Comms 101: Lessons from the first day in Communications class

The PR Wars “Comms 101″ segment recognizes core communication principles to help you become a better communicator.

I began my University education thinking that I would major in Aerospace Engineering. The cold fist of reality set in after taking both Calculus and Chemistry in the first semester. I quickly decided to change my major to Communications. I was an “A” student in English and thought that Communications would give me multiple options for a career. I was also scared of public speaking and believed this would be a valuable skill.

My first day in Speech Communications 101 was quite memorable. Each student was asked to stand up in front of the class and make an announcement. You had to speak loudly and clearly. You also needed to make sure you included all of the information required for the listener to understand what is being asked of him or her (time, place, details, etc).

My announcement in front of the class went something like this… “Can I have everyone’s attention please? I have an announcement to make. Beer will be served to all Speech Communications 101 students immediately after class in the parking lot at 3pm. The professor will provide a keg and cups for your enjoyment. Please arrive thirsty.” So, I wasn’t the most mature freshman on campus.

The first day of Speech Communication class provided two important lessons in Communications.

  1. It prepared me to throw away my fear of speaking to an audience. By shouting an announcement, I had to speak with presence.
  2. The exercise taught me to think about the information that the audience will need to hear from my communication. I would need to provide the specific instruction that they can use to complete the action.

Hey, I have an announcement to make! You should listen to the PR Wars podcast “What’s in it for me” to learn more about what audiences want to hear from you when you are communicating.

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