Schlagwort-Archive: Understanding

An additional puzzle piece for better understanding

The path to the completed presentation does not begin with the scheduling or the elaboration of a topic or the preparation of the documents. The beginning lies hidden in a time when the interest in a subject area evolved. Eventually the lecture takes place in front of an interested audience. The contents are tailored to the occasion, formulated, visualized and equipped with suspense. The posture, facial expressions and gestures as well as the tone of voice during a lecture underline the relationship of the speakers to their presentation. And between the lines you will find the speaker’s intentions, regardless of the topic – an additional puzzle piece for a better understanding.

Even if this part of a lecture is often covered by the show and the contents, the audience unconsciously perceives these aspects. Presenters should be aware of what they intend to do in advance, to package their facts appropriately. By consciously observing this space in between, the audience is offered more clarity regarding the intentions of the lecture. Thanks to John Searle, there are five generalized speech acts that reveal the expectations of the speaker.

  • Statement – Saying, how it is
    The main purpose of describing facts is to inform the public. For this purpose, statements are formulated, which consist of numbers, data and facts, explanations and conclusions as well as arguments for or against a point of view. The view goes back to the past or describes a current situation or predicts future developments. You can confirm, correct or deny assertions.
    Saying, as it is, conveys circumstances from the speaker’s point of view to the audience.
    Examples: argue, assert, communicate, conclude, correct, deny, determine, disprove, inform, predict, report
  • Solicitation – Saying, what to do
    Presentations can be used to motivate the audience to act. A wide range of (in)direct impulses is available for this purpose. They range from the allusion, the recommendation and request to the command. Restrained speakers will make subtle hints. A piece of advice offers meaningful outcomes that someone only has to take and realize. In order to make its wish clearer, the listener’s insight can be appealed to or even asked for support. The next step is to clearly delegate or commission certain individuals.
    Saying, what to do, indicates the tasks to be completed.
    Examples: admonish, advise, allow, ask, call, command, demand, forbid, invite, order, persuade, plead, request, suggest, threaten
  • Commitment – Saying, what you’re doing
    A powerful propulsion convey messages that show what you are willing to do. These commitments are later observed by the audience, in order to check the speaker’s credibility against his future acts. Promises can be assurances or threats.
    Saying, what you’re doing, and adhering to it, is a powerful tool for directing large groups.
    Examples: agree, announce, assure, bet, commit, confirm, ensure, guarantee, insure, offer, pledge, promise, serve, swear, vow
  • Psychic condition – Saying, how you are doing
    The expression of one’s own feelings offers the opportunity to make emotional contact with the audience. These messages are less processed by the audience with reason than with the sixth sense. The whole range of emotions can be found here: from sad to happy, from disappointed to satisfied, from angry to joyful. The content can discredit or praise someone. You can complain about facts or being thankful for them. That way it is possible to communicate your state or to apologize for something.
    Saying, how one is doing, has a subliminal effect and, in a positive case, promotes cohesion.
    Examples: apologize, approve, blaspheme, cheer, compromise, condone, congratulate, defame, express condolence, glorify, greet, lament, mock, praise, scold, thank
  • Declaration – Saying, what is officially valid
    The announcement of formal messages determines, what is fixed from that moment. This may involve the proclamation of new rules or contracts, the dismantling or filling of a position or the release of a decision. It may refer to external or internal circumstances.
    Saying, what is officially valid, announces realities that are formally established.
    Examples: abdicate, appoint, baptize, cancel, dismiss, outlaw, pardon, release, resign, suspend, trust

Bottom line: In addition to contents and presentations, the intentions form an additional puzzle piece for interpreting circumstances – the intentions hidden in the messages. Just as in any description, Searle’s five speech acts are also included between the lines of each dialogue: statement, solicitation, commitment, psychic condition, and declaration. The speakers and the audience can use these patterns consciously for their own purpose. The lecturer ensures that his desired intentions become visible. The listeners use the conscious look at the wording for recognizing the intentions of the speaker on the basis of the verbs used. This provides all participants with an additional puzzle piece for a better understanding of expressions.

