How do you communicate?

This is a subject that has been on my mind for quite a while now and I felt that it was time to create a post about one of the most important things we do which affects all areas of our lives.

What does communication mean to you?

As you may have already seen in my previous posts and comments on other blogs, I have a great love of books and words. I grew up in a home where we had several dictionaries which I would spend hours reading, crosswords formed part of our everyday life and we all played word games such as Scrabble and Lexicon. But does this knowledge make us a good communicator?

I recently went to see Twelfth Night in London with Derek Jacobi as Malvolio. As I enjoyed watching the performance I reflected on the fact that a play written 400 years ago was still entertaining audiences of a very different age.

How could this be?

So many people who have had to study the works of Shakespeare at school will tell you how they have been put off for life.

Yet here was a theatre full of people (and more had been queuing for returned tickets) on a cold January evening. Surely this said something about both the playwright and the actors who were performing the play.

Shakespeare had created a comedy about disguise, love and double meaning which was reaching out to a modern audience through the use of more contemporary ideas and props.

I know that this is not everyone’s idea of an enjoyable night out (and a good job too!) but it expresses just how good communication can overcome so many barriers of time, language, culture and other distractions.

Shakespeare’s words had to be given life by those acting on the stage. Without their skill and talent the audience would not have heard or understood what they were saying. It also required a director to bring the play to life and other staff to support those on stage.

I think that this shows just how complex communication can be. There are so many layers, places where there can be misunderstandings and where words can go unheard.

Yet it is a vital part of all our daily lives. Without it we would be unable to interact with other people and we would be unable to function to our full potential.

I realise that I have made some observations here that some people might not see in quite the same way that I do.

I teach young people aged 16+ communication skills and so often I hear from them comments such as “I can’t do that”. Yet after explanation something starts to click for them.

I had a student recently who gave me a piece of work with no paragraphs in it and told me that it was something she did not understand. Yet as I explained to her how to paragraph and pointed out places to do so, she was able to see those new paragraphs for herself.

In a sense this is the same sort of thing that happens with our financial education. If you have read my previous post, you will know that this is something I feel passionate about. My eBook on this will be forthcoming soon – other family issues permitting.

Communication is the base on which our lives revolve and the more we can improve our communication with one another, the more we can open the possibilites in all areas of our lives, including financial independence.

So let us take every opportunity to improve the ways we communicate. Watch and listen to great communicators, read their books and other literature, take and make recommendations to one another.

I am always looking at ways to improve my own communication. What ways do you use to improve in this area? What literature, sites or individuals do you recommend?

I look forward to hearing from you.

4 thoughts on “How do you communicate?

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing Email » Blog Archive » How do you communicate? | List Building for Newbies

  • March 20, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Communication (as in Twitter) can be really tricky – the written word doesn’t have the inflection and can be misinterpreted so easily.

    I think we could all learn a great deal from Shakespeare!!! Seriously – are people really put off by ‘having’ to study Shakespeare?

    Hmmmm… now I wonder why I turned out to be one who appreciated his writing???

    Heather in Beautiful BC’s last blog post..I Love Twitter Contests!

  • March 22, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Heather

    Thanks for dropping by – and thanks for your RT on Twitter for me.

    Communication can be so difficult for something we all have to do each day – no wonder we can get into such a mess.

    And yes, so many people are put off Shakespeare because they have to study it at school and yet if it is taught well or seen on stage it can lead to a great deal of pleasure (and an excellent model to learn from).

    I took my son to see his first Shakespeare play last year. Although he had begun to study Macbeth in school I was unsure how he would take to a production in the theatre.

    It was a brilliant production of Julius Caesar by an all female cast and once our ears were attuned to the language we were both fully drawn in to the story (probably helped by the fact that we were close to the stage).

    It is such a shame when people are put off the works of any of the great playwrights or writers in my opinion. They don’t know what they end up missing.


  • April 2, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Hilary, great post on communication. You mentioned that many people are put off by Shakespeare from school an maybe it’s because they didn’t experience it with their eyes.

    I say this because I myself am a visual learner. I like to read but I’ll take anything visual every single time.

    I think that’s why video marketing is so powerful and I really hope you find a way to express the passion in your words and put them on video.

    A testimony about something is one thing but when someone is passionate about what they are telling me and I “see” that passion, it gets me excited.

    I think this is what Maria Andros means about being passionate because when you are, you will forget a camera is on you and people will think you are truly speaking to them.

    I’m sure you have seen or heard that Gary Simpson has over 2000 views to his motivational moment videos in just a couple days time so the proof is there.

    I myself am trying to get comfortable with a camera so I can express myself in a way that will let the viewer “know” I mean what I say.

    I can feel the passion in your words and am very sure it will come across a hundred fold with video. Give it a try.

    Michael J Ottman

    Michael J Ottman’s last blog post..Where My Business Is Taking Me


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