territory. Try to make your content come alive. Pay proper attention to your audience profile and needs. Do not avoid the unusual. Generally people tend to remember those things that stand out. Make eye contact as a way to relate. The pause is a great way to emphasize a point and let your listener absorb that point. Make certain that all can hear you. Use references, quotes, and jokes to improve content retention. Control question-and-answer sessions. If you are a nervous speaker, do regular practice.


First, youll want to research and develop the main points of your program. Then, using this raw material, you will identify your central theme, develop each point to support that premise, organize the content around these main points, and prepare an outline.
The Purpose of the Presentation: Decide what you wish to present about Decide what the primary purpose of the presentation is. Do you wish to : (a) Instruct and inform (b) Convince, persuade, influence or motivate, or (c) Amuse and entertain What are you trying to achieve What are the objectives of your presentation Know your audience Know the venue

Know Your Audience When presenting, you need to know something about the audience and what they expect of you. When presenting before an audience you need to know: General age of audience General gender of audience General educational standards General social status General interests

General qualifications General expectations

You need to know: How you will be seen to them (i.e. an entertainer, a superior, a teacher, young, old, an outsider, patronizing, condescending etc). How long will you be talking to them? What is the venue like? Is there a microphone? Is there an overhead projector? Will you need to use visual aids? Fit your presentation to the audience. Dress appropriately (i.e. teenagers will accept jeans rather than a dinner suit.). If in doubt dress slightly better than the audience will. Adjust your presentation to the group's interests. Use examples and anecdotes that the audience will understand. Use jokes that the age groups will understand and appreciate. Limit statistics and avoid jargon. Explain unfamiliar co ncepts in ways the audience will understand. Use vocal variety, gestures, voice, and visual aids to enhance your presentation. Be sure you are sincere, enthusiastic and have knowledge of the subject. Adjust your language to the audience. Be sure you are punctual for any assignment. Check for yourself that all visual aids work.

Do not: Appear to be unprepared Apologize Explain Complain Ramble Read directly from your notes Exceed time limits

Use distracting mannerisms Appear patronizing

KNOW THE VENUE When planning your presentation you need to know: Size of the venue Size of the audience Effects of a large hall and a small audience Arrangements of seating - fixed or movable Obstacles between audience and speaker

Where will you present: If presenting from platform note height above audience or distance from audience Note presence or absence of a lectern.

What is the lighting like: Is it adequate for visual aids Is it adequate for reading notes Is it easily controlled for slides/films

What are the distractions? Large windows Traffic noise Air-conditioning noise Construction work Temperature of room Drafts (e.g. overhead fan could cause notes to blow off lectern)

Test the acoustics: Is the sound good?

Are you competing with other noises like air conditioners? Is there a microphone and does it works properly? Does all the equipment work?

What size is your audience and does the venue allow you to encourage: Audience participation Question time Presentation of opinions

PREPARING YOUR SPEECH THEME: In one sentence, write down the object of your speech. This sentence will become the criterion against which all material is being judged whether to be included or not. If there are a number of points to be dealt with, establish a theme, a central idea or concept which gives unity, direction and coherence to the presentation as a whole. List the main points to be covered and arrange them in a logical sequence.

Your speech should be structured into 3 distinct parts - Opening, Body and Conclusion: A. OPENING or INTRODUCTION : The introduction is most important as your audience will accept your message in the first 30 - 90 seconds, or they will switch off and ignore the rest of the speech. In the introduction you (a) introduce the theme (b) set the scene (c) establish a direction (d) gain the attention of the audience and get them involved. The introduction should be short, positive, easy to handle, generate interest and expectancy and you must feel comfortable with it. It should create a vivid image and possibly an image that the audience can identify with. Do not repeat the title, read the introduction, apologize, explain, complain or make excuses. Ideas for an attention gaining opening :

o Use a question related to audience need. o Pay a sincere compliment o Use a quotation. This reinforces your opinion. Remember to state the author.

B. BODY: The body should flow naturally from the introduction and lead the audience to the conclusion you wish to accept. Be sure to stick to your theme. Do not try to cover too much ground - three or four main points are sufficient. Use stories, anecdotes, examples to keep the audience interested. Pause after each major point, example or illustration for effect and to allow the audience to consider your point. Remember the audience likes to be entertained as well as informed, convinced or motivated. Try to include some humor, if appropriate to the topic.

