Jack Whelan's Strategic Communications Site

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Seth Godin Clip

Terms You Should Know:

Synathroesmus: piling up of adjectives or other modifiers for hyperbolic, often comic effect. Example: That worthless, dirty, rotten, good-for-nothing, thieving, mother-loving SOB!

Catalogues: Lists of objects, events, or ideas that add specificity and vividness to your writing. Example: It was your typical downtown, fair-trade kind of coffee shop, with a dog chained out front, students inside chained to their laptops, and a long line of hipster types waiting for their coffee.

Triad: Any list of words of clauses with three elements in it. I came; I saw; I conquered.

 

***

David Brooks on the importance of soft skills in a future shaped by artificial intelligence:

In the age of smart machines, we’re not human because we have big brains. We’re human because we have social skills, emotional capacities and moral intuitions. I could paint two divergent A.I. futures, one deeply humanistic, and one soullessly utilitarian.

In the humanistic one, machines liberate us from mental drudgery so we can focus on higher and happier things. In this future, differences in innate I.Q. are less important. Everybody has Google on their phones so having a great memory or the ability to calculate with big numbers doesn’t help as much.

In this future, there is increasing emphasis on personal and moral faculties: being likable, industrious, trustworthy and affectionate. People are evaluated more on these traits, which supplement machine thinking, and not the rote ones that duplicate it.

Read the rest of the article if you want to know his ideas about the other soullessly utilitarian future.

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Clips used in Class 11

Highlight Reel

Omare Stoudamire Hypophora

Clooney confronts his brother-in-law-to-be

***

Quote of the Day Matt Taibbi on Sarah Palin's Use of Identity Strategy and dog-whistly language at GOP National Convention:

Before I have any chance of noticing it she’s moved beyond the speaking part of the program and is suddenly, effortlessly, deep into the signaling process, a place most politicians only reach with great effort, and clumsily, if at all. But Palin is the opposite of clumsy: she’s in the dog-whistle portion of the speech and doing triple lutzes and back-flips. She starts talking about her experience as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska:

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

The TV talking heads here will surely focus on the insult to Barack Obama and will miss the far more important part of this speech, the fact that Palin has moved from talking about small-town folks as They a few seconds ago to We now— We don’t know what to make of this, We prefer this. It doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to figure out who this We is. Certainly, to those listening, if you’re part of this We, you know. If you’re not part of it, as I’m not, you know even more. (From Griftopia, pp. 6-7)

***

Yes We Can. In class I excerpted a part of Obama's speech after his primary defeat in New Hampshire to provide an example of the use of the 'epistrophe'. This is one of Obama's best rhetorical moments.

Here's the original speech. You will also see that in other parts of the speechhe uses the yes-we-can repetition also as an 'anaphora'--beginning sentences and clauses. "Yes we can" is also what we might call a 'mantra'.

Here's the will.i.am version:

Compare with Clinton's conession speech last night in New Hampshire. (See below.) It's not a terrible speech, but it has no poetry. Clinton is trying to sell her formidable experience and competence--her ability to do a good job. That's very logos-y. And what have we learned about Logocentric arguments this quarter? There's some pathos in Clinton's rhetoric, but it feels, at least to me, to be forced. It's not who she is. She is someone who would make a very competent CEO, and people who think that's what a president should be are inclined to support her. Bernie Sanders's speeches don't have much poetry either, but they have a passion that is not at all forced, and he combines it with a Logos-y analysis that combines with pathos that creates a very powerful "mythos". He's truly angry about how the "establshment"--the colluson of pollitical and financial elites--has had such a destructive effect on American democracy. People who believe his story are inclined to support him.

Mythos comprises all the stories that we tell ourselves that give our lives meaning and purpose, a meaning and purpose that motivates action. Aristotle said that Logos gives us the facts, but mythos gives us the meaning. Mythos is the big story that a groups ethos is embedded in. Sanders has a story about how ordinary people have lost their country to a few very wealthy elites. He also is promoting a story about how ordinary Americans can take it back. Trump is telling a similar story, but in a more more a authoritarian, (i.e., less democratic) key. Trump's story is about making America great again. People who think that America is in decline as a world military and economic power are inclined to support him.

