Communication with Ellie is what’s up!
Last Friday we had what I feel was a very significant presentation by Ellie on the importance of strong communication in the professional world of IT. We explored many of the basic, yet still highly important writing conventions used in correct formal English.
The first of these conventions pointed out to us, was grammar. We learnt that Cesar did not in fact enter on his head, but instead he entered wearing a helmet. And that not only does grammar ensure the reader knows how to interpret what you have written, but it also saves lives, lucky old Grandma. For where would we be today without correct punctuation? I like to think of it the way Ellie suggested. When driving your vehicle you need to follow the laws of stop signs and give ways, do you not? The same can be said for punctuation, your audience needs to know when you want them to pause, and to stop. Which better way to do this than with a comma or a full stop.
We soon moved onto the next item of importance, your channel. How are you communicating? Is it via text, email, letter, or are you simply writing a blog? It’s imperative that we take note of which channel we are using and if our writing style is correct for that chosen channel. Likewise it is just as significant that our writing style is appropriate for our target audience. A good example of this was given by Ellie who related to us a less than ideal situation she encountered. An email was sent to her by a student asking for her help in finding a job, and I assume recommending this student to the business in question. However, the emails received by Ellie, on multiple occasions, were less than what was expected of an It student asking for this sort of help. The writing style used was one that may have been appropriate for sending a text, but not the formal style that was appropriate for the situation. So as anybody would have done, Ellie did not make the recommendation and I’m sure the student learnt, no doubt the hard way, the importance of a suitable writing style.
This discussion then brought us onto the topic of this very blog I am now writing. What is expected of us, and in which style should we communicate to our readers? Well having never written a blog before, I took careful note of what was to follow. I learnt that blogging is like a conversation. It’s a good idea to keep it personable. After all you want to invite interaction through your blog, to encourage comments and feedback from other bloggers. I learnt that the title of your post is like a headline, put in place to lure readers in and to entice them to continue reading. Then while keeping all of this in mind you have to ask yourself, why am I doing this? Is it informational, for entertainment or for persuasion? Maybe you need to throw in all three. And on top of all of that, you MUST write with the reader in mind.
So all In all, the whole point of the day (I think) was the vital importance of communication as a professional in the IT industry. For the industry is not about those back room nerds, it asks a lot more of us. Without the proper means to communicate effectively and efficiently, where would we end up? I think the answer to that is nowhere, and pretty fast!