Thursday, February 22, 2007

What is in a word?


Yesterday the post was about listening, today it's about spoken words. Words are the bridge between peoples’ minds and bring people together. Words are so important as a means of communicating thoughts, which otherwise may remain trapped inside the imagination. Below 7 helpful communication tools are considered:


1) Communication is very often over-formalised, yet the views are often easier to remember if the human element to the story is added.
2) When putting a point it’s often helpful to tell a story; people are more likely to remember a story as opposed to a collection of random points.
3) It is important that whatever view point is suggested it is accurate.
4) Simplicity and clarity are essential to reflect the strength of the arguments. Issues, however complicated should not appear so, if at all possible.
5) The general rule is that if in any doubt veer on the side of being concise rather than lengthy. Consider the power of the short phrase which was offered by President Kennedy in his Inaugural Address: "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
6) Metaphors are powerful language tools. Consider Winston Churchill's "The nation had the lion's heart. I had the luck to give the roar"
7) Just as the use of the imagined image in the metaphor is useful, so is the physical image of a visual aid which can sometimes be used to facilitate .

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good suggestions. Like the quotes.

ceeque said...

I have a major problem in trying to explain things in words in that I cannot seem to keep it concise enough, I keep wanting to go and add "bits" in to explain something more fully....mind you, seemed to do it just fine here!!! :-)

simon said...

Once again!

AS an auctioneer I was taught if you want to be a faster, free flowing auctioneer, learn to say less.. be concise. Your voice will last longer, you will have more stamina, and people will be less confused... My teacher was right 100%

Maalie said...

You should be a lecturer, Michelle!

Word Imp said...

I do the illustrating my point with a story thing, but then it turns into lengthy instead of concise. However, I am at least beginning to recognise the signs of being lengthy (like now) and learning to just stop.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Ceeque - I think you underestimate your ability with words.
Simon - Sounds like you are a great auctioneer, listening and free flowing words...I like the extra points you have added. Thanks.
Maalie - That is very kind of you.
Word imp - thanks for the comment.
Once again, I am always delighted to get copmments, so many thanks to you all.
Michelle

Anonymous said...

your blog is wonderful again!!

Ian Lidster said...

When called upon to speak (which happens periodically) and certainly in my professional writing, I always try to follow the KISS acronym (keep it simple, stupid) and it generally works for me. One of the problems with speaking is that we don't really hear our own utterances so it's difficult to judge.
As always, a thought-provoking one, Michelle.

Ian

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks as always Ian. Michelle

Peter Smallbone said...

One of the other things my fellow Conservative Churchill was known for was using Anglo-Saxon rather than Romance words. These usually have more force in English.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks for that Peter - interesting point about Churchill - I wonder if it makes a difference if the speaker is male or female. Michelle

David Anthony said...

I've just discovered your site ... It's quickly become essential daily reading.

Concise enough? :)

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks David - both concise and witty. Thanks kindly for the comment. Michelle

SeaSpray said...

Brevity with words not my strong suit. Even with medical questions this past year - I went with the "War and Peace" version instead of the key concerns. Although, in that case, I think I was really avoiding and doing so until recently.

Never too late too learn and I know i am going to gain great insights with your terrific blog.

Thanks Dr. Michelle :)

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

seaspray - you are so kind. Many thanks for your comments. All the very best. Michelle