Communication Skills Training Workshop For MINDEF

We all know the importance of both speech and writing. The former focuses on verbal communication while the latter written communication. In my humble opinion, while each has its own merit, I feel the ability to communicate lucidly by speaking well is more crucial than being to write well.

In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected through both space and time, speech has become a faster and more appealing mode of communication. If I can record my thoughts and message in an audio message and send it across via Wechat or Whatsapp, why bother typing it out? Calling someone direct and expressing how we feel and what we want is definitely the way to go. Snail mail anyone? That is so last century.

Welcome to this month's edition of the communication skills training workshop for Mindef.



There are many communication skills techniques one can use. Let us reach and touch the hearts and minds of others fast. But unless you use the right techniques that bring you maximum results within the shortest possible time, you would not have succeeded in generating successful communication. Your aim is to let others listen to you carefully and act upon what you intend to convey.

To achieve this aim, I suggest speaking or expressing a thought about something you know is the universal truth. Go for evergreen topics like food, weather, travel or sports. Singaporeans love food and you know you will never go wrong if you dwell on this topic. That makes you sound confident. Don't talk about too niche topics like how to mix a new potion in the chemistry laboratory unless you are speaking to like-minded people or fellow colleagues. If you tell me about the new potion, you bet I will be bored. Okay, make that super bored. And if I'm bored, I am no longer obliged to listen to you. In other words, your attempt to communicate would have failed.





Communicate the truth with compassion always. I know it's hard but always do your best. When you share from your own experience, it makes the episode more personal and surreal. For guys, most if not all of us will have spent at least two years of our lives serving the nation in the form of national service. Reliving those days helps to bond men closer. Recall the common thread of brotherhood?

Choosing your topics with finesse is an art in itself. It may appear difficult initially but with more practice, it will soon become second nature to everyone.

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