Clinton tries to argue in a logos-y way that Sanders's story is really a myth in the negative sense of the word, that it has no basis in reality, that he won't be able to deliver on his promises. Maybe she's right; maybe she's wrong, but people are far more excited about Sanders's message because he is a no b.s. believable messenger, and his message awakens the purpose motivation in a way that Clinton's messaging just does not. In that respect Sanders is more like Obama and is giving trouble to Clinton in the same way that Obama did in 2008.

Obama's message in 2008 was very similar to Sanders's message now in that he promised then to change the rules of the rigged game played in Washington. Many of Obama's supporters became disillusioned with his presidency because they came to believe that once elected Obama didn't even try to change the game. He accepted the rules of the rigged game and just did what he could to enact an agenda within the rules defined in a rigged system. He was logos-process oriented rather than pathos-purpose oriented. He did not govern the way he campaigned. I don't think that anybody who supports Sanders believes that if Sanders were elected that he wouldn't try to change the rules. He might try and fail, but he would try.

 

 

Terms You Should Know:

Anaphora: Repetitions in which the repeated word, phrase, or clause comes at the beginning. Example: "Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" T.S. Eliot [This quote also uses erotesis.]

Epistrophe: Repetitions in which the repeated word, phrase, or clause comes a the end. Example: "Where affections bear rule, their reason is subdued, honesty is subdued, good will is subdued, and all things else that withstand evil, for ever are subdued." — Thomas Wilson

Symploce: Repetitions in which the repeated word or phrase comes at both the beginning and the end: “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” Elie Wiesel [This quote also uses antithesis]

Another example: "There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem." Lyndon Johnson [This quote also uses antithesis in that in contrasts the first three items in the list with the last.]

Hypophora: Rhetorical question that both asks an answers the question. Example: "Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is.

Erotesis: For our purposes, a piling on of one rhetorical question after the other to create dramatic intensity. Example: See opening of Simon Sinek TED talk below.

***

Tuesday February 9, 2016

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle:

 

***

As background for the Gordon Gecko speech, I just came across this 2012 Stephen Colbert interview with Jennifer Burns, a Stanford history professor who wrote a biography of Ayn Rand entitled Goddess of the Market. I think you'll see why the Gecko speech comes out of what I described in class as the Ayn Rand playbook:

 

Terms You Should Know:

Anaphora: Repetitions in which the repeated word, phrase, or clause comes at the beginning. Example: "Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" T.S. Eliot [This quote also uses erotesis.]

Epistrophe: Repetitions in which the repeated word, phrase, or clause comes a the end. Example: "Where affections bear rule, their reason is subdued, honesty is subdued, good will is subdued, and all things else that withstand evil, for ever are subdued." — Thomas Wilson

Symploce: Repetitions in which the repeated word or phrase comes at both the beginning and the end: “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” Elie Wiesel [This quote also uses antithesis]

Another example: "There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem." Lyndon Johnson [This quote also uses antithesis in that in contrasts the first three items in the list with the last.]

Hypophora: Rhetorical question that both asks an answers the question. Example: "Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is.

Erotesis: For our purposes, a piling on of one rhetorical question after the other to create dramatic intensity. Example: See opening of Simon Sinek TED talk above.

***

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

David Rose in a TED talk on pitching to venture capitalists like him. The whole thing is worth watching, but you can start at the five- minute mark if you want to save some time (h/t Billy Rex):

 

Interesting Article: "On Wall Street, A Culture of Greed Won't Let Go", NYT--7/15/13. Key paragraph:

Virtually every top M.B.A. program in the country now teaches ethics classes, many of them required. In 2008, a coalition of students started the MBA Oath, a voluntary pledge among students to “create value responsibly and ethically.” So far, more than 6,000 students have signed the pledge.

And yet, the report and other anecdotal evidence suggest that whatever is being done both in the classroom and on the job is not enough. According to a controversial study called “Economics Education and Greed” that was published in 2011 by professors at Harvard and Northwestern, an education in economics surprisingly may be making the problem worse.