C. CONCLUSION: The conclusion should re-state the essential message. Keep it short and simple Memorize the conclusion and the opening. Refer back to the points in the introduction to round off the presentation. The conclusion should always link back to the opening. Do not introduce any new information to round off the presentation. Do not just fade off. Do not thank the audience at the end of the presentation.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE In front of family In front of the mirror Helps to reduce nerves

To gain feedback Using a tape recorder A strong opening To ensure logical flow Credible evidence To identify distracting mannerisms Until you are very familiar with the presentation To ensure your speech is within the allocated time period

PRESENT YOUR PRESENTATION Rely on the fundame ntals: Own your subject Feel positive about your Presentation

Make positive first impression: Establish eye contact Confident body language Be relaxed and well groomed

Build rapport with your audience: Be sincere and be yourself Say "we" not "you" ( U attitude ) Talk in terms of your audience's interests Involve your audience

Hold the attention of the audience: Be enthusiastic Use vivid words Express yourself clearly and concisely

Have an upbeat voice

Close your presentation to make a favorable and lasting impression Some Presentation Dos and Donts 1. Smile: When audience sees a genuine and sincere smile, it makes them want to smile too. What could be better than looking out on an audience of happy, smiling people?

2. Move: Do not hide behind your podium. Presentations can be scary, but the audience would not eat you up alive. This does not mean you should pace furiously from one end of the stage to the other, but a little movement will help keep your audience awake.

3. Test Your Setup Before Presentation: Can you see your visual aids, slides or overheads clearly from the back of the room? Is everything working as you had expected?

4. Present to the Crowd: Consider your audience before your presentation. If your audience is a group of university students, leave your suit at home and make your presentation less formal. If your audience requires more formality, perhaps it is best if you forget animation. It is unlikely that swirling text and funny noises will impress this crowd.

5. Do not Try to Impress with Jargon: Never speak above the crowd in hopes of impressing people. When you are speaking in a language that does not communicate they all tune out. The audience may also see you trying too hard to impress and you may come across a false or insincere.

6. Use a Compute r and Multime dia Projector: Professional people use a computer and projector. So why should not you? Overhead projectors are a little old- fashioned and printing those overhead slides is a nuisance. Get out of the comfort zone and try

using new technology. If you are worried about its reliability, bring your overheads and back up.

7. Be Yourself: Be honest, open and sincere. You are best at being yourself; so let your true self- show. People relate to honesty and expressiveness.

8. Update Your Slides for Each Presentation: Do not use the same slides again and again. In the world of visual aids, fresh is good.

9. Use Light Colors on a Dark Background and vice versa in Slides/Transparencies: This seems obvious but it is important to keep in mind. The easiest combinations to read are white or yellow bold text on a dark background.

Interviewing Techniques
Types of interviews Planning the interview Conducting the interview The ethics of interviewing Types of Intervie ws Employme nt interview: This type of interview determines the suitability or otherwise of anapplicant for the job. During the course of interview, the interviewer tries to assess the knowledgeand soft skills of the applicant. Example: In an interview to select a marketing trainee for a cellular network company,the panel of interviewers try to ascertain the candidate's command over marketingconcepts, his communication skills, his personality traits and willingness to travel todetermine his suitability for the job. Performance appraisal inte rvie ws: These interviews involve an on-the-job evaluation of anemployee's performance. The employee and his superior together assess the performance of theemployee toward achieving predetermined goals. In this type of interview, areas in which theemployee requires to improve are identified and new goals are set based upon the past performanceand future potential of the employee. Counseling intervie ws : The aim of these interviews is to help the employees to overcome theirproblems. Varied problems such as family problems, drugs, alcoholism, etc. are discussed with aview to solving them. It is vital that the respondent be open in

