Lunch is a Many Splendored Thing

Musings, Updates, Critiques & Trends

The debate on “Uptalking”

Having read Marybeth Seitz-Brown’s essay on linguistics and “uptalk” on Slate, I can say she is correct on every point except one: communicating WITH her audience.

Years ago, I traveled to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan to help sell a marketing concept to audiences who mostly spoke english. Fortunately, beforehand I’d done some homework, and learned to cast aside my “flowery” and elaborative speaking in favor of direct, simple speech. It freed me to warm up my presentations with a more emotive presence, and made life a lot easier (and more effective) for my translators.

When I returned to the states, I continued keeping it simple, and became more effective. I also learned to reach into the mindsets of my audiences to make my message resonate more readily.

We are reminded constantly in these days of instantaneous exchanges that we have to cultivate community for our companies and clients. Building that rapport will enable us to show our personality in small bits of characters and images.

If we refuse, however, to acknowledge the language our audiences speak, or how they would more easily absorb our meaning, then we’re edging closer to Marshall McLuhan’s noise and not towards winning with our message.

So, I believe you to be entirely correct in terms of discriminating opinion, and no, you shouldn’t have to talk like a man, although that’s condescending enough in its own right.

I also believe, that if your message is important enough to be spoken, it likewise is important enough to be heard, and it is your responsibility to ensure this outcome is achieved.

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About admin

I'm a hybrid talent with extensive corporate and agency experience in results-driven marketing communications, and creative management. I draw from a well of talent for design, copywriting, internal/external communications, brand development, social media, ecommerce, selling and speaking. I have built companies from scratch and run agency and corporate departments. I am remarkably resourceful and dialed-in to digital innovation, business trends and media (print to social).
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