Listen to your audience

People attending any kind of discussion forum generally want to either learn more about the subject, express their opinion, or both. Effective communicators make it a point to find out what their audience wants to know and are prepared to pro vide that information. They give people an opportunity to speak without being judged and pay attention to what is said. Experts in conflict management stress that making the effort to hear someone's concerns and showing that they have been heard and understood are critical to ensuring that an issue is resolved.

Biotechnology can stir up strong feelings in many people, even though they themselves may not be able to pinpoint the root cause. When commenting on a given subject, they may start out calmly but become increasingly angry or accusatory as they address more and more issues. In these difficult situations, it is worth remembering that the speaker is not really looking for immediate solutions, but needs to feel that his/her concerns are being heard.

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