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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

5 Keys to Communicating Nutrition

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

letters spelling the word awesome hanging from a clothesline

When describing your communication skills, which adjective would you prefer: Average? Mediocre? Adequate? Or Awesome?

It’s time for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to become not only nutrition experts but also experts at communicating nutrition. Without proficiency in communication, the RDN’s expertise stays hidden and can’t make a difference. Expertise communicated well changes lives.

How can an RDN build their communication skills?

How can an RDN build their communication skills? By building their knowledge and putting it into practice. Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide equips current and future nutrition professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to communicate the science of food and nutrition with excellence and confidence.

This tip series shares 5 key principles from the book. The communicator that puts them into practice will revolutionize their messaging and take it from average to amazing! For more, download Taste of Communicating Nutrition (click on "Get a taste of the book"):

5 Keys to communication nutrition:

Key #1: Communication is a relational activity.

Communication is much more than simply sending messages. It involves a relationship between communicator and audience. It requires knowing the audience and meeting their needs. Only when the communicator effectively connects with the audience are they able to truly communicate and achieve the desired outcomes.

Key #2: Context is essential when communicating evidence.

For an audience to understand the underlying science behind a message they must understand it and be able to relate it to their experience. Communicate using language, illustrations, and examples that fit the audience. Begin at the audience’s current level of knowledge and base your explanation on their frame of reference.

Key #3: Design communication with the target audience.

Communicators who assess their target audiences’ needs and involve audiences in designing messages to meet those needs will effectively reach their desired outcomes – desired outcomes that the communicator and audience determine together. When involvement of the audience occurs throughout the design process it has the greatest impact.

Key #4: Engage audiences employing a variety of strategies.

There is no one best way to deliver a message or engage an audience. People receive and retain messages most effectively when they are delivered using multiple methods: words, pictures, videos, graphics, stories, and more. Involve audiences with pre-assessments, ice-breakers, questions, polls, reflections, activities, games, and post-assessments. Create active participants.

Key #5: Communicate professionalism… always.

The manner in which we conduct ourselves demonstrates professionalism, or the lack thereof. To be considered credible it is essential to convey professionalism in our writing and speaking, our attitude, and how we present ourselves. A professional demonstrates respect toward themselves and others. Strive for excellence and convey professionalism in all communication.

Which key do you need to work on most?

Ready to level up your nutrition communication knowledge and skill?

For a downloadable copy of this tip sheet, go to:

Take the next step to go from average to awesome. Learn more about the book here:

Be awesome! Your audiences are waiting.

“Communication works for those who work at it.” ~ John Powell

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