Thought for the day message heard several years ago.

There are mainly two forms of communications – Verbal and Non-verbal. Under these there are multitude of sub-sections of type of communications and these are dealt with in standard textbooks.

A man, say, Jack, was shouting ‘save me’, ‘save me’ as he had fallen into a river. A young man, say, John, was passing by and he saw a tree, which had a favourable bend towards the river and he put one arm around the trunk and extended his other arm and said ‘give me your hand’.

Even though the Jack could reach John’s hand, he did not catch it and he was still shouting ‘save me’, ‘save me’. John was puzzled and he bent over more and extended his arm but Jack would not give his hand. John got annoyed and said, ‘If you want to die, please go ahead. It appears you do not want to be saved’.

John was about to leave when an old man, Harold, came and told John, ‘You should know how to communicate with the person and in this case, drowning and wanting to be saved’. John said, ‘I asked him to give his hand but he did not extend his hand. So I got fed up and told him to die, if he wanted’.

Harold said, communicating is a skill and one has to know the audience. He said to Jack, ‘come on, and take my hand’. Jack immediately took Harold’s hand and he was saved.

Harold told John that it is important to know about the man. He knew the man who was a miser. He can only ‘take, but never able to ‘give’. Even in his dying hours his miserly attitude prevailed and he would not let go of it. He would rather die than be benevolent.

Lot of times, I have seen in management presentations the speaker is so engrossed with complicated tables and graphs and more recently PowerPoint presentations, multi-coloured, to impress his bosses and hoping it would impress the audience. Many a time it had failed miserably. It was because the speaker had failed to assess the audience. What they expect and what would be of interest to them are areas totally ignored resulting in a poor response often leading to severe criticisms. The main issue is completely forgotten and only the presentation is focussed and assessed as unsuitable.

It is easier to strict to simple statements listing only key points and has tables with few columns and rows. Powerful messages are usually delivered with very simple statements e.g. like in Bible - Ten Commandments. Making the audience to listen carefully, attentively, understand clearly and enquire on issues would all be achieved when a presentation is simple and without jargons.