As long as the Internet has been around and as long as individuals have been speaking, you would think that by now everyone would know how to communicate effectively online. Of course, there are outside factors that can sometimes play a role, like age and language barriers, but for the most part, communicating with other individuals online should be fairly easy.
However, you might be surprised to learn just how many people out there struggle on a daily basis at this very task. We spoke with online chatting expert Sean “Toni” Wilson of This N’ That Chat for his insight on how to communicate effectively online.
Always Choose The Right Words When You Communicate
“One of the things about communicating online is that you really aren’t physically present. So, you don’t really have a chance to express what you have said or what exactly you mean,” Wilson explains. “This is why it is imperative that you choose the correct words to get your message across.”
Certain words can have different meanings when grouped with other words, and they can be even harder to interpret for some individuals. You have to remember that your words and statements are what represent you as a person online, so you really want to demonstrate yourself with professionalism and respect.
With that being said, this doesn’t mean that you need to go around throwing technical jargon here and there or use extremely big words to convey your messages. No one wants to use a dictionary when they read what you are posting, and many individuals might not completely understand all the technical jargon that you are using in your messages. When using words and phrases that people don’t really understand they are less likely to respond.
Avoid Talking Up And Down To People
As Wilson notes, “people are usually strong in their beliefs and opinions. They don’t like it when others try to contradict them or say that their beliefs are wrong. Whether in chat rooms or on social media, be cautious. Talking down basically means that your message or post has a negative tone.”
With that being said, this doesn’t mean that you should go around flattering and praising everyone either. This is a process that is known as talking up. Never try to flatter or praise someone, just because you want to earn his or her respect or response. This doesn’t mean that you cannot praise individuals for good gesture or good ideas.
You just need to make sure that you are doing it in a genuine way. One great way to tell how your message might come across is by reading it out loud. By doing this you should be able to easily clarify if the message comes across as either talking up or talking down.
Avoiding Exaggeration And Generalization
Two other forms of writing that can really lessen the effectiveness of your online communication skills are exaggeration and generalization. Exaggeration occurs when you overstate facts or bend the truth to get a laugh. This form of writing can have a major negative impact down the road, especially if someone actually believes what you are saying. When they discover the truth it will be extremely hurtful to them and they might even respond in a negative manner even though they shouldn’t.
Generalization can probably be best described as beating around the bush. For instance, if someone asks you a direct question, generalization would be a form of discussing everything but the main question that you were asked. Not only does this come off as you looking unprepared, but it probably makes you seem unprofessional, as well.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.