The magic of communication

We take communication for granted, just like the air we breathe. And yet, a charismatic speaker draws her listeners in as though her words were magic.

Reading the following words with a gap of two seconds between each of them: “agree”, “concur”, “roger”, “okay” and “perfect”. They could all be used as synonyms, but invoke distinct imagery.

Communication is telepathy. To communicate is to take a thought or a feeling, express it different forms – as spoken words with a tone, or squiggly letters on a page, to make another person think or feel the same thing. Perfect communication is hard – one might argue it is impossible. But that it happens at all is a miracle. Our brains cells can dance a particular dance and teach the cells of other brains the same dance through words, sounds and pictures.

The secret to every magic trick lies in the details known to the magician, but not to his audience. Great communicators aren’t too different, in that they are simply more aware of the details of how they convey their message.

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