“The results show that economics education is consistently associated with positive attitudes towards greed,” the authors wrote. “The uncontested dominance of self-interest maximization as the primary (if not sole) logic of exchange, in business schools and corporate settings alike, may lead people to be more tolerant of what other people see as morally reprehensible.”

***

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In today's New York Times: More on Sarah Palin's syntax. The NY Times' reporter should read Heinrich to understand better the logic of the identity strategy--then it all begins to make sense.

***

Before Twitter

ghgh2

 

More verbal incoherence from politicians. Start at around the 4 minute mark:

 

Clips used in Class 9:

Jason Streeet sells Joe a truck.

Gordon Gecko Greed Speech

Bush as genius of the "identity strategy":

 

***

Here's the link to the Alec Baldwin AIDA speech form Glengarry Glenross

***

Remote Area Medical is not the Dr. O'Mara model for delivering healthcare to people who can't afford it, but it gives you an idea why something like it is needed, and not just in southern Georgia. From Sixty Minutes.

Here's another link with information about Remote Area Medical.

***

Quote of the Day: Joel Garfinkle

Two studies conducted by Cameron Anderson and Gavin J. Kilduff in 2009 found that people who speak up and act dominant will be perceived as competent even if they aren’t. They merely appear so because they believe so completely in their own competence. So what does this teach us? Speak up. Speak first. Speak often. Stop overthinking and delaying what you want to say. Stop being fearful; instead, trust in yourself. Have confidence in your knowledge. Focus more on what you know and less on what others think. Identify two different situations in which you decide to speak up and speak often. You might have to leave your comfort zone, but do it. You’ll be heard and seen as competent, and you’ll notice others’ perceptions of you starting to shift favorably as you contribute more often.

***

Terms you should know:

Political Correctness: Mainly, rules of behavior and speech--i.e., an etiquette--designed to minimize offense between groups with different values and worldviews that live side by side in a pluralistic society. Political correctness rules are generally resented by groups that feel they should be playing a dominant role in the society and that others should adopt their prescribed attitudes and behaviors, and resent giving equal status to groups they consider outsiders. There is some room for disagreement where to draw the line between legitimate frank speech and speech that is obsessively overconstrained for fear of giving the least offense. Common sense and common decency should govern what is appropirate, but often does not.

Rhetorical Frame: It's the dominant ideas, values or emotional framework within which a persuasive message is presented. A logos frame appeals to facts, analytical prowess, competency, practicality, getting things done. An ethos frame appeals to the speaker's power, credibilitiy, likability, charisma, attractiveness, humor, good guyness, which can often trump a logos frame. Pathos frames work with the desires and fears of the audience. Ryan uses a pathos frame for Bob in the Up in the Air clip when he reframes Bob's pity party as an opportunity to do what he's always wanted to do, and as a more effective way to win the respect of his children.

Identity Strategy: Deployed when goal is to win over your audience by using ethos-centric rhetorical techniques designed to show the audience that you are one of them, that you can be trusted, that your values align wih their values. It uses tribal language, code grooming (shibboleths, dog whistle language, etc.)

Denotation & Connotation. Denotaton is the dictionary definition of a word; connotation are the ideas and feelings that are associated with a word. 'Fortuitous' denotes by chance or accident, but it connotes good fortune. Don't use a word to convey its denotative meaning if it's likely to be understood by its connotative meaning.

Code Grooming: Using language that has special resonance or meaning with your audience that it would not have for people outside who don't "get it". It's a tactic for deploying the identity strategy.

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Think of each as successive stages moving your audience from resistance to compliance. These steps are the basic logic of most persuasive written messaging, and are implied in much face-to-face persuasive messaging as well.

Motivating Problem: What you seek to establish in the Interest phase of AIDA. It's about focusing audience awareness of a problem they may only be dimly aware of or feel is not worth paying attention to. The goal is to fan a low-heat problem into a high-heat problem so as to make audience so uncomfortable that they are desperate for a solution.

Primary Benefit: Part of the Desire phase of AIDA. It's whatever it takes to prove to your audience that your solution solves the motivating problem.

