Communication is a critical action that is done in a variety of ways across different cultures and settings. It is done at school, work, home and the grocery store. It can be done face-to-face or through technology with one person or multiple people. However, communication can be a challenging concept; have you ever left a conversation knowing that you forgot to mention a particular detail? Following the steps outlined below will lead you to a better communication process. Identifying Needs and Purpose
The first step to the communication process is to identify the needs and purpose of the conversation. You can do this by considering a few questions like, “What is it that I need to accomplish in this conversation?” or “Why am I having this conversation?” Just taking time to assess your intent and direction will automatically help in identifying different approaches and ideas for communicating and managing effective conversations (University of Phoenix, 2012). Establishing Key Points
After an initial brainstorming session to organize thoughts and ideas, the next step in the process is determining key points. In this part of the communications process, it is helpful to write down all the ideas from step one in order to figure out which are the most important and relevant to your audience. Once about all the necessary points have been identified, these should be compiled into a list in order of importance. This will aid in the flow of the overall communication and create a more organized and professional position (University of Phoenix, 2012). Audience Analysis
Following the process of identifying key points comes the time to analyze the audience. At this point, it is critical to think about whom your audience is and what its needs and preferences are, as a group. It is beneficial to consider if you will be addressing work strangers, colleagues, family, friends and how these groups prefer to receive communication. It is important during this process to decide if the people you are talking to are all part of a particular demographic, or if there are diverse ages and other factors. An effective communication strategy will be able to address the audience based on their specific preferences and interests. To accomplish this, it is wise to cater your delivery of messages to things that relate to your audience members. This will help hold their attention and get everyone to listen without losing interest in the conversation (University of Phoenix, 2012). Choosing Communication Channels
The next step in the process after a thorough audience analysis is to figure out the communication channel that is most appropriate for the audience. This is the perfect step to precede step three, because after you figure out who you are talking to, you are going to need to figure out how to address them. For example, if children are in the audience, a good way to engage them is to make your message exciting or story-like. On the other side of the spectrum, if there are young adults in the audience, using vivid images and colors will help gain their attention. Younger business people may like to communicate by email, where older business people may prefer to interact by phone or in person. Some groups may prefer consistent, weekly communication when others only want to hear from you once in a while. These individual preferences can tell you which is the best channel, whether it is a newsletter, in-person presentation or phone call (University of Phoenix, 2012). Time to Deliver
Step five is applied when it is time to edit, review and deliver your message. This is the time where it is critical to pay attention to detail and ensure the quality of your work. Begin by reviewing all of your notes; make sure everything is in order and worded a way your audience will understand. If you have chosen to deliver a speech, practice a few times to get rid of some nerves. Then go out there...