Bono recently wrote a beautiful tribute to Sargent Shriver: What I Learned From Sargent Shriver. He worked with Shriver’s son, Bobby, on some major efforts to help alleviate poverty, especially among the most desperately poor. In the midst of his tribute is some great communication advice:
I have beautiful memories of Bobby and me sitting with his father and mother at the Shrivers’ kitchen table — the same team that gazed over J.F.K.’s shoulder — looking over our paltry attempts at speechifying, prodding and pushing us toward comprehensibility and credibility, a challenge when your son starts hanging round with a bleeding-heart Irish rock star.
Comprehensibility: make sure your message can be easily grasped, easily and quickly understood, by your audience.
Credibility: (Aristotle called it ethos): make sure you have done your homework, lived your message, gained respect – in other words, make sure you have earned the right to speak.
Pretty good advice for all of us in the communication business – which, by the way, is just about all of us!