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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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4.3.3 Communicate relevant information

A main outcome of this key skill is that you will be able to communicate complex information orally, visually and through writing.

Complex subjects are those that include a number of ideas, some of which may be abstract, very detailed, difficult to follow or require you to deal with sensitive issues or the interpretation of others’ viewpoints. Communicating information at this level may involve using technical vocabulary, carefully structuring what you say and/or write, and using diagrams/charts or other forms of visual aids, to help others understand the points being made. To communicate effectively you need to tailor what you say or write and the way you present it to the needs of each particular audience.

For example in preparing an information piece on the Human Rights Act for a non-specialist group, you might decide to keep it short, avoid technical language where possible and provide examples to illustrate meanings. On the other hand, if you were preparing an article for a journal such as the New Scientist on a research project you had been involved with, you could assume a common understanding of background issues. You could use scientific terms, illustrate the work with figures, refer to other research work, and provide a reference and further reading list.

Time out

Look back at your notes and comments on how you adapted your communication skills for a number of different tasks and audiences and reflect on the choices you made in communicating information. Is there anything you would do differently?