Secondary Benefit: A sweetener that adds inessential value. When deciding between two vacuum cleaners for the same price that do an equally good job of solving the motivating problem, you might decide on the basis of secondary benefits, perhaps one has an attachment that adds value the other does not.

 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Here's Susan Cain's TED talk:

 

***

Clips used in Class 8

Warning label on cheese

Susan Cain Podcast: Introvert Power

 

Check out this article about "extraverts"--clearly from the intraverted POV.

***

Interesting article here on 'body language'. Learn how to read other people's body language, and to control what you communicate with your own.

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Terms you should be familiar with:

Ambivert: Introverts who can work effectively in groups and extroverts who can work alone.

Irony: Saying something but meaning the opposite. Sarcasm, understatement (said of an amputated limb: it's just a scratch), hyperbole (said of a scratch: OMG--it's a festering pustule of gangrenous infection!)

Reductio ad absurdum: To make opponent's position or argument look ridiculous by comparing it to something similar that is obviously ridiculous. If it's ridiculous to put a skull & crossbones on cheddar cheese, then it's equally ridiculous to put it on a pack of cigarettes.

***

Dramatic News from Washington:

WASHINGTON—Faced with ongoing budget crises, underfunded schools nationwide are increasingly left with no option but to cut the past tense—a grammatical construction traditionally used to relate all actions, and states that have transpired at an earlier point in time—from their standard English and language arts programs.

A part of American school curricula for more than 200 years, the past tense was deemed by school administrators to be too expensive to keep in primary and secondary education.

"This was by no means an easy decision, but teaching our students how to conjugate verbs in a way that would allow them to describe events that have already occurred is a luxury that we can no longer afford," Phoenix-area high-school principal Sam Pennock said. "With our current budget, the past tense must unfortunately become a thing of the past."

...

Despite concerns that cutting the past-tense will prevent graduates from communicating effectively in the workplace, the home, the grocery store, church, and various other public spaces, a number of lawmakers, such as Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, have welcomed the cuts as proof that the American school system is taking a more forward-thinking approach to education.

"Our tax dollars should be spent preparing our children for the future, not for what has already happened," Hatch said at a recent press conference. "It's about time we stopped wasting everyone's time with who 'did' what or 'went' where. The past tense is, by definition, outdated."

Read on

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Terms You Should Know:

Hypophora: Ask a rhetoriical question, then answer it. "Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is.

Chiasmus: AB BA pattern that often creates a clever antithesis. "You can take boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.

Anadiplosis: AB BC CD, etc., usually with a punchline to sum it up. We saw a ridiculous example in the Animal House clip, but it can be used to make a more serious point, too:

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

They call for you: The general who became a slave; the slave who became a gladiator; the gladiator who defied an Emperor. Striking story." —Commodus, Gladiator (2000 film)

Here's another example:

 

 

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EQ Tip of the Day: Is the look that your are projecting to the world one that you have chosen, one that your mood created or one that you tend to lean on by default? What you project reflects how you feel, and it's up to you to understand it.

For instance, what you wear sends a pretty clear message about how you feel. Wearing old sweatpants and ratty T-shirts and having disheveled hair every day tells the world you've given up, while overdressing for every occasion and never missing your weekly haircut lets people know you are trying too hard.

When you meet new people are you aloof and cool, or are you overeager to please? Be aware of how your emotions affect your demeanor, and think about whether they are helping you or undermining you.

Clips used in Class 7:

Bluto and Leadership

Otter in court

Team Strategy

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

From today's NY Times:

Sarah Palin’s meandering, fiery, sarcastic, patriotic and blustery speech endorsing Donald J. Trump for president on Tuesday in Ames, Iowa, does not easily submit to categorization.

It has been described as performance art, a filibuster, even slam poetry. (Read more)

And then watch Colbert's send up of it. In Class 8 we will talk about the identity strategy and George Bush's use of it, but Sarah Palin is as good or better than Bush when it comes to its deployment.

Terms You Should Know:

Mantra: For our purposes a phrase or slogan that verbally identifies the "crux", the energy center of a group, a project, or a business. It uses language that is brief, unique, and memorable. "Fight for the inch", "Fast, healthy, food", "Democratize design". It achieves with maximum signal and minimum noise what a mission statement usually fails to do.