Out of the dilemma

It is a difficult balancing act to filter one out of two unpleasant solutions. The choice between pest and cholera only gives hopes that both will not happen – although fate could still pass you by. And then, because of the different interpretations, additionally many have the public hounding them. There seems to be no way out for the favorable representation of one’s intentions. No matter which solution you choose, you will always be shown that it is the wrong one. A good example is the current debate on the sponsorship of events by political organizations, such as the EU. Can a soft drink producer support an event financially without being under general suspicion of trying to influence?

This is a dilemma for the organizers. If sponsoring takes place, it is assumed that the companies buy favorable decisions from politicians. If the organizers renounce the funding by the industries, it could result in the fact that somebody is accused of wasting public funds. Where is the way out of this dilemma? The following steps will help you find your way out of this desperation.

  • Understanding
    Nowadays, news are almost simultaneously in the media. The immediate consequences often only become clear afterwards. The experienced reporter has a sharpened eye for interesting matters. If then the logo of a soft drink manufacturer is emblazoned on the event sign of a political association with the note “sponsored by”, then speculations start. It is important to understand the situation. Sponsor or not? Influenced or not?
    The real dilemma should be clear; otherwise you will make the wrong conclusions.
  • Rating
    After recognizing the dilemma, you should work out the pros and cons. What speaks for one perspective and what for the other? What are the reasons against it? With this ProCon list you can classify the different options – by the way also the possibility of choosing none of the alternatives. This way you choose the lesser evil.
    The real dilemma resolves by itself, since a reasonable decision is prepared.
  • Dissociating
    The consequences resulting from the dismantling of the dilemma unfortunately still remains fatal. For this reason, the risks are separated into factual consequences and undesirable impressions. Factual consequences are physical or human damages. Damage can be minimized by means of preventive risk limitations or short-term crisis management. Public evaluations are opinions that damage one’s reputation. A coherent reasoning and comprehensive publication can help the audience to better understand their own point of view. However, in the end, the public still values at its own discretion based on the mediated “reality”
    If the dilemmas are not practical emergencies, such as natural disasters, economic threats or war, then these are often political reasons that should be confronted politically with clarifying statements.
  • Accepting
    The decisive factor of a dilemma is the fact that the predicament is not under control, but that somebody has to choose one of several undesirable alternatives. Doing nothing by shock-induced paralysis is only the last option. Through the above steps you understand better, which possibilities exist with which consequences. Since it is not possible of safely getting out of this clamp, it is important to accept the insolvability and to decide on one of the alternatives. You are aware of the consequences and initiate appropriate countermeasures.
    The dilemma disappears, when you adopt the chosen solution – and above all when you are convinced that you are doing the right thing.
  • Explaining
    The most important part of the solution is the justification. Since everyone is always the victim of a limited range of vision, we should always explain our solutions in such a way that others can develop their own opinions based on the available arguments. However, poor processing throws oil into the fire. For this reason, well prepared public relations are indispensable.
    The dilemma is mitigated by proactive media work.

Bottom line: With the sensory overload in the media, attention is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity that everyone is ripping off – with the aim of selling products, services, or themselves. In this context, clever expressions about decisions that can be evaluated differently are a good way to fight for one’s share of attention. This means that all kinds of decisions are always placed on the gold scale. Starting point are mostly dilemmatic situations, such as sponsoring political events. If you get sponsored, you get suspected of being impressionable. If you pay, you waste taxpayers’ money. This desperation is solved by choosing an alternative, usually the one with the least damage. For this purpose you should understand the dilemma and estimating the advantages and disadvantages. As soon as you dissociate the consequences, you select a solution and explain it to the public. Do the least bad thing and talk about it. That’s how you get out of the dilemma.