Everyday, I meet people. Everyday, I interact with my world and the world at large. The social media and most modern software and applications have made it easier to engage the world. As we engage the world, our strengths and weaknesses are observed. Our skills are also being noticed. Even our deficiencies in terms of what we consider as our main skills are bare to the dynamic world. So we should be watchful how we manage our talents in an age where the remotest error can be revealed by millions of people globally within seconds.
During the funeral ceremony of Nelson Mandela, it didn’t take hours before most people in the universe noticed that the sign language interpreter was gibberish – his interpretation was simply balderdash because he was doing nothing close to sign language act. When Beyonce did lip-synching during Barack Obama’s inauguration as she sang along a pre-recorded track of the national anthem, many in the world quickly spotted it. What makes you stand out, if not properly honed, can become an embarrassment to you.
I have noticed that verbal communication is not a major problem to most people, but when it comes to writing skills, the challenges of communication become transparent. In the west, I have seen young people talk more than parrots until you give them pen and paper to write. Writing skills are extremely essential to a person’s progression in any field, career or talent. Writing skills, not in terms of being a professional writer, but to at least, put on paper, in simple terms what you need to communicate. You don’t need to know all the big vocabularies. You don’t need to understand all the expensive idiomatic expressions. All you need is realizing how you can easily drop on paper an idiot-proof sentence or statements that will make sense to everyone. Once it makes sense to its readers, you have made yourself the best communicator on earth.
One aspect of writing I do not consider to be effective communication is when people have to always use a dictionary when reading what you’ve written. If you want to appeal to the world, write what the world will understand. If you want to appease the world, go for simplicity – without simplicity, you’ll be stuck in your own world, and that your world may be too small to fund your talent. In all demography, simple and understandable writing rules. This is what many people need to realize as they pursue their purposes in their chosen areas.
I deliberately made the point in the above paragraph to encourage anyone that has misunderstood the principles of quality writing. Listen and listen clearly, if you can calmly write down what you say, exactly the way you say them using a simple logic, you will become outstanding. You don’t need to be gifted to pass your message on print.
What are the simple things you should do to communicate your persuasions ?
1. Learn to structure your persuasion: don’t begin where you should end and don’t end where you should begin. Even in verbal communication, some people are so disorderly – they talk like they are quarrelling with someone. Don’t write like an angry person who is out of control. Don’t write like a driver that has lost control of his vehicle. People who write that way are not organized – where there should be introduction, you’ll find either the main body or the conclusion. Sit down first to organize your subject; go from gear one to two, and later, as you improve, you will then understand how to move from a higher gear to a lower one.
2. Be calm as you write: even for professional writers, when they’re hasty, they make mistakes. So don’t rush your writing, especially if it isn’t your strength. If you take it bit by bit, you’ll amaze yourself by how much quality you can produce. It isn’t the number of words that you write that determines your strength; it is the value of what you ink. A statement carefully worded with values at heart impact far more than a thousand pages that damage people’s minds and introduce them into errors.
3. Proofreading is a must: some people write a letter and throw it in the post without reading twice to check for errors, omissions or typos. Nobel Prize laureates in Literature, as perfect as they are cannot make that type of assumption because they’ll embarrass themselves. If experts don’t assume, and they take the time to proofread their works, and almost all the time, hire proof-readers and editors to take a second look at their works, why should you? I always reprimand my kids when they don’t proofread their works to check for what needs to be corrected.
4. The need for a second eye: if need be, especially for very important writing, there must be a second opinion or eye to look at what has been written. All publishing companies have editors that look at all manuscripts before they are designed and sent to the print. In your case, you may not need a professional editor, but a friend or family member that will help you look at what you’ve written. This is because sometimes, no matter how many times you read something, your eye may be seeing one thing while your brain will be reading something else. Until an independent eye sees it, you may not be able to sight something that’s missing or something that shouldn’t be there.
5. Learn to read: when I say, “learn to read,” I don’t mean you can’t pronounce words written in languages. Yes, you can, but you may not actually know how to read. If I tell you to read the following, how would you read it?
And we came up with a decision rule, a very simple one: If six or more of the 13 keys went against the party in power, that is, the answers to the questions were false, the party in power lost. If fewer than six keys were false, the party in power won. And that held, retrospectively, for every election over 120 years.
As you read, you must take all the punctuations into cognizance; if you don’t, you won’t really understand fully what the writer is saying. If you can’t acknowledge punctuations as you read, you won’t know where to put them when you write. That is a fact about being a good writer. When you see a good writer, read him a paragraph, and then, tell him to read the same passage, and you’ll see the difference between you and him!