Conjunctive Adverb: Like coordinating conjuctions, they connect independent clauses. Typical conjunctive adverbs are however, nevertheless, moreover, therefore, and so on. Because they are followed by a comma, they need to be preceded by a semicolon when they introduce and independent clause that comes in the middle of a sentence.

Direct Informative Message: The most common message sent in email, memo, or letter formats. They are direct because they identify their primary objective in the opening after a background statement.

Bad News Message: An indirect informative message used when conveying information that is likely to have a negative emotional impact on your audience, whether that impact is milldly disappointing or devastating. It is indirect because it postpones stating the primary objective until after the reasons for it are explained.

Active Voice: Clauses that when transitive have three components: actor, action, object: "The carpenter hit the nail." I want you to think of them as medicine for any ailing sentence you might write. When you have a problem sentence, ask where is the action, who's doing it, who or what is receiving it?

Static Sentences: Sentence that use state verbs, the most important of which is 'to be'. Know the forms of this verb so you can identify them when they appear in your writing: be, being, been, am, are, is, was, were. It's not wrong to use the verb to be, but if you overuse it, you're sentences will tend to be static and 'yin'.

Hidden Verbs: Many nouns in English have verbs hiding in them. Sometimes they are words like 'request' or 'answer' that can be used either as a verb or noun. Very often endings like -tion, -ion -ment, -ance, -sis when added to a verb root make the verb into a noun (e.g., investigate is hiding in investigation, govern in government).

Gerund: A verbal noun. They are formed by adding '-ing' to the verb root and they function like nouns do as subjects or objects. (e.g. Swimming was her favorite sport. She loved swimming in the pond behind her house.) They function as verbs when they take objects: e.g. Swimming the English Channel was her lifelong ambition. English Channel is the object of swimming--it's getting swum. Gerunds are identical in form to present participles, but are distinguished from them by their function in a sentence.

 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quiz 2 is on Tuesday. Focus on Study Guide, Days 4, 5, and 6. Be prepared to correct punctuation and usage mistakes (see below) in some sentences and to rewrite other sentences by identifying hidden verbs and creating a new active voice clauses with them.

Best way to keep problematic words correctly in mind is to memorize model sentences like the ones listed below to use as a template.

The dog often lies here by the fire.

The dog is lying by the fire.

The dog lay by the fire for over two hours.

The dog has lain by the fire since breakfast.

The counselor's advice affected my thinking about dropping out of school.

The CEO effected significant changes in budgetary policy within a week of his taking office.

His chewing me out had quite a negative effect on my motivation.

I don't like your affect, you ill-tempered, surly grump.

The team comprises fifteen members.

Fifteen members compose (not comprise) the team.

The team is composed of (not comprised of) fifteen members.

There are fewer houses for sale now than last year.

There is less housing available now compared to last year.

The nauseous fumes made me feel nauseated.

Jim Collins on developing consensus:

 

Clips shown in Class 6:

Kawasaki on Mantras

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Have you started your diary or journal yet?

Another example of how not using the Oxford Comma can get you in trouble:

oc2

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Terms you should know:

Coordinating Conjunctions: The seven conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so--or FANBOYS. Use them with a comma to join two independent clauses.

Oxford Comma: The comma used to set off the item in a list that precedes the 'and' before the last item in the list. (e.g., the comma that follows 'oranges' in the following list: apples, oranges, and grapes.

Emotional Intelligence: The ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of oneself, others, and groups.

Empathy: The ability the imaginative act of getting into the mind of another person and to see and feel the world as he or she does.

Conciseness: Writing that does not waste your reader's time. It's not about short vs. long. And the rule to keep memos and letters to one page is too restrictive. A message takes as long as it takes so long as the content is useful for the audience.

Clips used in Class 5:

***

EQ Tip of the Day: Self Awareness Strategy--You feel what you feel; it's what you do that matters. So don't judge your emotions as good or bad. Just try to understand them. What is a particular feeling pointing to?

Interesting Articles:

"Emotional Intelligence Skills Employers Want Now"

"Five Must-Have Soft Skills for Engineers' Career Success."

