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Communication News

Images of a computerImproving your communication is essential as you step out into the world of work. Forbes' contributing writer Amy Blaschka offers some pithy words of advice for all, excerpted below, from a May 4, 2020, article.

"Stop meandering and get to the point...

Have you ever starting reading something that went to go on and on, where you struggled to figure out the author’s intent? Or maybe you’ve started watching an eight-minute video only to discover that five minutes in you’re still not sure what the poster wanted to say?

Meandering signals that you’re unorganized and unsure. Worse, you’ll lose your audience’s attention—and the opportunity to communicate. When you want to deliver a message, be intentional about it, eliminate extraneous material, and get to the point.

Focus on one takeaway

Another common communication misstep is trying to cover too much at once. A good rule of thumb is that each piece of content should revolve around one central theme. This forces you to get specific about and home in on your message. And that clarity promotes better understanding, making it easier for your audience to understand your perspective,

Switch from negative to positive

When you use positive language, you’re perceived as more likable, supportive, and caring. In contrast, using negative language paints you as critical and confrontational, even when that’s not your intent. Positive language lets someone know what you can do instead of what you can’t do. 

According to studies, positive statements are more quickly received, and they are also well-received by the audience. In addition, research shows that using positive language is a highly efficient tool for being happier and more productive.

Move from passive to active voice

Imagine if Nike changed its tagline to It was done. Not very inspiring, is it? Passive voice is just that: passive. With it, the subject is acted upon by the verb. Something happened to it; there’s no forward momentum.

Using the active voice conveys a strong, clear tone, such as Nike’s famous tagline, Just do it. There is a call to action. Action-oriented language propels us to do something rather than remain idle. Where possible, minimize passive language and use using active voice.

Incorporate evocative language

Incorporating evocative language into your repertoire opens you up to a more descriptive, interesting lexicon. Never again will you have to use “nice,” “good,” or “fine”—the four-letter milquetoasts of the word world. You’ll stand out, capture your audience’s attention, and ensure that your message will be more memorable.

Craft your story

The finest and most memorable communicators understand the power of story to convey a message... Research from Paul Zak confirms this: Stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of the brain, and thus are better remembered than simply stating a set of facts. Sharing our stories help others know, like, and trust us.

If you’re looking for a way to communicate and connect better, craft a story. Because once you have your story, it changes everything, including how others perceive, pay, and promote you."

Bill Mulcahy and basketball teamCongratulations to Business Communication alum Bill Mulcahy ('97) for being named to Stevenson/Villa Julie's 25th anniversary team in golf.

According to gomustangsports, in order to be eligible for the 25th Anniversary Teams, an alum must have exhausted his or her eligibility prior to 2018-19, have graduated from Villa Julie/Stevenson, and left the program and the institution in good standing. Teams were selected with input from the head coach of each program, along with former coaches and players and a committee of Stevenson athletics staff.

Above, a photo of the 1995 men's basketball team, of which Bill (circled in yellow) was also a member. (Photo from Facebook)

Annie McCoachCongratulations to BizComm alum Annie McCoach ('16), who, along with many other medical professionals, was named by her high school as one of many Maryvale Preparatory School Alumnae of the Year:

We are proud to share that this year, you and all your Maryvale sisters who are medical/healthcare professionals have been named our 2020 Alumnae of the Year! We are humbled by the tireless efforts of the medical profession during this most extraordinary time. And we can think of no better way to express our gratitude and publicly recognize you for your brave service to the community. It is our honor to honor you!

Thank you, Annie, for your work as a firefighter and emergency medical technician!

(Photo from Facebook)

Senior farewell communication online

The Communication faculty gathered remotely and, via BlueJeans, spent some time reminiscing with the seniors about their years at Stevenson. The online gathering gave everyone one more chance to talk about their SU memories and hopes for the future. We were grateful for the opportunity to say a brief farewell to the communication majors!

Here's what many of our students remembered (with thanks to Professor Stephanie Verni for taking notes):

MortarboardThe annual Lambda Pi Eta induction ceremony, with all the faculty and family members present

MortarboardPresentations at the Maryland Communication Association conference and at the Paul D. Lack Scholars conference

MortarboardThe last Communication BizMix, where so many alumni came back to be a part of the event

MortarboardFinding my best friends during the first year and then sharing time in the major together

Mortarboard Homecoming celebrations where the faculty cheer us on and alumni are so glad to be back

MortarboardThe First-Year Seminar trip to Orioles Park and the boat cruise on the harbor, when I discovered the real sense of community in the major

MortarboardTime as a reporter, editor, and editor-in-chief for The Villager, learning what real professional collaboration looks like

Faculty and students in the communication department met remotely via BlueJeans on May 7 for their first-ever "Fireside Chat." Everyone talked about what they have been doing besides classwork since the stay-at-home order was issued, and the group spent a bit of time trying to explain to Dr. Greene about The Netflix. It was great to "see" our students and colleagues and hear their voices once again! More students participated than what the screen capture shows here, but BlueJeans displays only nine images at once.

BlueJeans screen for Fireside Chat

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