David Massey

July 11, 2023 at 3:19 pm

Make it easy to listen

Make it easy to listen

Hemingway said “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration” and my friend Leonardo Veiga from Uruguay is a master at respecting that rule.

Taking the floor in an international meeting requires fortitude as well as clarity of thought and word. The room, and booths of interpreters, are lined up to hear your ideas and if you cannot connect those thoughts you will not persuade anyone of anything.

Leonardo usually speaks in Spanish when interpretation is available but he has the same talent in English. Here is what I have picked up:

  • A clear open statement containing the main point
  • Two or three supporting elements, reasons why, data, analysis
  • Conclusion and reiteration as to the purpose of the intervention
Codex Executive Committee, Geneva 11 July 2023

He is also not afraid to mix in some colour, culture, history and the kind of comparison or analogy that allows the strength of his argument to be supported, elegantly, by the structure of his speech. Hemingway would approve.

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