in on the Act 2

A performance installation at the Greenroom, Manchester UK, exploring a research project in a former child soldier camp in Sri Lanka. Three months after the project, the young men who took part were massacred by local villagers. The piece of work performed by James Thompson deals with questions of responsibility, memory and healing, all of which are central to the dilemma and complexity of working in war zones. 1

‘…it was a fascinating evening and it certainly captured remarkably effectively the dilemma, the puzzlement, the search for the ‘truth’ of what happened in the camp, why and by whom, and ultimately the irresolvability of the events that tool place. When the key photo was shown, that was an excellent moment, all the more so because the visual and the verbal were so vitally interdependent; completely absorbing; it left you wanting to know more…2 Continue reading →

Jane Hirshfield and oral communication

“A poem is a set of words that simply has a higher meaning to moment ratio than other words do. There is more packed into them…”1; words that are bursting with meaning.

Poetry has an intimate relationship with sound.2 Whether expressed aloud or in your head, thoughts and ideas in poems are heard, as in an oral form.

In a pre-literary world3 4 the primary form of communication was sound based. For thoughts and ideas to be memorable, they had to be communicated in such a way as to enable their existence beyond the sound of them – their memorability.

Oral communication is exactly that, “more meaning fitting into a few words than those words can possibly hold”; words with resonance5 Continue reading →

communicating oral thoughts & ideas – the dilemma you face

You turn and face your audience;
you glance out over the sea of upturned faces fresh with anticipation;
You’re distracted…;
It makes sense to you, will you be able to make it make sense to them?
Doubt plays with the edge of your notes; Notes that [now] lie faceless – in your hands.

In a split second the scene unfolding in front of you has changed. A gaping chasm begins to emerge between what you know and what you’re saying.

It’s surreal; you have become the audience to the voice now echoing loudly in your ears; what you are hearing doesn’t sound right and it’s too late to begin again. Continue reading →

what is oral communication?

Oral communication is the spontaneous1 expression of thoughts and ideas to an audience live and orally; where you have direct face to face contact and no intermediary.2 3

Oral communication is about sound and sound has no life beyond sound itself.4

          Sound is immediate and transient.
          Sound is evanescent.5 
          Sound ceases to exist the moment it is heard. Continue reading →