When you think about it, everything revolves around how we greet others at the outset and at the conclusion. It actually comes down to two words–we’re either saying hello and goodbye or hi and bye.  So much is behind these short phrases that it’s easy to take them for granted.  Here’s what I mean:

When we first acknowledge someone (hello/hi) we are:

1. being introduced or introducing ourselves

2. welcoming another person

3. initiating a phone call

4. leaving a voicemail

5. starting a conversation

6.  opening our presentation or meeting

7. sending electronic communication

When we conclude our interaction (goodbye/bye) we are:

1. ending an in-person conversation

2. concluding a phone or conference call

3. completing a voicemail

4. closing our presentation

5. wrapping up an email

6. departing from an interaction or meeting

7. paying our last respects to an individual

The reason this topic comes to mind as being so poignant is that this week I was asked by one of my clients to write a eulogy for the loss of a family member.  As I diligently worked on this meaningful request, it occurred to me that it’s a form of public speaking.  This meant that in many respects it’s a way of communicating with another person.  In this case, it was sharing memories and meaningful stories of the past.  To me, that’s what speaking is all about.  It really comes down to those two small words (hello/goodbye or hi/bye).