communicating his problems. At thesame time, the interviewer should be tolerant. By and large, such interviews involve discussionsrelating to numerous emotional and personal issues. Example: Doctors and social workers hold counseling interviews for drugaddicts and alcoholics at rehabilitation centers to counsel them to give updrugs and alcohol. Disciplinary inte rvie ws: Disciplinary interviews become necessary when personnel issues relatingto indiscipline come to the fore. These may include issues such as damage to property, frequentabsenteeism from the workplace, nonperformance of duty, lack of regard for superiors etc. The mainobjective behind calling these meetings is to reprimand the employee and warn him/her of direconsequences if he/she doesn't improve. Example: A traffic inspector may hold a disciplinary interview of a trafficviolator in order to instill into him some discipline and to make himrealize the importance of traffic rules. Persuasive interviews : These interviews are held with the objective of selling an idea or a productor service. Persuasive interviews require excellent communication skills, since the interviewer isrequired to sell the idea or concept in addition to obtaining the opinion of the respondent. Example: Direct selling agents involved in the business of selling rely ontheir persuasive skills to achieve insurance and credit card sales. Themeetings they have with prospective customer to persuade them topurchase the products are forms of persuasive interviews. Planning the inte rvie w Proper planning before conducting an interview is vital to make the interview a success. There are sixaspects that have to be kept in mind while planning an interview. These are: State the purpose: Interviews may serve different communication purposes. Clarity of purpose,both for the interviewer and the respondent, is essential. The interviewer should be clear about hisrequirements and should tailor the questions accordingly. Similarly, the respondent too should beclear about his goals. By having aclarity of purpose, both the interviewer as well as the respondent,can avoid sending conflicting signals to the other party. Get information about the other party : Before appearing for an interview, the candidate shouldgather sufficient information about the job, the company, the field etc. Doing such homework beforean interview reflects one's interest in the company. The candidate may also provide details abouthimself in the resume and application submitted to the company. This helps interviewers to becomefamiliar with details about the candidate and makes it easier for them to ask relevant questionsduring the interview. Decide the structure: The structure of the interview is normally dependent upon the type ofresponse that is expected from the respondent. If the interviewer wants to adhere strictly to aparticular area, he asks "close ended" questions say, the area of specialization of the candidate.These are aimed to judge the candidate's abilities. While answering close ended questions, therespondent will have to give precise answers. Close ended questions leave no scope for therespondent to volunteer additional information. Such questions are

normally asked when there is atime constraint or when only specific skills need to be tested. Open ended questions, on the otherhand, provide a lot of scope for the respondent to provide additional information as well as gives hima chance to air his views. Example: Close ended question: What are the different productsdeveloped by our company? Open ended question: What do you know about our company? Consider possible questions : After deciding the format of the interview, specific questions can beprepared accordingly. These questions may fall under one of the following categories: factual andopinion questions, primary and secondary questions and direct and indirect questions. Factualquestions aim at ascertaining facts whereas opinion questions solicit opinion. Primary questions relateto new topics or new areas in a topic and secondary questions focus on related questions to the topicthat has already been discussed. Direct questions are often of great help in getting the appropriateresponse. However, problem arises when the respondents are unable or unwilling to give any reply. Under such situations, indirect questions may be asked. This could elicit a response. Apart from thesetypes of questions, there are also other types like hypothetical and leading questions. Hypotheticalquestions are in the nature of 'what if' questions that seek the respondent's solution to a particularsituation. Leading questions are those which solicit a particular answer. Examples: Factual question: What is the GDP of India? Opinion question: What do you think about the growth rate of theIndian economy? Primary question: What do you know about Oracle 9i? Secondary question: What are table views? Direct question: Are you satisfied with this business plan? Indirect question: What changes would you like to suggest to thisbusiness plan? Hypothetical question: If you are the CEO of Enron at this juncture howwill you handle the crisis? Leading question: You will repay the loans in a week's time, won't you? Plan the physical setting: The physical setting has a profound impact on the conduct of theinterview. The setting should be such that there are no or only minimal disturbances and both theinterviewer and the respondent are alert to each other's verbal and non verbal cues. The setting alsoreflects the extent to which the interview is formal. An interview that is conducted face-to- facewithout the presence of any barriers between the interviewer and the respondent is more informal.This is in contrast to an across-the-table interview setting, wherein the interviewer assumes greaterauthority. Anticipate proble ms: After finalizing the format and questions, it is always advisable to revise thewhole list once again. By doing so, it may be possible to detect hidden loopholes in the plan forinterview and to devise strategies to counter these loopholes.

There could be certain imbalances inthe types of questions asked. Some questions may not be able to extract an appropriate response.

