Is Your Audience Likely To Be Narrow?

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P A R T I V Communicate Your Ideas ome students will be surprised to find the subject of communication included in a book on thinking because they assume that the two subjects are unrelated. In reality, they are closely related. To begin with, expressing ideas clari- fies them. As Mortimer Adler, an American philosopher, explains: “Thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written. The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.”* In addition, the kinds of ideas we are concerned with in this book—solutions to problems and issues—are most meaningful when they are communicated to other people. Chapter 14 explains how to present your ideas…show more content…
This question does not suggest that your audience is stupid or uneducated. As we saw in Chapter 1, there is a great deal of confusion today about such matters as free will, truth, knowledge, opinion, and morality. Many intelligent and educated people have fallen victim to ideas and attitudes that cripple their creative and critical faculties. In many cases, your audience will appreciate your insights only if you first help them get beyond their misconceptions. Is Your Audience’s Perspective Likely to Be Narrow? This question directs you to consider how your audience’s tendency to mine-is-better thinking, face saving, resistance to change, conformity, stereotyping, and self-deception may interfere with their comprehension of your views. A clue to the way those ten- dencies are likely to influence your audience on a particular problem or issue is the way they have influenced you in the past. (The more honest you are with yourself about your own occasional irrationality, the more sensitive you will be to your audience’s

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