writing

Image from Caleb Roenigk (Flickr)

Last June 30, the new Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines; Rodri­go Roa Duterte took an oath at the Mala­canang Palace. I have wit­nessed his very short and clear inau­gur­al speech that moved mil­lions of Fil­ipinos to hope again on the gov­ern­ment. Salute to this man as he knows what real­ly lead­er­ship is, a man of his words, and a man of action.

Did you know that there were no crimes have been record­ed dur­ing that day? I think that’s one of the chill­ing effects of this new admin­is­tra­tion. When cit­i­zens have the fear and respect for the gov­ern­ment and decid­ed to be part of the solu­tion rather than part of the prob­lem, every­thing will be easy.

Today, I would like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned from our President’s speech and will try also to include what I have learned also from Toast­mas­ters regard­ing effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

David Ogilvy once said; “Peo­ple who think well, write well”.

Effec­tive writ­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is not a nat­ur­al gift or tal­ent, it is a skill that any­one can learn and can be mas­tered through­out the process.

Here are some of the rules I’ve learned so far the way he deliv­ered his speech:

1. Read a lot of books. Read books on good writ­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Read your favorite book three times.

Read­ers are lead­ers and so lead­ers are read­ers. Most of the great­est man we’ve known that brought change to the world, are known to be good read­ers and writ­ers. They can com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly whether to a live audi­ence or read­ers because they read good books.

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In toast­mas­ters, I have to read good books dai­ly so that I can share more sto­ries to my audi­ence and gain some insights and lessons from them. I also lis­ten to pod­casts or TED Talks dur­ing my free time.

I think Duterte is also a read­er because most of the peo­ple known him, usu­al­ly called him a mas­ter tac­ti­cian. He knows the cry of the peo­ple, he knows the prob­lem and true enough he used that weapon to aid his cam­paign that even ordi­nary peo­ple joined him vol­un­tar­i­ly. He didn’t pay this them to cam­paign for him, rather, the peo­ple vol­un­tar­i­ly spend some of their cash for his cam­paign.

2. Write the way you talk or should talk and say it nat­u­ral­ly

When you talk or write, make it nat­ur­al. How? Make it very per­son­al because peo­ple will eas­i­ly notice it if you don’t speak nat­u­ral­ly and you just mem­o­rized it, you will only be a laugh­ing­stock for your crit­ics once you for­get your script.

But how can I speak nat­u­ral­ly if I don’t mem­o­rize it?

There are many meth­ods or out­lines you can use to aid your talk or your writ­ing. Here are two of the men­tal out­lines I’ve used when­ev­er I’m prepar­ing my speech­es:

PREP (Point — Rea­son — Exam­ple — Point)

This can be done by stat­ing your point, the rea­son for it, pro­vide some exam­ples to sup­port it, and go back to your point again to empha­size it.

SMG (Sto­ry — Mes­sage — Gain)

This can be done by shar­ing a sto­ry or an anec­dote, then your mes­sage and then the ben­e­fit the audi­ence can gain from your speech.

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There are so many men­tal out­lines you can use. But I usu­al­ly use those two and start or end with a quote relat­ed to the sub­ject mat­ter. Just talk about what you know, your expe­ri­ences, peo­ple will love it if they can relate to you. Don’t be some­one else, be your­self!

3. Nev­er use jar­gon words.

As a read­er and lis­ten­er, I often with­draw from a book or speech if I don’t under­stand it from my lev­el of under­stand­ing. Using ordi­nary words would help you a lot to com­mu­ni­cate.

4. Check your quo­ta­tions, improve the orig­i­nal or give empha­sis to the words.

I don’t think a writer would com­mit a sin if he or she tries to improve a quo­ta­tion from an author. Why not try it?. There are times I’m improv­ing some quo­ta­tions from oth­er known authors and give empha­sis on it. You bet­ter give it a shot.

5. Nev­er pub­lish it or use it on the day you write it, read aloud in the next morn­ing and then edit it or throw it away if you don’t like how it is.

One of the mis­takes I did was the time I pub­lished first copies of my book. I didn’t check fur­ther for typos and gram­mar laps­es, that result­ed from me to revised the whole book and check it with anoth­er edi­tor or proof­read­er. To avoid this, nev­er set­tle for good. Don’t com­pro­mise qual­i­ty for the sake of urgency.

Bot­tom­line is, if you want to com­mu­ni­cate clear­ly and effec­tive­ly, make it short, and direct to the point.

This post was inspired by an arti­cle from https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/02/07/david-ogilvy-on-writing/

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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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