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.

See also:  Why Writing Can Be A Spiritual Discipline

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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