Communication, Communication Consultant, Communication Tips

What Messages Am I Sending? Inspiring Teenagers to communicate with clarity.

what messages am I sending_







In late 2016, I spoke to a group of teenagers during a Flourish Mentorship programme session under the theme “What Messages Am I sending?” During this presentation I sought to highlight several aspects of communication in a ‘teen friendly way’.  In addition to firstly defining Communication, I broke down the key messages around major concepts related to:

  • What we Say versus What we MEAN
  • HOW we say what we say and how others INTERPRET it
  • Non verbal communication/BODY LANGUAGE
  • Speech APPROPRIATENESS-friends versus adults versus officials
  • How we communicate via SOCIAL MEDIA and effects on language Development

In keeping the presentation engaging for my teenaged audience (13-19 years), I crafted an acronym to help them remember the key points:

  • Manner
  • Expressions
  • Sound
  • Say
  • Audience
  • General Appearance
  • Expectation
  • Social Media

The full presentation can be viewed via my slideshare uploads 


what messages am I sending_


Shanoy Coombs is a Development Communication Consultant in the Latin America and Caribbean region.  Are you Social? Connect with Shanoy  on twitter via @InspiraShan and learn more about her work via the projects page.

Communication, Communication Tips, Uncategorized

Tis the season’ and some communication lessons

I love the Christmas season for more reasons than one! Commercialization aside, this festive period  is indeed the most wonderful time of the year for persons like me who are big on family.   Importantly too, the Christmas season remains special because it is a time when I get to utilize one of my favourite medium of communication most- Face to Face!

You see with the evolution of Communication, the medium have become wide and varied to include:

  • Face to Face communication
  • Two way remote communication (Cell phone calls and texts, video calls)
  • Written Communication (Letters, Emails, sms)
  • Social Media Communication (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In et al)
  • Electronic Communication (Radio, Television)

    and even magazines and billboards-Cue Drake sending Rihanna a Congrats message via Billboard) .  Truthfully, these varied media do have a place and numerous functions, yet especially at Christmas nothing beats more personal forms of communication for me.

While I basked in the glory of some quality time over the holidays, it got me thinking about some important communication lessons especially during this time of the year: Continue reading “Tis the season’ and some communication lessons”


Re-discovering for collating themed news

I have long known of but recently reacquainted myself with the platform.  This time I decided to focus on topical issues that were more in line with my career interests of Development Communication / C4D and other advances in the Media and communication arena.

If you are not in the know,, A snippet from their official website reads:

The platform. Unparalleled power. gives you access to an ever-expanding universe of articles, blog posts, and rich media content. We automatically process more than 250 million social media posts each day, extracting & analyzing over 25 million articles. Only lets you tap into this powerful media flow to find exactly what you need, and publish it easily on the web and in social media.

As I am still navigating the platform, I have opted to utilize the free version and have started collecting articles that stood out to me thus far.  You can have a look at my collection to date and it does help that it has a cute yet professional title-The Shanoy Coombs daily! I love it! (P.S. I have since updated the title to the Communication in Motion Daily)

Are you into development communication? Have a look at some of my stories.  Also be sure to share some of your favourite finds to date, I’d be happy to share some of the most impactful ones via my paper-The Shanoy Coombs daily (renamed the Communication in Motion Daily!)


Shanoy Coombs is a Development Communication Consultant in the Latin America and Caribbean region.  Are you Social? Connect with Shanoy  on twitter via @InspiraShan and learn more about her work via the projects page.


What is Communication?

As a wide-eyed, eager beaver entering the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) a decade ago, one of the very first topics on our course notes was the definition for the term Communication. Having been exposed to several such definitions, one has particularly stood out to me, been tested and found solid over all these years-that coined by the late great, Professor Aggrey Brown.  As one of the revered lecturers at the region’s premier media and Communication Institute, I expected no less from the man who has etched his mark on the region’s communication landscape.

