Establish common grounds with our students

The presupposition is that you have something to communicate and that has 3 components: concept, feeling and action. The evangelical church is strong in communicating concepts but weak in the areas of feelings and actions.

That which we want to communicate must be encoded into words and life because we are not simply communicating a word message but a life message. There are verbal and non-verbal communication (body language and what we do). What you say must be in harmony (congruence) with what you do.

Next, that which you want to communicate must be translated into speech. This involves:
  1. presentation

    1. enunciation

    2. voice: volume, pitch and speed

    3. gestures (feel your message)

    4. distractions

      • within the student (attitudes, personal circumstances – all of which you have no control)

      • within the environment (room arrangement, temperature – you can control)

  2. preparation: your speech must be packaged – introduction, body (use illustrations from your own life and your students’ lives) and conclusion
Your students listen to your speech but note that they can listen faster than you can speak and their minds may begin to wander. Use visuals and analogies help your student to listen.

Students need to decipher your speech into their own words so that the knowledge becomes theirs.

The communication process begins with concept, feeling and action and it ends with the same: concept, feeling and action. The test of your communication is what your students are thinking, feeling and doing as a result of what you do. Ask for feedback – find out what do they know, feel and plan to do.

The purpose of communication is not to impress but to impact; not to convince but to change.

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Alan's Gleanings | October 2011 by Alan S.L. Wong