Students offered tips on proper communication

“Language is so useful; language is so inspiring; language (can be) the bane of your existence,” said Deborah Bridges, course coordinator and instructional assistant professor in the School of Communication, during a communications workshop on Tuesday.

Bridges used various communication techniques in order to connect with her audience and teach by example.

The workshop began with a clip from “The Apprentice,” where one of the contestants caused his team to lose a challenge by poorly emceeing a runway event. The clip was used to show how important public speaking skills are to potential employers.

“Communication is important in the workplace, and it’s important to the people who write checks,” Bridges said. “They want the best foot forward. Every word that comes out of that person’s mouth is representing that company.”

Bridges went on to discuss how to build a good speech and the importance of the speaker’s connection to the audience and perspective.

“It’s both (the speaker and the audience’s) job to move out from (their) own perspective around to the other side to look at what the other person is saying,” Bridges said. “That’s how we can cross cultural boundaries; that’s how we can understand each other better.”

Bridges also discussed the importance of preparation with the use of a personal anecdote and showed how someone could go about researching a topic by creating example topics and encouraging audience participation for the brainstorming.

Bridges concluded the workshop with a video of a speech she felt was a perfect example of how a speaker can connect with an audience, and gave a personal reassurance to attendees who were skeptical of their own speaking skills.

“I do this because this is something I couldn’t do,” Bridges said. “When I was in junior high, high school, college, and I had to get up to give a speech, I died one thousand deaths.”

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