***

Is the use of 'who' in these sentences correct?

In the season 2 opener, a convalescing Carrie and Congressman Brody must reckon with who they really are.

In stark contrast to Mill, who we discussed last week as a key figure in the articulation of libertarianism, Hayek does not begin his analysis with a condemnation of the “tyranny” of tradition and custom.

***

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More on Decorum:

Hilda Black Tips

Hilda was a client in the past, but she chose not to use your tax prep services this year. She tried to save money by preparing her taxes herself.

You have the conversation in question recorded, so there is no dispute about what actually was discussed in the phone conversation in April.You need to find a proactive approach. Don't be defensive or reactive.

Your grade on this assignment will depend more on the effectiveness of your sentences. Show me you've learned something from our discussion of sentences in class next week.

 

Friday, January 15, 2016

No office hours on Monday 1/18 because of the holiday.

Interesting article that both celebrates the man and introduces themes I'll be developing next week:

"Martin Luther King as an emotionally intelligent speaker"

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Memo Punctilio tips:

  • Remember that your goal is to help your boss solve his CEO problem.
  • Remember to format using full block style.
  • Remember to use lists and headings.
  • Remember to use a clean background, purpose, preview opening.

 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Is this sentence correct?

In the season 2 opener, a convalescing Carrie and Congressman Brody must reckon with who they really are.

***

Terms you should know--

Forensic, Demonstrative, and Deliberative Arguments: Forensic is the argument that focuses on marshalling evidence from the past. Demonstrative focuse on the values and beliefs we hold now in the present, and Deliberative focuses on weighing a choice about a course of action that will take us into the future. Pacino is demonstrative when he is trying to build team identity around the core value of fighting for the inch, and deliberative when focusing his team on the choice to stay in hell or climb to the light, to come together as a team or die alone.

Decorum: behavior that fits or is appropriate for a given social situation. Vinnie had very poor courtroom decorum in the My Cousin Vinnie clip we watched. He didn't know how to dress, when to stand or sit, or basic courtroom procedure.

Practical Wisdom: Street smarts. The leadership capablity that gets things done in the real world. According to JH, its main characteristics are knowing when to bend the rules, presenting your solutions as the middle course, and making sure your audience knows your track record for accomplishment.

Reluctant Conclusion: A tool used when you have to tell an audience something it doesn't want to hear. You start off aligning yourself with the hopes of your audience, then you start preseenting evidence that shows that the hoped-for outcome is unattainable.

Strategy: How you organize your resources to accomplish your objectives.

Composition: The raw content of your message--the resources that your strategy seeks to organize into an effective meesage. The situation analysis, crux, and freewrite are compositional tools insofar as they help you to understand what you want to say.

Memory Curve: People are paying most attention at the beginning and end of a message, and so tend to not remember and understand material presented in the middle of a presentation. Make you openings and closes count, and break up long chunky sections.

 

Clips shown in Class 4:

Vinnie in the Courtroom

 

Monday, Jan 11, 2016

Whoever at the Office:

 

More on who/whom:

ghgh

(Source)

Go the source link for more on these other uses of who and whom. This rule is fine for when you have a who or whom that begins a sentence (or is used in any other role except introducing a dependent clause), but you have to use my three-step rule when a who or who is a relative pronoun introducing a dependent clause. You might otherwise be misled to think that it would be ok to say "Give the prize to whomever you think deservers it." Give the prize to him, right? No.It's not right.

I can explain why, but you probably don't want to know. The best way to be sure is simply (1) to bracket the dependent clause that follows the who or whom: "Give the prize to whomever [you think deserves it]." (2) insert a he or him (or she or her) to make the dependent clause stand on its own two feet as a complete sentence: "Give the prize to whomever [you think he deserves it]." Since 'he' is nominative, so must the relative pronoun, which means it must be 'who'.

***

Clips used in Class 3

Terms You Should Know:

Credibility: It means 'believability'. It's the measure of trust that your audience has in you, so it is in turn the measure of receptivity that your audience has for your message. People with low credibility can have great ideas for which audiences will have little receptivity, and people with high credibility will find audiences accepting even silly or stupid ideas.