Amazingly, if you ask any CARIMAC graduate to define Communication, naturally Prof Brown’s definition will likely be quoted word for word and it reads thus:

“Communication is the the interactive transference of shared meanings between intelligences”

In true prof Brown fashion, he later broke out the key terms as follows:

  • Interactive : Interactive indicates that the Communication process is not one dimensional, static or one sided. It notes that it requires a process of sending and receiving and opportunities for feedback.
  • Transference: Transference refers to how a message is sent and taps into the medium and effectiveness of those media.
  • Shared meanings: Shared meanings denotes that both sides of the communication process have some ‘common ground’ be it a shared language, shared colloquial terms, shared understanding of cultural context and non verbal cues.
  • between Intelligences: The term between begs to be noticed as it further reinforces the point of communication not being a one sided process. Intelligences as well ties into the shared meaning breakout as outlined above.  It suggests that there needs to be some capacity to acquire and apply knowledge as well as the capacity for interaction.

Well ahead of its time, Prof’s Brown’s definition for Communication sought out to remind us all that for communication to be successful it had to include both sender and receiver, utilizing a medium/ mediums with shared cues or codes which would improve the likelihood of the message being received and understood.

At the broader level, other definitions of communication include:

  1. Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaningBusiness Dictionary
  2. A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior- Miriam Webster

Notably, there is a huge difference between Communication and Communication(S) Simply, CommunicationS is a system for transmitting or exchanging information – such as computers, telephones, radio and television while Communication involves individuals exchanging information or messages through shared symbols, behaviours or signs.  The CommunicationS Practitioner is therefore more likely to be your cable guy or your telephone technician while the Communication Practitioner is more likely to be your Public Relations, Public Education, Advocacy or Knowledge Management Professional.

To better understand Communication, several practitioners illustrate same as a 8 step process as outlined below

Image via Yana Zelenskaya on LinkedIn

BusinessCommunication.Com also provides a noteworthy breakout in a post titled Steps of Communication Process.

I’ve often gone through the rounds of doing this breakout for varied groupings and the very next question is always “So What does a Communication Professional do?” As this is asked so frequently, I’ll may just do a post in short order highlighting this area.

Know of other meaningful definitions for Communication? Share them with us below.



Shanoy Coombs is a Development Communication Consultant in the Latin America and Caribbean region.  Are you Social? Connect with Shanoy  on twitter via @InspiraShan and learn more about her work via the projects page.

C4D, Communication, Communication for Development

Communication for Development: The Food and Agriculture Way

A few years ago in 2013, I joined a group of Communication for Development Professionals within the United Nations’system for what was dubbed a Communication for Development (C4D) roundtable. During this presentation, C4D Professionals made diverse presentations highlighting how C4D had been applied to development interventions in their respective agencies. As the communication Consultant for the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize, the following presentation was made in line with Jamaica specific C4D interventions for the period under review.

Have you been utilizing Communication for Development? Share some of your C4D successes via comment below.

Shanoy Coombs is a Development Communication Consultant in the Latin America and Caribbean region.  Are you Social? Connect with Shanoy  on twitter via @InspiraShan and learn more about her work via the projects page.

C4D, Communication, Communication for Development

The Communication Initiative Network: Where C4D ers connect

I smile as I remember when I inquired about varied portals for Development Communication from a colleague. With a few options, I went researching and settled on the Communication Initiative (CI) network as one of the places that had all the relevant resources, opportunities to network and persons who were serious about the role they played in effecting change globally via Communication.

I was impressed too that the network offered opportunities to view global content as well as content filtered by region including Latin America and Africa.  The CI also serves as a useful hub for identifying job opportunities, training sessions, conferences, meetings, Requests for Proposals and even avenues for collaboration. There is also an extensive segment with support materials, research publications and academic content related to change theories and Planning Models.

The blogs section also keeps a running log of content related to challenges and opportunities as well as outcomes from C4D /Behaviour change interventions.

In a phrase, the Communication Initiative lists its mission as:

To convene the communication and media development, social and behavioural change community for more effective local, national, and international development action

In the event you are interested in connecting with professionals in the Communication and Media Development Arena, be sure to head on over to the Communications Initiative Network Website and it doesn’t hurt to say you were sent via

Are you a member of other professional communication networks? Share with us.  We are super social and always seeking out like minded professionals.

Shanoy Coombs is a Development Communication Consultant in the Latin America and Caribbean region.  Are you Social? Connect with Shanoy  on twitter via @InspiraShan and learn more about her work via the projects page.