To make a difference and change the world, you must be able to communicate your message effectively. That’s why it’s so important to choose your words careful to make the biggest impact possible.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Ronni.
Ronni: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: So, today I want to talk about a topic that is, I always say like, oh, this topic’s important to me, but I guess every topic is important to me. I think I say that all the time, but I want to talk about why it’s so important to be a good communicator. And the reason I say this is important to me is that I work in a field called communications. So that is what my day job is. And what that means is I am a professional communicator, so I take ideas that I believe in, and I try to put them in a way that is accessible, meaning that anybody who reads what I write can understand it and can relate to it. So I’m communicating those ideas to other people and hopefully that I will get them to believe or to gravitate towards what I’m saying. So I do that through writing. I also do that through social media and with the rest of my team as I work on a content team. They use movies or podcasts, which I guess we’re also communicating on this. So, Ronni, you are a record.
Ronni: We’re communicators.
Brittany: We’re communicators. And you’re a writer too, aren’t you?
Ronni: I am so, it’s interesting that you mention all the different ways to communicate. I guess I would call myself a writer. I have written for things. I’ve dabbled in writing creatively. I’ve written a few film scripts.
Ronni: I have, yes. My husband actually is a writer, an actual screenwriter. So I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to try as well. So I wrote a few, and I still would like to write some more. Nothing has been made into anything, of course. But I’ve learned, as you mentioned, how to communicate effectively. And it’s actually interesting that the communication methods that you mentioned, because as a professional communicator, the ways in which you communicate are, and the purpose of your communicating is a little bit different than someone who is doing creative writing and who is writing to creatively share art or stories. Because when you’re talking and you want to convey a message, you don’t want to use flowery language. You don’t want to use unnecessary words. But when you’re writing creatively, you do want to use those descriptive words. You do want to spend more time conveying the feel of a scene. So, part of being a communicator is knowing how to communicate in different places. You’re probably about to say that, but.
Brittany: No, I’m actually, you know what I was thinking? I’m like, you know what? That’s really good. I should have hit it. I wanted to touch on it but didn’t. The way you touched on it was perfect. That’s exactly right. And I do both. And so I’m really glad you bring that up because I’m a creative writer. I write a lot of poetry. I write comedy. I’m actually working on screenwriting right now.
Ronni: Oh, really? Awesome.
Brittany: I want to write for TV. I want to do a series, but in my job, I write about constitutional law, and I’ve written about economics, which let me tell you, writing comedy is very different from Constitution. And so I think that’s really good because I think it’s made me a better writer because I have different audiences. And I am glad you bring this up too, because one of the most important parts of any writing, any communicating is who is your audience. One of first, you have to know, right? And so when we’re doing this show, it’s actually really fun for me to pull back to my teacher days because I have to say, okay, I’m not talking to thank goodness, one of my constitutional attorneys I work with, because attorneys are very boring sometimes. I get to talk to our fun kid listeners. I get to talk about things in a different way than I would if I was talking to you a bunch of lawyers when I’m doing comedy. Here’s the funny thing about comedy is that can change according to who’s in the audience, and you don’t always know that. So if you have a bunch of different jokes that you’re used to telling, if I go out on stage and I start telling a joke and it doesn’t work, and I can kind of tell what the audience wants, I’ll switch it and I’ll pull in a joke I didn’t plan on doing that night. You kind of have to read your audience and figure out what they want. But that’s the same with anything. And so knowing your audience is the most important part because the whole point of communicating is to reach somebody to connect with somebody on their level. And you can’t do that if you don’t know who you’re speaking to. So that is one of the most important parts. So I’m glad you mentioned that because I think I would’ve just gone over missed that, missed the opportunity to talk more about that. So choosing words is so important, and I like that you also mentioned, you know if I’m writing poetry, I can take 17 words to explain a window or something silly, but they call it economy of words when you’re writing something. And that is to use as few words as possible. So if I’m trying to explain something in the, if I’m trying to talk about property rights, I want to use as few words as possible that just gets that point across.