Primary Audience - Secondary Audience: You design your message to obtain a thinking, feeling, or action response from your primary audience; you don't expect a response from your secondary audience. The secondary audience can be people you send the message to, as in a cc, and it can be anybody who reads the message whether you intend them to read it or not.

Primary Objective - Secondary Objective: The primary objective is reactive; it's about putting out the fire. The secondary objective is proactive; it's about looking for ways to go forward once the fire has been put out. Every message has a primary objective; not every message has a secondary objective. In my revision of the Goodwin message (see below), I make clarifying the misunderstanding the primary objective. The secondary objective is to sell him an overdraft line of credit or perhaps have him consolidate accounts with my bank. The original messages 1 & 2 had no secondary objectives.

Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases: Prepositions introduce phrases that play a modifying or descriptive function in a sentence, the way adjectives and adverbs do. In the sentence 'The dog under the table' is chewing a bone. The preposition is 'under' and the prepositional phrase is 'under the table'. The prepositional phrase plays the role of an adjective here. It's as if you're saying 'The under-the-table dog is chewing a bone'. Prepositional phrases always have objects, and when those objects are pronouns, they are in the accusative form: 'under him', 'between you and me'.

January 7, 2016

Memo Punctilio Assignment

Analysis Hints: Use the Situation Analysis form at the top of the column to the right, and just fill in the blanks. Don't worry if parts of it don't make sense. I'll explain it next week.

  • When you are trying to define the issues, look at them in this case as being arranged concentrically, with some issues more at the periphery influencing the most important issue in the center. Which one is the crux?
  • When defining objectives think about them in two categories: reactive--what you have to do at a minimum to put out the metaphorical fires--and proactive--what possibilities are there to go beyond the status quo ante.
  • When defining the audience, the most important element is to define the audience's need, because what you choose to include in your summary should be determined by its usefulness in meeting your boss's need.

Remember, your goal in this assignment is to create a document that will be more useful or helpful for your boss than the original article.

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Goodwin Revision

Dear Mr. Goodwin:

I am writing in response to your August 15 email questioning the $108.00 in overdraft fees charged against your account. Upon receiving your email we investigated to learn why you were charged, and we learned that a miscommunication between you and the United Oregon Bank led to the imposition of this fee.

In your email, you mentioned that you had instructed the United Oregon Bank to transfer $45,000 to your account here on August 1. It did not, however, make the transfer until August 10--which explains why on August 8 we charged your account for the overdraft.

We value your account with us, Mr. Goodwin. You have been one of our most reliable and valued customers, and we understand that miscommunications like this happen from time to time. On this occasion we are happy to refund to you the $108. But please contact United Oregon to be sure that they send future transfers on the date you specify.

Perhaps an overdraft line of credit would be appropriate if you anticipate this kind of miscommunication in the future. You might also consider consolidating your accounts in such a way as to make these transfers unnecessary.We’ll have one of our personal bankers contact you in the next week to see if we can help you to meet your banking needs in a more streamlined way.

Sincerely,

Note that this revision makes the misunderstanding issue the "crux", and adds a proactive dimension by seeking to flip the problem into an opportunity and move with Mr. Goodwin beyond the status quo ante.

***

Links to Class 2 movie clips:

 

Terms You Should Know:

Relaxed intensity--The ideal stance any performer takes during a performance. It comprises both a loose, comfortable body posture at the same time as having a mindset that is highly focused and committed to performing the task at hand.

Extrinsic motivation: Carrots and sticks, desire and fear--the promise of reward or the threat of punishment from a source outside of oneself. Extrinsic because you need some kind of external positive or negative stimulation to motivate you to act.

Intrinsic motivation: Autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Intrinsic because they are motivators that arise from within the person without external stimulation. Intrinsically motivated people do what they do because they have an internal drive that works independently from the crowd, that wants to improve their skills, or because of ideals or internal desires that are meaningful to them.

Tactical Flaw: (Aporia, Dubitatio): Presenting oneself as having weaknesses or peronsal flaws, or being ignorant or in a state of doubt, in order to create a space for your audience to become more engaged or to take more responsibility. Use it to lower expectations or to take a more human, humble stance before your audience, especially if you are perceived by it as arrogant or successful. Clooney Character: "i'm not really the one you would ordinarily talk to about things like this, but . . ." In Al Pacino clip shown in Class 3?

