October is Better Speech-Language-Hearing Month, so here’s acknowledgement to my former career. YAY! I adored it as much as I adore my encore career of writing.
Allow me to share information from past life career, when I fervently worked as the problem solver of people’s oral communication skills: Communication is 7% word choice. The rest is facial expression/body language and tone of voice.
That is fact, not fiction. It is, as they say, for “reals.” Sit back and consider past, present, and future conversations. Be a voyeur in your own life. Stop, look, and listen, like kindergarteners are taught.
Be self-aware. Care. Effective communication has two sides: listener and speaker and each participant has a voice.
Voice is regarded as the key factor for success in present day’s prose. It’s about word choice, style, phrasing, and pace. It’s cadence, cadence, cadence as words march across to page to the beat of your muse.
I firmly believe that one can forgo rules of genre – and not pigeonhole one’s self – if you know your own voice.
Remember those rules of oral communication – they apply to written communication, too. Work, work, work to get body language and facial expression on the page. Signal tone of voice, too. What’s your character’s choice? Coy as a debutante or as faint as a slave? Cowboy wild or good guy suave? Challengingly incorrigible or gentle as a priest… notice that I didn’t ascribe gentle to a nun. No attendee of Catholic school ascribes gentle to a nun.
Conversation is a sport, much like tennis, in which people lob and love. Remember that point…to love. There’s no winning in effective oral communication… nor is there to written communication.
Unless you want to win over readers by writing prose to love.