Conducting the Interview

There are three phases of conducting an interview. These are: opening, body and close. The opening: The purpose of the opening session is to put the respondent at ease. The candidateshould start feeling comfortable to last the full course of the interview. In the opening session, theinterviewer normally begins with a greeting followed by a few general queries. This has the effect ofmaking the respondent relax. After this stage, the respondent is made aware of what is going tofollow in the later stages of the interview. Example: Interviewer: Hello, Good morning. Respondent: Good morning sir/ madam. Interviewer: Tell us something about yourself. Respondent: Tells about academic background, family background etc. Body: The interview process will be successful only if both the interviewer and the respondent handletheir roles properly. The intervie wer's role: The interviewer should ensure that the discussion remains within theagenda set for the interview. At the same time he should extract useful and relatedinformation from the interviewee. The interviewer should be alert to both verbal andnonverbal cues of the respondent. This will enable him to form an opinion about thecandidate's behavior and attitude. The interviewer should also ensure that the time allotted toeach item is strictly adhered to. This will enable the interviewer to evaluate the candidateagainst all the aspects listed on the agenda. Sometimes, when the interviewer fails to obtain asatisfactory response from the respondent, he may have to ask some probing questions. The respondent's role : The respondent should answer the questions clearly and accurately.The reasons for a respondent's failure to give a clear and accurate answer to the questionposed by the interviewer could either be his/her inability to understand the question orevasiveness on the part of the respondent. If the respondent feels that the interviewer iswrongly interpreting his responses, he should politely clear the misunderstanding of theinterviewer so that the interview's purpose is achieved. The respondent should answer thequestions honestly and should emphas ize on positive aspects. The close: The restating of the conclusions of the interview by the interviewer indicates that theinterview is coming to an end. The respondent can take a cue from this and ask queries if he has any.The interviewer and the respondent can also exchange pleasantries before parting. The ethics of intervie wing An interview is likely to become the basis for an ongoing relationship in the future. Hence, it isessential that certain ethical guidelines are followed, both by the interviewer as well as therespondent.

Guidelines for the inte rvie wer Don't make unrealistic promises: When there is an uncertainty involved in the outcome, it iswise to avoid making any commitment. Making tall promises which cannot be fulfilled later,will reflect poorly on the individual. The interviewer should therefore not indulge in suchpractices. Example: The interviewer promises the candidate a pay package which is likely to bedisapproved by the board. Don't reveal confidential information: Personal information provided by the candidateduring the interview should be kept confidential. Similarly, the interviewer shouldn't revealconfidential information about the company at the time of interview. Example: Any personal problems revealed by the respondent during the interviewshould be kept confidential. Don't ask illegal questions : The interviewer should be careful not to ask any questions thatare not directly related to the job. These include questions on age, sex, marital status,nationality, race, color, etc. Don't be controlling or overbearing: The interviewer must allow the respondent to answerthe questions put to him on his own. The interviewer should not try to impose his views on therespondent. Example: In a performance appraisal interview, allow the respondent to state his/herreasons for a decline in performance, instead of forcing him/her to accept his/her flaws. Don't be overly friendly: Though it is desirable that the respondent should feel at ease, thereis however no need to overdo the same. The risk lies in the fact that in an air of informality, acasual attitude may creep in. Guidelines for the respondent Don't be dishonest: In any type of interview, it is always advisable to be honest and not to attemptto mislead the interviewer. This helps the respondent in the building a good image and creates afavorable impression of him on the interviewer. Don't waste the intervie wer's time : Clarify the purpose of interview, do your homework and comewell prepared for the interview. This helps in focusing on the issues and also prevents wastage oftime.

How to make a Great Presentation?