Tactical Concession: In an argument or attempt to persuade, a move to give up a short-term advantage in order to procure one that is long-term. Instead of challenging your opponent's facts or assumptions, you concede that he is right. This has a disarming effect, and makes him feel that he has been heard and is well understood.

Commonplace: values of a community summarized in ideas, often stereotypes and cliches, that everybody within a particular group accepts as true without thinking about it. Examples: Snails are slow. The children are our future. Freedom isn't free. Everyone has a right to choose. Politicians are hypocrites. Big corporations only care about profit, not people.

Clause: A verbal construction that comprises both a subject and a verb. They come in different varieties. You need to understand the difference between an independent and dependent clause.

Nominative: Case for nouns and pronouns that function as subjects in clauses.

Accusative: Case for nouns and pronouns that function as objects of verbs and prepositions.

Crux: The core energy center of your message. Your message might have a lot of parts to it, but there is almost always one part that is more interesting and more important. That's where the energy is. In the Goodwin messages the energy for message 1 focused on the 'angry customer issue'; message 2 focused on the 'future accountability issue'. The approach here would have been better if it focused on the 'misunderstanding issue'.

***

Me, Myself, and I. "Don't say myself if you mean me or I. Me is a perfectly good and acceptable word. I think myself is misused so often because as people are speaking, they become uncertain about whether the word they want to use is me or I. They retreat into myself because they think that's correct in every circumstance." Read more.

 

January 5, 2016

Dan Pink video clip on motivation:

Terms you should know:

Ethos--the values world that shape what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior and attitudes. One is ethical or unethical, admired for ones virtues, or shamed for one's vices depending on the ethos of a group. What is virtue for the mafioso is vice for the law-abiding citizen.

Style--The lens through which the substance of your message is projected. Ideally it should enhance the effectiveness of your message, but often it distorts and obscures it.

Yin--a style that is cool, indirect, subtle, complex, sometimes mysterious or seductive. It's the jazz musician with the soft voice and the mirror sunglasses. Academic style has a bias toward the yin.

Yang--a style that is warm, direct, obvious, accessible. It has strong signal and minimal noise. It's the drill seargeant shouting at a recruit. Business style has a bias toward the yang.

Analysis--Breaking a big issue down to understand it better in its constituent parts.

Synthesis--Pulling together the parts into an integrated whole. Connecting the dots.

Exposition--Content in a message that is primarily informational, the facts without interpreting them. It's the data dots required to be connected when you want to deliver an insight.

Insight--the experience of "getting it". A common example is getting a joke or any time you get a satisfying answer to a question or solution for a problem. It's when you see the pattern that connects the dots.

 

December 28, 2015

Welcome to Strategic Communications for Winter Quarter 2016. I'll be using this space as the quarter progresses to summarize and amplify points that I make in class with verbal commentary, video, and other supplementary materials. Check in at least once a week to make sure you're up to speed.

It will probably take me until the end of the week to get all the relevant links updated, but the ones that are live now if you want to get a feel for the resources available here.

The assignment links will be activated the class day I introduce the assignment. Even if you miss class, you should know what the assignment is.

 

 

 

Situation Analysis Form

1st Assignment Prompt

1st Assignment Rubric

2nd Assignment Prompt

2nd Assignment Rubric

Team Charter

Charter Sample

Information Interview

Information Interview Memo

3rd Assignment Prompt

3rd Assignment Rubric

Letterhead

Raising Sensitive Issues

Work Plans

Business Plan Rubric

Problem Solving

Persuasive Talk Prompt

BCMU for Artists 1

BCMU for Artists 2

Story board

Armada Karaoke Slides

Armada Karaoke Video

Cascadia Slides

Cascadia Video

 

 

Study Guide

Class Slide PDFs

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4

Class 5

Class 6

Class 7

Class 8

Class 9

Class 10

Class 11

Class 12

Class 13

Class 14

Class 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Clips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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