SHOUT! Social Communication | Visual Media


Blog 2 – SHOUT! | What Is Communication?

Do you like the title? These blogs are about how to shout a little louder in this very noisy world. At Firetree we are all about communication, specifically visual communication however, this is the second in a series of blogs that explains How we communicate and the importance of communicating well. It will also give an insight into where I’m heading with Firetree. Along the way i’m going to teach you a whole wealth of information about modern social marketing, video and visual communication. Its not about what I sell and provide, these blogs are about inspiration, innovation and how to embrace the new era of communication. If you like it , please subscribe. If you feel you have something to contribute to the blog, drop me a message.

What Is Communication?

This Blog is going back to basics and looking simply at what communication is. That’s obvious you think, and perhaps you are thinking well what’s the point of this, we all know what communication is. Well actually it is the best place to start if we are going to look at the communication channels we use now and why they work and what makes them effective.

Dictionary Definition:

  1. 1.
    the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.
    “television is an effective means of communication”
  2. 2.
    means of sending or receiving information, such as telephone lines or computers.
    “satellite communications”

We are going to look at human communication here and leave ‘communications’ (satellite/computer communication to someone else).

It is nearly impossible to go through any day without the use of communication. Communication is the sending and receiving of information between individuals and this is through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviour. Communication is not as simple a process between individuals as you think, it is embedded in our genetic makeup. Our voice for example is woven into the fabric of speech, each of our utterances of spoken language not only carries the message but also, through accent, tone of voice, habitual voice quality, accents, is at the same time a declaration of our psychological identity, our mood, our personality. So to understand how we can communicate better lets look at how we communicate at a basic level.

The Four Types of Communication:

There are 4 types of communication, Interpersonal, Non-Verbal, Written and Oral. In this blog we are going to look at each of these areas before moving on in the next blog to dissect each area into how this translates in today’s busy, modern society.

Interpersonal Communication:

Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information face-to-face. The information being exchanged is both verbal and non-verbal. With face-to-face communication it is both a verbal and visual exchange and people with strong interpersonal skills are more often successful in both their professional and personal lives. Interpersonal skills cover a wide variety of skills such as listening, asking questions, understanding body language, negotiation, listening skills, decision making and assertiveness. Not a definitive list but looking at your own interpersonal skills will give you a window on how effective your own communication to others is. We will look at this in a later blog on ‘Branding You | The Vlog’ where I will be looking at how our body language is an essential part of video communication when we act as ‘presenter’ in our video marketing.

Here is a great Ted Talk on interpersonal communication in the modern world. It is worth a watch.

Non-Verbal Communication:

Non-Verbal communication is of course linked to the above. The success in both personal and professional relationships lies in your ability to communicate well, and its not necessarily the words you use, but the non-verbal cues or ‘body language’ that actually speak louder than words. Your facial expressions, gestures, posture, tone of voice, eye level are fantastically powerful communication tools. You can put people at ease, build trust and draw others towards you and the other side of the coin of course is that you can offend, confuse people and undermine what you are trying to convey. By looking at, and understanding how we use non-verbal communication means you can learn to express what you really mean, you can connect better with other people, your clients and build stronger and more lasting relationships.

This is one reason why video is such a powerful communication tool and we will look at this in a later blog. No other form of contemporary media can communicate both verbal and non-verbal communication at the same time. This delivers a powerful punch in terms of your business ‘message’ if you can get your message right.

Body language is used instinctively and more often than not we are not aware of how we are when we interact with others. This goes hand in hand with public speaking, through every technological innovation how we present ourselves is always relevant. The platform where we present ourselves gets a little more glamourous.. business presentation, in front of an audience, a stage, YouTube, Social Video, but the signals we send remain the same.

For further information on non-verbal communication, this is a good article.

Written Communication:

So this is perhaps a little more obvious and needs less explanation. Written communication involves any type of message that makes use of the written word. It is one of the most important and effective mode of business communication. We are not just talking about marketing here but memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, emails etc etc. It is worth pointing out here that humans are all individuals, our DNA and makeup will guide us in the direction which we are the most effective as communicators. Not everyone can ‘work the room’ at a business convention, or will be happy to present on a video, so to master both oral and effective writing communication is equally as important as being a competent visual and verbal communicator.

Writing is used so much more today than at any point in human history. We know that video is king on social media, however from Facebook updates, text message, blogs like this, business reports, words are everywhere.  How we use our words and in the right context is essential for getting the right message across.

For some tips on effective written communication, please follow the link. We will be looking at this in greater detail in a future blog on this… blogging!

Oral Communication:

This has been briefly looked at in our interpersonal communication section but oral communication need not be face-to-face. The way we use our oral communication skills like all of those discussed play a vital role in how successful we are at communicating our messages. Oral communication or conversation involves not just speaking but also listening and being a good listener is just as important. In business there are obviously a whole range of circumstances where we use oral communication, staff meetings, telephone calls, informal conversation, public presentations, tele or video conferences, interviews.

Effective oral communication is clear, precise, relevant, tactful and considerate and it is important to have the ability to adapt to the needs of the listener. Quite often these are skills we don’t know we have and don’t see in ourselves. When do we ever consider our vocal pitch, rate and volume when communicating?  Pitch and tone of voice can add emphasis and can help to avoid monotony.  Being able to express enthusiasm well in your business presentation or video for example is an essential tool to draw people’s interest in you and your message. For further reading on effective oral communication please see link.

So that wasn’t as simple as you thought was it! Communication is complex and has many threads most of which are built into our learnt behaviours. I hope that has given a good overview of the basics of communication.

Next Blog:

Next in the series: I will be looking at written communication. With a bit of luck I will have a guest writer to contribute (work in progress).

Firetree Visual Media

I studied Media and Communication at Goldsmiths University and graduated with a first class honours and a film specialism. After graduation I worked in London as a video editor working on documentaries and music videos. My children were born in 2005 which coincided with my fathers retirement. He had trained me as a stills photographer as a child and I set up Firetree Photography to photograph children, weddings and businesses whilst bringing up the children, this has been established now for 13 years. Firetree Visual Media is two years old, we are now a team and deliver professional visual media, both photography and videography to businesses. We also deliver social media marketing and consultancy to businesses in a new, innovative way. Focused on the visual, building narratives through video and photography, delivering media packages and social media strategies that engage on a new level.

More information HERE.


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