Here are few tips to ensure a great presentation... 1. State the Objectives: A presenter must ensure that he / she understands the purpose of the presentation. Sometimes a good presentation fails to make an impact because the audience is not clear what the presentation is about. A good way to start a presentation is to clearly state / mention / include the objectives in the presentation. 2. Analyze your audience: The presenter must find more about his / her target audience. Whether the audience has a specific educational background or whether they are from upper middle class or middle class. Basis the topic / theme of the presentation, it is very important to know some specific details of the target audience. This also helps to create a rapport with the audience during the presentation. 3. Avoid heavy text on Powe rPoint slides: Usually presentations are associated with PowerPoint slides, however, it is always advisable to use a blend of various forms of learning. It could be a fun activity, a short quiz, or small story. More often than not, these are the learning methods that generate interest of the target audience. If you still wish to use slides, write 10 or less words in each slide. Use bullet points wherever possible. More words on one slide carry a risk with them the audience will get busy in reading what is written than what the pr esenter is saying or the audience might just get bored by seeing a lot of words. 4. Rehearse... Rehearse... and Rehearse: The feeling is quite different while a presenter is presenting LIVE than when he / she is just practicing in a closed room. It is a good idea for the presenter to practice at the venue [if possible]. This helps him get familiar with the place and the surrounding. Also, a presenter should make as many notes as possible and also think of possible questions that might come up during the course of presentation. 5. Revisit the objectives: Once the notes have been made, a presenter must critically analyze the presentation with respect to the objectives of the presentation. He should ask himself questions like - "Does this presentation match the objectives stated?", "Is this presentation flowing logically?" In today's market scenario, if a person is able to think, write, and present persuasively, he has won half the battle.

Letter Writing About Routine and Pleasant

Understanding the Audience
Understanding the audience is a challenging task. The writer needs to cultivate a "You" attitude or a reader-oriented attitude. Before writing the message, the writer must first understand the audience and have a mental picture of the audience while selecting the contents and framing the message. Cultivating a "You" attitude By adopting a "You" attitude, the person writing the letter indicates his concern for the reader's needs and interests. In order to write a reader-oriented letter, the writer has to focus on the following Questions: Are the reader's major needs and concerns addressed by the message? Does the letter state the information as truthfully and as ethically as possible? Will the ideas expressed in the letter appear fair and logical to the reader? Are the ideas being expressed in a clear and concise manner?. Would the message appear reader-centered to the reader? Does the message help in developing positive business relationships? Does the message reflect high standards of professionalism on the part of the writer? How can we unde rstand the audience? In order to understand the reader's point of view, it is essential to give a careful thought to factors such as the background, values, opinions and preferences of the reader. By knowing how the reader reacted to a particular situation in the past, the writer can estimate how he would react to a similar current situation. Factors that help in understanding the audience are: Age: Letters have to be drafted by keeping in consideration the age of the reader. A letter written to answer the query of a student differs from that written to an adult. Economic level: The style adopted by a banker while sending a reminder for repayment of a loan installment to a prompt customer is different from the style in which he writes to a regular defaulter of loan installments. Educational/Occupational background: The use of technical jargon in letters may not suit all readers. The style adopted by the writer while writing a letter differs according to the designation held by the reader. Example : Technical terms used by doctors are not easily understood by people belonging to a non-medical background.

Culture: The writing style differs according to the cultural background to which the person writing the letter belongs. The vast cultural differences that exist between people complicates the communication process. Rapport: A letter written by one individual to another differs in its style and presentation, depending on the rapport that exists between the two individuals. Example: A letter written to a longtime customer differs from that written to a prospective or new client. Expectations : Letters should be drafted with adequate care so that they are devoid of grammatical, factual or spelling errors. The presence of errors in the letter creates doubts in the mind of the reader about the credibility of the writer. Needs of the reader: Understanding the needs of the reader is important while drafting a letter. While writing a letter, it is essential to understand the context in which the reader would interpret the message or content of the letter. For a letter to be effective, the person writing it should place himself/herself in the reader's position in order to understand the readers' views better. Empathy with the readers is essential to help the writer to estimate their response and reaction.

Organizing your message

People often find it difficult to express their thoughts, ideas and views in a sequential manner. Theexercise of organizing a message helps to overcome this problem. Why Organization is essential? Usually, a letter is divided into various parts. One part consists of the central idea of the message,while the other consists of the minor ideas or the details of the message which support the centralidea. The process of organizing a letter involves identifying these various parts and arranging themaccordingly to form the right sequence. The process of organizing letters provides benefits both to theperson writing the letter as well as to the reader. Benefits to the writer: Before writing a letter, it is essential for a writer to organize the messagebecause of the following reasons: It encourages brevity and accuracy while writing. It helps the writer to focus on one point at a time. It involves less time consumption of the writer. It facilitates emphasis and de-emphasis of various points in the letter. Benefits to the reader: Well organized letters also benefit the readers in the following manner: In organized letters, the message is more concise and accurate than what it would have been ifthe points in the letter were not organized. Organized letters allow the reader to easily distinguish, relate and remember the ideas presentedin the letter.