Ronni: Well, I thought you said you’re entering into screenwriting. And when I started screenwriting, and so any kids out there, if you are ever thinking of writing a script either for a play or for a video or something, you’ll find that the way you write it is so different than if you’re writing a book, which is why a lot of people, let’s say you’ve written a book or there’s a book that’s already written and you want to adapt it. I actually, I did a script and I adapted a book. And it’s really interesting because in a book, you might have all of that space to use all of those words, but especially in a script, you have to be creative and visually explain the scene. But you have to do it in just a few words. You have to learn how to be really creative. Actually, oh, this might be a slightly off-topic. Well, no, it’s on topic, but talking about communicating in different mediums with something like social media, something specifically like Twitter where you have, not that the kids are on Twitter, but the point of Twitter is that you only have 240 characters to send a message. So when you’re limited, and when I first started getting on Twitter, that was one thing that was hard for me at first because I wanted to use lots and lots of words to say anything that I wanted to say, and I had to condense everything I wanted to say into only the most important words possible. And I actually thought that that made me a good writer, a much better writer because I had to learn how to take my big thoughts and condense them. So Twitter was good for me in that way, but it’s usually not good.
Brittany: Yeah, I have to do it for work on my work account, but I stay five feet as far away from Twitter as I, but I like what you said because yeah, that’s what I said with the economy of words. You have to learn how to make your point short and sweet. And it’s funny, I like where this episode has gone more than where I intended it to go. Now I’m kind of sad to take it where I wanted to, but I wanted to talk about different speeches throughout history that have been good, because that was one of the earliest forms of communicating, because before people could even read or write, they could make these speeches. So some people, I think would be good to look up. Patrick Henry is one of my favorites. He is known for that very famous, give me liberty or Give me a death. So the line in his speech, and you have to remember this, so this was, and I’m going to get this wrong, it was, I think he presented it to the Virginia Convention. So this was one of the speeches that rallied people to want to be part of the Revolutionary War. This was one of those, much like Thomas Payne wrote, The American Crisis and Common Sense, we talked about those before to rally people throughout the colonies to rebel. Patrick Henry did this just a great speech. And my favorite line is at the very end, so I’ll read that. And it is life so dear or peace, so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery forbid it Almighty God, I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. So that was his big speech. And this, you’ll notice this is more like poetry. This is more like art. But at the same time, it wasn’t, because it’s kind of the combination of the two, because this was also one of the most important ideological arguments he was making because he was trying to speak to the hearts and minds of the people. And what he’s saying is he says the price of chains and slavery, that just means we’re not free right now. If we’re staying peaceful, that means we’re peaceful as proverbial as slaves who are living under the king’s rule. But no, I’m not going to do that. I would rather have liberty and be dead than be a slave to the king. So, very powerful words, but said in a very poetic way. So it’s kind of combining the two things that you and I have talked about, Ronni and the next one I want to touch on is Martin Luther King’s famous, I Have a Dream speech, and that is another one of those speeches where the communication was just so good and one of my favorite parts of that is he just talks about hoping someday that his kids will be judged for the content of their character and not the color of their skin and one of the reasons I think that is such a powerful and great line for communication is that it tied in, it brought in the founding, it brought in our constitution, it brought in the very thing that our nation was founded on and mixed it with at the time was civil rights with wanting. He’s trying to change the hearts and minds of people and allow everybody of all skin colors and religions and creeds to have equal rights. So these were very big moments in American history that I think were largely made possible because we had these amazing communicators. So, we here, I think almost all of our listeners want to make a change or want to change the world or make it better in some way. I think that’s why we’re all listening, right? We want to make the world as free as we can and play our part in that. And then maybe our part in that is inventing the next iPhone, whatever that will look like, the newest invention. Or Connor, who’s helping to change laws in Utah. Well, Connor’s doing everything. So, Connor, he’s doing everything. Whatever role it is you’re going to have to learn to communicate, to be able to change people’s minds, and to call them to action. So yeah, I’ll wrap it up there, but it’s so important to just practice, whether that’s giving speeches in front of your mirror or to your class or to your siblings, or writing something that’s written with the intent to communicate an idea to somebody. It is so important to be a good communicator. So thank you so much, guys. Don’t forget to like and subscribe and share with your friends. Until next time, we will talk to you later.
Ronni: All right, see you soon.