Idea Interchange is an initiative by HERD in order to bring ideas together for positive change. Through this initiative, we bring forward and discuss ideas about pertinent issues and seek to gather thoughts, reflections and solutions to existing problems in order to draw a pathway towards improvement and positive change. Idea Interchange was launched on June 3, 2016.

The 3rd Idea Interchange Seminar was held on August 26, 2016 on “The ABC of Professional Communications”. This session was moderated by Mr Rajesh Ghimire, Advisor - Communications and Outreach and Mr Sudeep Uprety, Senior Officer - Research Uptake and Communications. 35 individuals attended the seminar.

Brief about the Seminar

Writing, profiling, emailing and making presentations is a part of your work. Knowing the correct ways to profile yourself, writing documents, writing and responding emails is very important. One must know the dos and don’ts required for communicating in a professional and efficient manner. Communications is all about the art of story-telling and learning the art and the craft of story-telling helps building and engaging audience.

The purpose of the seminar was to impart knowledge on the required skills for professional communications. The moderator used power-point presentation, videos, group work and group interaction during the session. The following sessions were covered:

  • The Formal and the Organized Content – practical tips about profiling, writing and responding to emails and tips for effective presentatio
  • The Creative and the Attractive Content – the art of story-telling, knowing your audience, surprising your audience and finding the human story

Group Work

The participants were divided into 3 groups and they were given a specific task of presenting their stories through presentations, photo stories, plays or any other creative forums.

Group 1 presented a short play about how initially a family was keen on home delivery and later on with the persuasion of the community and Female Community Health Volunteer, the family took the pregnant woman to the nearest health facility for institutional delivery. With the care and attention of skilled health workers, the woman gave birth to a healthy baby. The health facility in-charge gave a message about the advantages of institutional delivery and how different public health research have provided evidence about the benefit of institutional delivery.

Group 2 presented a photo story through images about the benefits of family planning – displaying how public health messages can be communicated at the community level through illustrations.

Group 3 presented a short play about a Chinese whisper game where a public health message – when communicated through various channels in between gets miscommunicated while reaching to the beneficiary level. Therefore, the group gave a message that public health messages should be designed in such a manner that it directly reaches the community.

Participants’ Feedback

Based on an anonymous feedback form filled in by the 35 participants, the participants’ feedback about the seminar was as such:

  • Quality of Content of Seminar Sessions (average score in the score of 0 to 10; 0 being the highest, 10 being the lowest): 9
  • Quality of Delivery of Seminar Sessions (average score in the score of 0 to 10; 0 being the highest, 10 being the lowest): 9
  • Effectiveness of Group Activity (average score in the score of 0 to 10; 0 being the highest, 10 being the lowest): 9

Other General Observations/Comments on the seminar were as such:

  • It was very effective. We learnt professional communication strategies using email and internet.
  • Contents were very good, however, a slightly more elaboration on these topics would be more beneficial.
  • The concept of team building at organizational level was observed.
  • Clear message and effective delivery in the presentation I think the group work went a little off track of the topic but it was very enjoyable.
  • It was good and creative. This type of group activity will draw the interest of the participants.
  • The topic for today was something that would generally be overlooked, despite its usefulness in a daily basis.
  • It was fruitful and creative learning. Both the presenters were well qualified.
  • It was very participatory and interesting. Such seminars should regularly be conducted in the future.
  • Today’s seminar was highly entertaining and participatory. The ideas presented were creative and useful.

Some interesting topics were also recommended by participants for future Idea Interchange Seminars, which will be considered while organizing such seminars in the future.