A well-organized letter is more likely to elicit a positive response from the reader.

How to Organize letters? To enhance the likelihood of obtaining a positive response, letters should be clear and should follow alogical flow of ideas. While writing a letter, it is important for the writer to ask himself the followingquestions: What will be the central idea of the letter? Well written letters have a clearly stated central idea. Additionally, the writer should also try to assess the reaction of the readers, and suitably modify thesequence in which the ideas are presented. The reactions of the reader are likely to fall into one of thefollowing categories: pleasure, displeasure, interest and `no interest'. After identifying the likely reaction of the reader, it needs to be decided whether to place the centralidea at the beginning of the letter (deductive approach) or to place it towards the end of the letter(inductive approach). A deductive style is more suitable when the readers are likely to be receptive, interested and neutraltowards the message. An inductive style is more suitable when the audience is likely to be resistantand uninterested towards the message.

Routine claims
Letters that convey good news evoke a pleasant response from the reader. Routine letters, on theother hand, fail to evoke any emotional reaction from the reader. Both these types of letters follow adeductive sequence of ideas. A deductive approach of writing a letter has the following advantages: It is easy to frame the first sentence. The first sentence attracts more attention and hence the central idea gets the attention it deserves. Conveying the good news first puts the reader in a pleasant frame of mind and makes him morereceptive to the details that follow in the later part. A well- thought out sequence reduces reading time. Routine claims A request made for an adjustment is known as a claim letter. In the opinion of the writer, he is entitledto receive a sum of money which may be in the form of a refund, replacement, exchange or paymentfor damages. Example: Normally, electronic goods that are purchased are given a warranty for acertain period, say 1 to 2 years. In case of any problem during the warranty period, thecustomer can claim for free repair or replacement of the defective goods. Claim letters may be routine or persuasive in nature. Persuasive claims require adequate evidence forsubstantiating the claims. Routine claims are claims that arise out of

contractual agreements likewarranties and guaranties. It is assumed that there is no need for persuasion in case of routine claims.The recommended outline that needs to be followed in case of routine claims is: Request action in the first sentence of the letter. Provide supporting details for requesting the action. Close with an expression of appreciation for the action taken. Favorable response to a claim letter: Businesses demonstrate integrity and build customer loyalty by responding favorably to routine claims.Favorable responses to routine claims are known as ad justments. The following sequence isrecommended while giving a favorable response to a claim: Reveal the good news in the first sentence of the letter. Explain the various circumstances under which the action has been taken. End the letter on a pleasant note. Routine letters about credit Routine letters about credit may be to request information about credit or to request for credit. Example: Associates is a reputed credit supplying company in Mumbai and it dailyreceives numerous requests for credit information as well as requests for credit. Request for information: Developments in information technology has made it easy to obtaininformation about credit customers and for sharing of credit information among businesses.The following outline is recommended for letters requesting credit information: Identify the request and name of the applicant at the beginning of the letter. Assure the reader of confidentiality. Present the detail of the information requested in a clear format. A tabulated format may beprovided to allow the reader to easily reply to the request. End courteously, by offering to the reader any assistance required. Request for credit: A deductive approach may be adopted while applying for credit. This approach,however, is recommended when there is an underlying assumption that credit will be willinglyextended. A deductive approach for requesting credit will evoke a favorable response only when thesupporting documents (financial statements, etc.) serve as sufficient evidence for assessing the creditworthiness of the applicant. Favorable response to a request for credit: Begin the letter by stating that credit has been arranged/extended, as the case may be. Indicate the basis upon which credit has been extended. Inform and explain various credit terms. Include some resale or sales promotion material. End the letter on a confident note looking forward to future business. The basis for extending credit is explained to prevent recovery and collection problems later. The letteracknowledges the prompt payment habit of the applicant thereby making

