Face-to-face communication

Despite digital communication playing a key role in the Australian workplace, there is still a lot of value in face-to-face communication.

There are many contexts where communication needs to take place face-to-face. You should consider the following factors when communicating face-to-face as they will affect how you communicate.

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Know your audience and tailor your message accordingly. Consider the following:

  • What they already know about the topic
  • Their educational background
  • Their linguistic and cultural background
  • Possible sensitive issues


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Identify the purpose of your message to choose an appropriate communication style. Consider how your communication style would vary for each of these purposes:

  • To instruct a group of learners
  • To present a proposal to your supervisor
  • To brief your supervisor about a client’s mental health
  • To engage your mentor for support.


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Know your context before you identify the language, medium and time to communicate your message. Consider the following:

  • Is it a formal context or an informal context?
  • Is this a sensitive topic or confidential?
  • How well does the audience know you?

Answering these questions will guide you to craft your communication appropriately.

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Do not assume that your audience will understand your message. They may speak a different language or may not be used to the cultural background that you come from. To make your message clear:

  • It is important for you to pronounce your words clearly. Use an online dictionary to hear how a word is pronounced if you are unsure.
  • Speak grammatically correctly. Errors and mistakes in grammar can affect communication.
  • Do not rush through your message. Take the time to make sure your listener understands.


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Be aware that the tone you use is a reflection of the way you are feeling at that moment. Your audience can sense your feelings from your words, intonation, body language and volume.

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If you don’t feel confident professionally communicating in English, prepare so you can get the most out of your WIL experience! Practise, role-play and make use of support services available at your University.

  • Practise the pronunciation of common terms and vocabulary that are used at your site.
  • Ask your mentor or supervisor to review anything that you have written to ensure it is grammatically correct.


Succeeding in your WIL Activity: Communication Skills

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