Working in the communications industry should make us more aware of clear expression and language than the average Joe Blogs on the street.
Our clients pay us to, in part at least, develop content which not only gets across their key messages but also conveys them in a manner which is both clear to the desired audience and concise for those reading it.
Nothing highlights the need for these attributes more than some of the more comical emails and blogs that often get circulated between groups of friends and colleagues as a distraction during the working day and one that landed in my inbox last week is a particularly apt example of that.
Entitled ‘How do court recorders keep straight faces’ this particular email provided a sample of some of the humorous conversations between a lawyer and witness in the courtroom. While it may not be an example of corporate communications in the traditional sense it is definitely a clear example of the importance of thinking before you speak and considering your audience….
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.