It was a pleasure to welcome back Old Truronian Ros Atkins CO93, who shared a powerful talk on effective communications with staff, students and pupils.
Ros, who has had an illustrious career in journalism and is a regular correspondent for the BBC, gave an insightful and practical talk to Truro School in the Sixth Form Centre.
His talk began with reflections on how his day-to-day life as a journalist is not that different from that of our pupils; we are all overwhelmed with information and this information can be frustrating when it is not communicated effectively.
Ros encouraged his audience to consider how they could become someone who communicates well and how effective communication can help us achieve better outcomes.
Ros then shared his tools to communicate effectively, the first step being the ‘set up’ where it is essential to consider three things;
By being clear and realistic about this, you can shape your communication to meet the needs of your audience.
Ros went on to explain that questioning is key; by considering the questions that your audience will want to understand, you can ensure that you create engaging and relevant content. Within this, it is important to consider what doubts you may encounter so that you are prepared to counter them effectively.
“Questions force you to sell what you’re saying,” Ros explained. “And questions help you to work out whether what you are saying is relevant.”
He talked about connecting ideas and arguments and explaining to your audience why what you are telling them matters. Mingled with anecdotes from his career, he ended by stressing the importance of practising what you want to say to ensure you speak with clarity and purpose.
Students and pupils were then given a chance to ask Mr Atkins questions, including “Who is the most interesting person you have met?”. Ros concluded that it was world leaders and figures in positions of extreme power that interested him the most as these were, regardless of their politics, extraordinary people and therefore fascinating. Ros also signed copies of his new book ‘The Art of Communication’, available https://geni.us/TAOEBOOK
We would like to thank Ros for returning to Truro School to share this powerful and useful talk with our community. We are confident it has inspired some future correspondents in our pupil body.