it binding for the applicant tocontinue with the same habit in the future as well. Further, the letter conveys the terms of credit toconvey their importance and prevent collection problems later. Further, this also serves to inform tothe applicant about the exact discount terms that can be availed by him and to prevent him fromseeking unauthorized discounts. Routine letters about orders Order letters are written to arrange for the fulfillment of a need by placing orders for goods. Therecommended outline for these letters is as follows: Begin the letter by saying "please ship", "please send", "I order" and so on. It is recommendedthat statements like "I'm interested", "I'd like to ", and so on be avoided. List the items ordered along with their details such as catalog number, size, color, etc. Specify the payment plan and shipping instructions. End the letter on a confident note expecting an early delivery of the goods. A standardized format, known as the purchase order form, is generally used for placing orders. Thiscontain all necessary details about the order. Example: Manufacturing companies generally procure parts from other manufacturersand then assemble their products. In such cases, order letters may be sent to placeorders with the suppliers. Favorable response to an order letter A favorable response to an order letter maybe expressed by a prompt delivery of goods or services. Fordoing this, no letter is required. However, if immediate shipment of goods is not possible, then it isdesirable to inform the same to the customer by means of a letter. In case of a routineacknowledgment, a sales order is sent accompanied by a note conveying the tentative date of delivery. For non-routine acknowledgments, individual letters are recommended. This not only creates customergoodwill but also helps generate additional orders. Letters about routine requests Business letters that make routine requests ask for information regarding people, price,products andservices. The quality of writing helps the reader form an opinion about the writer. The following outlineis recommended for such letters: The request should be communicated in the first sentence of the letter. The request must be clarified by giving necessary details. Close on a forward looking note. Example: Before making a bulk purchase of products, a wholesaler would like toascertain details about the product like its price, number of days required for deliveringthe prod uct and so on. In such cases, it is adequate to send letters of routine request tothe manufacturer. Favorable response to a routine request: Many times, affirmative replies are given to routinerequests without giving it a second thought. Very often, these responses reflect the disinterestedapproach of the reader. For business messages to be effective, they need to be reader-oriented.


Factors that make a letter attractive Punctuation styles and Letter formats Standard Letter Parts Special Letter Parts Memorandum Formats Factors that make a letter attractive The appearance of a letter helps the reader create an impression about the writer. In order to attract the attention of the reader, the following factors have to be taken into consideration while writing a letter: 1. Paper: Good quality Bond paper should be used for writing the letter to prevent it from yellowing fast. Although, the general practice is to use white paper, some businesses use paper in gray and other pastel colors. 2. Personalization: The use of a letterhead makes a letter more personalized. Letterheads contain the name of the company, its address, telephone and fax number, e-mail address, etc. The information on a letterhead is usually centeraligned at the top of the page but it may also be aligned to the left or the right corner of the page. The information is placed at the bottom of the page in letterheads of some companies. The letterhead should be unique, but not flashy. 3. Appearance: Proper spacing and punctuation gives a neat appearance to a letter. The width of themargins should depend on the length of the letter with short letters having wide margins thanlong letters. 4. Punctuation Styles The two commonly used punctuation styles in business letters are standard or mixed punctuation andopen punctuation. Standard or mixed punctuation: It is the traditional style of punctuation. In this style of businessletters, a colon comes after the salutation and a comma comes after the complimentary close. Open punctuation: In this style of writing, neither the salutation nor the complimentary close isfollowed by punctuation.

Letter Formats
There are three formats of business letters: Block: In a letter of block format, all the lines in the letter begin at the left margin.

Modified block: This is the traditional style of letter format and is still used in many companies. Inthis letter format, except for the date line, complimentary close, and signature block, which beginat or near the center of the page, all other lines in the letter begin at the left margin. Simplified block: In a simplified block format also, all the lines in the letter begin at the leftmargin. The letter doesn't have a salutation and a complimentary close. However, it has a subjectline which is placed a double space below the inside address and a double space above the bodyof the letter. Standard letter parts Heading and Date: The heading of the letter contains the address of the writer. If the letter is on aletterhead, the date comes two to six lines below the last line of the writer's address. The date may startat the left margin, or it may be centrally aligned, or it may end at the right margin of the letter. The date should be written in a format that avoids confusion by spelling out the month rather thanmentioning the entire date in numerals. Example: Writing the date as 12.07.2002 can lead to confusion regarding the month. Hence, to avoid confusion, the date should be written as 12 July 2002, or as July 12, 2002. Inside address: The inside address contains the name of the person to whom the letter is being sent,his/her title and designation, the name of the company to which he/she belongs and its completeaddress. The inside address is located four lines below the date in the letter. Example: Mrs Linda Godfrey, General Manager Human Resource Department British Airways Kowarki Building New Delhi 110 001. Salutation A salutation is a greeting that precedes the body of the letter. It is located a double space below theinside address. There are different ways of writing salutations. If the letter is addressed to a specificperson, the individual's name may be used in the salutation along with the title of the person, and if thewriter is on a first name basis with the reader, the salutation can be informal and contain only theperson's name. Example: Dear Rekha (Informal salutation) Dear Professor Rekha (Formal salutation) Another commonly used format is the use of a salutopening. In this format, the word 'Dear' is omittedfrom the salutation, but the name is mentioned in the first or second line of the body. Example: Congratulation Mrs Venus! (Salutopening) Your promotion is well deserved (Body)

