Are your digital communication skills up to scratch?
“The medium dictates the message,” to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan’s famous pronouncement back in 1964 – when digital technology was in its infancy.
In today’s world, communicating via digital technologies is integral to the effective operation of every organisation and enterprise – and the individuals within them.
Yes, we all know that brevity and clarity are important, whether it’s on email, in IM chat, or via a social network. But equally important are the right tone and style for the particular platform. A formal approach may be appropriate for important emails, but will not suit instant messaging or a Skype meeting, for example.
Then there’s the recently introduced technology of one-way video interviewing, which is designed to speed up the recruitment process. Knowing how to present yourself on video when you’re not interacting with another person can be daunting, and takes a lot of practice.
In fact, partly because of its constantly changing, dynamic nature, the art of digital communication is difficult to master, even for senior executives and seasoned professionals. “Everyone uses digital tools, but not everyone is good at creating effective and professional interactions in the digital space,” says Kirsty Williamson, co-facilitator of the University of Auckland Executive Education course Communicating with Impact in a Digital Age.
Emma Sadera, who also co-facilitates the course, adds that the course is focused on developing participants’ skills in using digital communications to their best effect. “These positive skills are essential to everyone who operates in the business world; we all need to create and project an image of ourselves in all of our communication interactions that is both authentic and intentional.”
Kirsty and Emma’s course is a first for the University and indeed for this part of the world because it is focused on personal digital communication skills – although, of course, it will help individuals become better ambassadors for their organisations as well. The course addresses a skills deficit that is endemic throughout the business world, at every career stage – from new business graduates to CEOs.
A blend of face-to-face and online learning, the course is highly interactive and illuminating. You will emerge with new communication skills and techniques to enhance your online persona, including:
- Auditing your current presence
- Setting your social media goals
- Creating and maintain the right presence
- Crafting professional, effective messages
- Writing a professional bio
- Presenting yourself effectively in digital contexts
In addition, you’ll take away a year’s free use of the premium version of the Grammarly app, which will enable you to craft messages with the confidence that you are grammatically and syntactically correct!
Kirsty Williamson is an award-winning teacher and member of the senior academic staff at the University of Auckland Business School. She has taught communication skills in the UK, Greece, the UAE and New Zealand, at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education levels.
Emma Sadera is a senior member of the academic staff in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and the Business School at the University of Auckland. She is an award-winning teacher with particular expertise in educational design, and 15 years’ experience developing tertiary programmes in the UK and New Zealand.
Emma and Kirsty co-facilitate the course:
Communicating with Impact in a Digital Age