You’ve all heard that famous question: if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?
Let’s change that question: if you are telling a story, but nobody can hear you, are you still communicating?
I was considering this second question during Rosh Hashana services this week. The synagogue I was attending does not have microphones, and the rabbi there is not good at projecting his voice. As he was giving his sermon, I was having a hard time hearing what he was saying. I am sure the further back in the synagogue that people were sitting, the less they could hear.
If you couldn’t hear the rabbi, then you would not know what he said, and therefore, it was like he never gave a sermon at all. So, was this rabbi communicating? In short, he wasn’t.
In essence, communication is the exchange of information. If you can’t hear the information being shared, then you do not know what that information is, therefore information is not being exchanged.
The rabbi may have had some greats insights or inspirational messages to share, but if nobody heard them, then he failed to enlighten or inspire his congregation.
Make sure they can hear
The takeaway from my Rosh Hashana experience is simple: It’s not enough to have good information to share, you have to make sure your intended audience can receive that information.