Navigating the four “Ds” of communication: how to kick-start virtual engagement

Navigating the four “Ds” of communication: how to kick-start virtual engagement

Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.  

Cory Doctorow

Your virtual platform is an engagement tool. A tool that enables communication to happen in a digital environment and online. And because we are experts in communication, we know that good communication is reliant on good conversation. A two-way (and many-way) exchange of information between interested parties.

So we’ve designed a platform that doesn’t just enable conversations, it starts them. 

Conversations online are harder than those you have face-to-face. With fewer visual clues, conversation become more, well, exacting. And can make people feel uncomfortable. Conversations can become one-way, led by the more digitally confident and not the more digitally challenged among us. 

But what makes conversation good? We know that there are four types of conversation. Debate, dialogue, discourse and diatribe. You’ll recognise the first three as good conversation. The fourth as less good and only useful in certain settings and almost never online. 

We’ve spent this past twelve months, working with clients to develop a virtual platform that doesn’t just host conversations, it starts them. 

We’ve developed tools that allow attendees to flag areas of expertise and interest. Tools that allow attendees to talk about themselves and their areas of professional interest and concern. And tools that match attendees to others with similar interests. 

We’ve developed tools that allow conversations to start. Tools to keep those conversations engaging. And tools that extract the “thread” of those conversations and keep them going. 

We know that the best face-to-face meetings are the ones where you meet someone new; learn something new; expand your professional network. By designing conversations that encourage debate, dialogue, discourse but never diatribe, we believe that good conversations - albeit online -will continue until we can pick them up again, face-to-face, when we can meet again.    

Debate is a competitive, a two-way conversation. Dialogue is cooperative, a two-way or multi-way conversation. Discourse is a cooperative, a one-way conversation but information and knowledge is shared and feedback is often actively solicited. But diatribe is a competitive, one-way conversation. It has no place on your platform or in your virtual event.  

Happy Birthday Virt-US Live.  And thanks for keeping the conversations flowing.

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