The hows and whys of communication

Sometimes I start writing these blog entries with no actual idea what I’m going to write about… I find it makes for an interesting writing experience – that’s not necessarily duplicated for the reader. Today I thought I’d share a little bit about “the writing process” – or at least, my writing process. This was a decision I made just then. And by just then I mean half way through writing the sentence “Today I thought I’d share…” I decided I’d write about the writing process. I often wonder how other people frame their thoughts – I frame mine as written text – or at least, as text that I would then be able to reproduce in written form. Sometimes as I’m framing these thoughts I rewrite them – but once they’re down on paper I find it very hard to express them in any other manner – this makes me a terrible editor of my own work (except for spelling or grammatical errors – then it’s only pride that gets in the way). There are a number of “stream of consciousness” artists out there – Darren Hanlon, The Streets and others who simply record their thoughts about a particular issue – I would define myself as a stream of consciousness writer – what you see and read is what I think. And how I think. I would say I have a fairly fluent internal monologue which means I’m able to get my thoughts onto paper in written form fairly quickly. I’ve explored the topic of how I think before – this is the applied version – so it’s not completely unoriginal. I’ve been told by some people that they think in numbers and others that they think in images. I think thinking about how people think is essential for good communication – be it in the media, in politics, in teaching or preaching – any communication needs to be focused at the audience at hand – this means a publication for a mixed readership will need to use different language to a specialised niche magazine – this may be obvious, but I think a lot of communicators have missed the point. Based on recent speeches and media interviews I’d say the left is cottoning on to the necessity of clear communication much faster than the right – K-Rudd , Paul Keating, and Barack Obama in the US have all put in sterling communication performances – they all have the ability to articulate a point without resorting to jargon. Since taking on the leadership K-Rudd has demonstrated an improvement in this area – check out this extract from an interview in 2002…

“We are not even to the first stage of UN Security Council resolution setting a deadline for the readmission of inspectors let alone a subsequent resolution, which would then make a determination about whether free and unfettered access had been given.And, furthermore, that article 42 of the council, collective action by the council, would have to be exhausted as well.”

Or this one from 2005:

“In the case of Annette Hurley, the person who has come into the Parliament from South Australia has enormous experience in the South Australian Parliament before coming to Canberra. It’s not as if this person arrives as some sort of neophyte with no experience at all.”

Rudd has to work hard not to isolate the electorate with his prim and proper vocab and it looks like his image consultants are working overtime.

The Coalition have had a few stumbles in the campaign to date with John Howard a notably dismal performer – their star has always been Peter Costello – a few viewings of parliamentary question time will demonstrate his capabilities as an orator – this interview is a classic example of his ability to simplify the complex – and his ability to retort and riposte in the face of the most vitriolic barbs.

At the end of the day – as Benny so clearly points out – while how you say things is important – it’s what you say that really counts…

“I dont like the way Rudd talks. I watch him on umm whats that abc show on at night at 10:30ish…Lateline? But yeh I dont like the way he talks at all. I have grown to hate the word “folly”. To me, yeh he talks smart and proper and all (i meant to sound hicklike then), but to me he almost seems to do it without conviction. To me he still hasnt reached far enough with setting and talking about policy.”

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

2 thoughts on “The hows and whys of communication”

  1. i’ve met the perfect girl, she’s hot and she’s a young liberal. she and i both think, k-rudd sucks!

  2. Peter Costello is a LEGEND! I Hope he becomes the longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia. Even longer than Menzies! Here’s to another 20 years of Good Strong Liberal Government!

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