Professor Ray Hull co-authors ‘The Art of Communication’

Wichita State Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor Ray Hull has co-authored a new book, “The Art of Communication,” with New York Times best-selling author Jim Stovall.

The “Art of Communication” is the first book in the new personal development series, “Your Ultimate Guide,” intended to help readers gain business success through effective communication. The second book, “The Art of Presentation,” is scheduled to be released later this year. Four more books will follow, each focusing on a different area of communication.

Hull and Stovall are longtime friends and colleagues, and their unique accomplishments and personal experiences make them experts in the complex field of communication.

Ray HullPlagued by stuttering as a child, Hull grew up unable to say his name or answer the telephone. The one thing that kept him going was the realization that he did not stutter while singing a song or talking to the animals on the family farm. He set out to “cure” himself by intentionally placing himself into situations that required talking. He tried out for high school plays, enrolled in speech classes, became a radio disc jockey and signed up for intercollegiate oratory competitions.

Although he encountered some setbacks, he eventually got to the point of fluency and won the Kansas State Intercollegiate Men’s Oratory Competition. Today Hull is a sought after speaker on the topic of the art and impact of communication in your personal and professional life. He is also involved with theater and professional radio and television production. He has authored 13 books, with more in the works.

Jim Stovall

In spite of being completely blind for over 25 years, Stovall has led a remarkable life as an author, athlete, investment broker and entrepreneur. He has also been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, as well as the author of 30 books, including “The Ultimate Gift” and “The Ultimate Life,” which have been made into motion pictures.

Hull and Stovall were able to overcome their challenges to become successful in their fields. They are both acclaimed authors and speakers, making hundreds of public appearances at speaking engagements and workshops worldwide. By combining facts and revealing stories, “The Art of Communication” is able to help others understand how to improve their communication and therefore their lives.

“The biggest misconception people have about communication is they think they know how to do it,” said Hull.

He says one of the most common mistakes people make is not being aware of the speed at which they are speaking.

“When a person is speaking too quickly, the listener’s central nervous system cannot process and comprehend the speech rapidly enough for their words to be understood,” said Hull. “Speed equals lack of precision.”

This is especially true with children. Depending on their age, studies show a child’s central nervous system can process speech with reasonable accuracy when words are spoken at a rate of approximately 124 to 140 words per minute. The problem is, the typical adult rate of speaking is 160 to 180 words per minute. Many teachers and parents unknowingly speak too quickly to children, and then complain that they aren't listening.

“There is a good reason why children have long been fascinated by Mr. Rogers of ‘Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood’,” said Hull. “Fred Rogers spoke at a rate of around 124 words per minute on his television show, and he may have been one of the only adults young children could understand without difficulty.”

The book also addresses other important aspects of interpersonal communication such as written words, non verbal communication, active listening, public speaking and conflict resolution.

The “Art of Communication” will be released in May 2016 and be available for purchase online and at bookstores around the country. In addition to the printed version, it will also be available as a digital audio book and e-book. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

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