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  • Writer's pictureCris

The power of communication (part 1)

I believe everyone would agree that the way we communicate serves as our primary "business card " when interacting with others.

I intentionally avoided using the word "speak" because I believe that while everyone can speak, only a few can effectively communicate.

Our way of speaking doesn't just apply when addressing a large audience but also during one-on-one conversations, as it reveals a lot about our personality. Nervous, confident, interested, interesting, bored, boring.

The first "nice to meet you", including its tone, volume, pitch, and melody, can reveal a great deal about us.

In this post, I will discuss some concepts that I believe are highly beneficial for one-on-one communication. In the next, I will focus on tricks to face off public speeches to then introduce concrete tricks and tools I found incredibly useful when dealing with a "big audience". Actually, the "biggest" audience I've ever spoken to counted about 70 people. The problem was that it took place at a conference during my first year as a PhD student, and it was in a language that isn't my native tongue. You can only imagine how bad it was.

Ving Giang (if you don't follow this giant master of communication, please do it) has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me during the last few months. Among all the brilliant ideas he presents during his talks, I found three fundamentally important.

Communication Threading

It's the ability to keep the flow of communication going. Let me explain it with two examples.

Scene 1

A: So, what do you do in your life? B: I'm a PhD student.

Scene 2

A: So, what do you do in your life? B: Well, I'm a computer scientist. I got my degree in Italy and then I moved to The Netherlands for a PhD. I love the country, it's so beautiful being around such nature and having the opportunity to explore it with my mountain bike!

I believe you already spotted the difference. In Scene 1, A needs to be an expert communicator to keep the conversation up. The only thread to attach to is the fact that B is doing research as a PhD student. On the contrary, in Scene 2, B opens so many threads that it's very easy for A to keep talking. Computer Science, Italy, Netherlands, love for nature, mountain bike. He only has to choose the thing he likes most!


Isn't it odd when someone introduces themselves loudly with "NICE TO MEET YOU", in a quiet setting with just the two of you? While it's true that a strong and assertive tone of voice can convey a strong personality, the volume should be appropriate to the context. As Ving often explains, If you're talking to an office mate, you don't need to stand up or shout. You only need to be clear and calm.

Be as big as the room you're in - Ving Giang


Now, imagine (and listen to) these two scenes: a pianist who presses only one piano key at regular intervals and the same pianist playing Für Elise.

I'm sure that in the first scene, the pianist wouldn't cause any emotion or feeling (if not a little annoyance). On the other hand, in the second one, I'm sure you'd feel something (melancholy, sadness, ...) quite strong. In both the scenes, the pianist didn't say a word. The only "thing" that delivered emotions to you was the melody. Like the example of the pianist, when we talk we can deliver emotions to our listeners regardless of the content of the message. British people excel at this. Just a couple of weeks ago, during a long weekend in Spain, I nearly drowned in the pool upon hearing a 5-year-old child saying to her mom, 'I told you, didn't I? '.

It was perfect!


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