As stated in our previous post What is Culture and How Does It Impact Presenting? culture impacts everything we do, and giving a presentation is no exception. People from different cultures have varying expectations and preferences for both HOW a presentation is given and WHAT is presented.
In this post, I’m going to discuss a second cultural preference that impacts the WHAT. It has to do with the degree to which members of culture need or like to be sold a product or service (think “hard sell”) or not. This cultural difference is referred to as Product Focus vs. Market Focus.
Let’s start with Product Focus. Some cultures believe that if a product is of sufficient qua
As stated in our previous post, What is culture and how does it impact presenting? culture impacts everything we do, and giving a presentation is no exception. People from different cultures have varying expectations and preferences for both HOW a presentation is given and WHAT is presented.
In this post, I’m going to discuss a cultural preference that impacts the WHAT. It has to do with whether the speaker should focus on the problem to be solved or the solution to the problem.
Some cultures require a thorough analysis of the problem before a solution is mentioned. I’ll call these Analytic cultures.In Analytic cultures, audience members want to:
In the first post on this topic, Low-Context communication was defined as:
High-Context Communication was defined as:
The High- Low-Context Continuum
Now let’s have a look at where the cultures fall on the High- Low-Context Continuum. I have chosen to approximate the continuum from Erin Meyer’s book The Culture Map (1). You can access an infographic if the continuum here...
Finding Your Position on the Continuum
“High/Low Context Communication” is the Dimension of Culture that describes how communication styles differ across cultures. The terms were introduced by American Anthropologist Edward T. Hall in his 1976 book Beyond Culture. Hall coined these terms after his experience of accompanying a group of American diplomats to Japan in the 1950s as an observer.
Defining the Terms
Low-Context Communication refers to a communication style in which most of the information that is transmitted is contained in the explicit code, i.e. words. For a message to be accessible to another person or people, it must be verbalized. In the Low-Context communication style, there is minimal dependence on non-verbal or symbolic communication when communica
Culture impacts everything we do, from thinking to speaking to learning to driving. It determines the language we speak, the food we eat, the materials we use to construct our homes, to the clothing we wear. Culture has been described as the water we swim in, and until we have an experience that takes us out of that aquarium, we literally don’t know that our way of living or thinking or speaking is different from anyone else’s.
How are cultures formed? A culture is formed by a particular group of people living in a particular place at a particular point in time. Some of the key drivers of the formation of culture are demography (who is there), geography (environment, climate, and resources), and history (what happened to that group of people at that time).
In order to compare how things are done in different Cultures, we need vocabulary, a way of talking about something that is quite intangible. Throughout the years, various scholars have developed models that are used to describe Cultural Differences.
They all utilize horizontal scales with terms that describe a particular value system at each end. These scales are called Dimensions of Culture. An example of one Dimension is Task vs. Relationship.