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What we can all learn from Tony Abbott’s #Budget interview poor wording – don’t make these mistakes

When you need to deliver a message – I encourage you to be careful in how you order your words. Express the positive first – not a negative.

 

This post was inspired by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s interview on the ABC’s AM radio this morning.

I’m a huge fan of AM and how you can hear the words – and  read the transcript. I’ll add a link at the end of this post.

 

This morning, Mr Abbott was being interviewed about last night’s budget announcement.

 

It was clear that he had prepared and practiced his “key messages” – he repeated them often enough.

Now, I’m a “political messaging nerd” from my experience as a political speechwriter and media adviser (on a state level).

I now work mainly in corporate sector helping speakers improve their messages for speeches, presentations, and media interviews.

TB lateline

 

Anyway, my main message for you – is to be careful how you order your words.

I understand what Mr Abbott was trying to say – but in my opinion he should re-order his words.

 

Here are his words and my suggested improvement.

His words:

…the people of Australian can trust us not to do the right thing to save our own skins as politicians but to the do the right thing for the country in difficult circumstances.

 

See the problem?

the people of Australian can trust us not to do the right thing to save our own skins as politicians but to the do the right thing for the country in difficult circumstances.

For me, the message that comes across is:

…can trust us to not do the right thing

 

My advice: state the positive first 

the people of Australian can trust us to the do the right thing for the country in difficult circumstances – not to do the right thing to save our own skins as politicians.

 

What do you think – about his wording (not the budget itself)?

(The words don’t sound as bad as they “read” – however my advice is to avoid the problem in the first place by expressing the positive first.)

Also, I thought his choice of words Let’s never forget… (used twice) sounds unnatural and forced.

 

I’d prefer the more natural: let’s remember… 

 

Let us never forget – to state the positive first!

 

 

Here’s a link to the AM interview for you to hear and read for yourself:

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2014/s4004104.htm

 

———

TB LL mosaic

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication etc. I like to help people COPE.

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