The word communication comes from the Latin word communis, meaning common. When we communicate we try to establish a ‘commonness’ with someone, that is we try to share information, an idea or an attitude. Man is a social animal and communication is essentially a social affair. ‘No man is an island or an entire in himself ’, ‘We cannot not communicate’ are some of the common sayings in communication. Communication is what makes human relationships possible.
Speech, writings, gestures are some of the means of communication, or our means of social interaction. Comm can be in terms of conventions of dress, mannerism, institutions etc. In communication there are various schools of thought. The process of communication has been explained through different models and theories as per the changing times.
Aristotle was among the first to develop a communication model. According to Aristotle, in a communication event, there are three main elements, the speaker, the speech and the audience. Subsequently, many other experts have developed other models.
Shannon and Weaver developed a model based on technical aspect of communication. They introduced the concept of ‘noise’ and the idea that meaning lies in people. Noise could be the culture, value etc of the society.
The Berlo’s model brought ‘encoder’ ‘decoder’ elements in the communication process. Further Harold Laswell’s model emphasised on the effect of communication and the response of the receiver. In the Wilbur Schramm model, the focus is on the signal from the two sides of the source and receiver. Further there are various theories such as the Bull’s eye theory, spiral
theory etc explaining the process of communication.
Communication is no longer viewed as simply a way to reach out to people. Comm is a field that has been growing in diverse directions, therefore it is to be studied not only at Interpersonal, organisational levels, but also at various other levels such as the inter-cultural context.
Therefore to understand communication at any level we study any event, process or system under four main categories- Context, Technology, Representation and Social relation. Theseare the four analytical dimensions of communication. Each of them is co-determinant. These four dimensions can be studied as the broad framework of the communication process.
George T. Vardaman, of the College of Business Administration, University of Denver, USA, suggests following a simple formula in acronym TRIM. In this he suggests definition and planning the to whom, what, when and where of communications:
· Target or Mission or purpose of communication.
· Receiver to whom the message is directed at, based on his needs
· Impact or result that is desired.
· Method of media that must be employed to get the desired results.
The TRIM formula can give you very effective communications and presentation control, so that your time and efforts can be productively channeled and bring you results you want. Putting ideas together is about organizing and developing your communication. The way you put together your ideas determines how you will give out the information and how well
your target audiences will receive your message – with what impact and result. This is vital to the success of business communications. It is worthwhile to examine methods for putting ideas into a communicable form. For instance:
1. Structuring ideas for the target group they are for.
2. Building logical sequences.
3. Building psychological sequences.
4. Developing core ideas from the lot.
5. Having proper introductions and conclusions.
However, in any situation success of the communication will directly depend on the quality of the ideas and their development within the larger objectives. While communication can be better if you know your objective, greater effectiveness lies in hitting the right target audience in conjunction with their predominant communication needs. In this, there are five receiver types, which need to be understood and tackled:
You may have the most important message, delivered in the most creative manner, but if strikes the wrong chord in the audience the communication will fail. You must overcome receiver apathy, draw attention and sustain interest.