Communications masterclass with TeachFirst and Informatics – Samuel Wilson

With prior experience in the field of business and communications being limited to little more than watching episodes of The Office and The Apprentice, I was slightly apprehensive heading into the first of my Innovative Learning Week events. There was no need to worry, however, as the assembled group immediately settled in to a wonderfully informal session which delved deep into the meaning of the word ‘communications.’

Communications is essential, no matter what your degree, be it an important business letter or an email to your tutor begging for an extension on your coursework deadline.

When asked to compile a list of methods of communication, it is quite a worrying reflection on modern society that I should place “face to face communication” well underneath the likes of Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones. Despite this, the interaction between our groups in the Informatics Forum easily proved that “face to face” communication is by far the most satisfying and entertaining.

Having discussed the pros and cons of various communications methods, the bookworm within me was delighted to hear that the centuries-old art of storytelling was considered the most effective form of communication.

With this is mind we were assigned the task of producing a CV…in the form of a story. Sounds easy? Think again. Usually I am blessed with the ability to be able to pick up a pen and get writing in no time – this time I was stuck.

I spent the first five minutes of the exercise staring at the blank sheet of paper, wondering how I would ever manage to transform nineteen years of (relatively mundane) qualifications and achievements into a compelling story. In the end I was left with something which sounded more like a boastful biography than an entertaining tale.

But listening with interest to the life stories of those around me, I realised that the real key to ‘communications’  is not necessarily about how far and how fast one can communicate, but rather how engaging and entertaining your communication is, whilst ensuring it is relevant to those receiving it. A very useful and enjoyable event.

Samuel Wilson (History)

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