Communication skills I’ve improved upon via Facebook and Twitter

Concerns have been variously expressed about the “Internet Age” negatively impacting communication between people.  People will (do) spend too much time hooked to their computers instead of interacting in-person (thereby causing breakdowns in communication, increased depression), etc.

The negative impacts of technology on communication and human interactions (both real and potential) are important topics that should be addressed.

cell phones

image source: Desert News


On the flip side, I also find I’ve had positive communication skills reinforced by participation on Facebook and Twitter.  These principles apply both online and in-person.

In order for one’s communications to be noticed and valued (career advancement, etc.), social media interactions demonstrate that one must:

  • Have something useful to say
  • Have a creative way to frame your message (i.e., be articulate)
  • Offer an interesting perspective
  • Get to the point (be succinct)
  • Provide visual appeal (photos online, professionally drafted memos and personal appearance offline)
  • Audiences only wants to hear your personal asides if you are a high-profile figure
  • Humor helps to hold an audience’s attention
  • Giving witty, easily-repeated sound-bites makes you memorable
  • Don’t wait to be heard.  Stick your neck out there and contribute to the conversation.
  • The people who are taken seriously are ones who make declarative action statements.
  • Make time to listen to others.  The more you give attention to others, the more they will engage with you.
  • Communications that take a long time to craft and ones that are spontaneously revealing are both often well-received.
  • Timing matters.  Posts on social media get the most attention at times of day when the largest numbers of people are online.  Likewise, in-person communication is most effective when delivered at a time when recipients will be receptive.

Individuals who apply these principles stand out and are noticed.

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