Body: The body of the letter contains the message being communicated. It is located a double spacebelow the salutation. The first and the last paragraph of the body should be small in length to retain thereader's interest and should not consist of more than four or five lines. The other paragraphs of the bodycan consist of 8 to 10 lines. The text in the body should be single- line spaced and the paragraphs shouldbe separated by double spacing. Complimentary Close: Complimentary close is the phrase that closes the letter and is positioned adouble space below the body of the letter. It reflects the writer's relationship with the reader.'Sincerely', 'Yours truly', 'Cordially', 'Cordially yours' and 'Sincerely yours' are neutral soundingcomplimentary closes and are most commonly used in business letters. In a simplified block letterformat, salutation as well as a complimentaryclose are absent. Signature Block: This part of the letter is placed four spaces below the complimentary close and contains the name andtitle of the writer, and the name of the company if the writer is writing on behalf of a company. Space isprovided for the signature of the person in the signature block. The title may be placed in the same lineas the writer's name or it may be placed a line below the writer's name. In a simplified block letterformat, the signature block is located below the body due to the absence of a complimentary close. Example: Cordially, MrsLatha Raman CEO Wipro technologies Or Cordially, MrsLatha Raman, CEO Wipro technologies Reference initials: This part of the letter contains the initials of the person who has typed the letter. Itis given in lower case a double space below the signature block. The purpose of providing the referenceinitials is to be able to identify the person who has typed the letter in the event of a litigation. Special Letter Parts Mailing notation: The mailing notation indicates how a letter is to be delivered (ordinary post,registered post, etc.) and how it is to be handled (personal, confidential, etc.) The mailing notation isplaced at the top or the bottom of the letter in capital letters. Attention line : The attention line is written to direct the letter at a specific person, a position, or to adepartment in the company. The attention line is generally followed by the inside address. Example: Attention Mr. VinayakJaiswal Vigilant Systems Ltd., Mumbai-Pune Road,

Pune 411 045. Or Attention Dean, Globus Hospital, Vile-Parle Road, Mumbai 400 005. Reference line : As the name indicates, the reference line directs the reader to the source files ordocuments. It thus assists in easy reference. It is usually placed a double space below the insideaddress. Example: RE: Order No. IC 2002/08 Subject line: The purpose of the subject line in the letter is to indicate to the reader what the letter isabout. It is placed a double space below the salutation. The subject line is generally used in thesimplified block letter format. In the other letter formats, the presence of a subject line is optional. Example: Subject: Non-delivery of consignment Second-page heading: A second-page heading is given when the letter consists of more than onepage. In such cases, a heading is given on the second page and successive pages to indicate that it is acontinuation of the first page.A second-page heading consists of the name of the person or company to whom the letter is sent, thepage number and the date. Example: Vigilant Systems Ltd. Page 2 February 12, 2003. Enclosure notation: An enclosure notation is used when papers or documents such as brochures,forms, etc. are sent along with the letter in the same envelope. It conveys to the reader informationabout the documents that have been sent along with the letter. It is placed a double space below the reference initials. Example: Enclosures: 1. Medical Reimbursement form 2. Medical expense bills Copy notation: Copy notation is used to indicate to the reader that a copy of the same letter has beensent to the persons mentioned. The copy notation is placed two lines below the reference initials orenclosure notation. Postscript: The postscript was earlier used to mention information that was omitted while writing theletter. But with the simplification of editing with the help of wordprocessing software, the use ofpostscripts is no longer relevant. Presently, postscript is used to emphasize a point covered in the letter. The postscript is placed a double space below the last notation or below the signature block in theabsence of notations.