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3.23.2011

PREFACES

Do you ever read the preface of a book?  Those pages at the very front that lay out what you might encounter via plot, characters, timeline - an introduction of sorts?  I don't much care for prefaces.  I suppose that it has something to do with my personality.  My preference and style is to just get to it, take it as it comes, figure it out as I go.  Some people preface things they say, a verbal sort of introduction.  I say why?  Is it that what they have to say they believe their audience can't grasp without a preliminary expose of what they are going to say in the body of their speaking?  Is it that they just love to belabor a point, set it up, lead a duck to water?  Is the point or news so shocking that they need to set up parameters or cushions for what is to come?  Do they think that it seems more caring to put the verbal sprinkler on mist instead of full power?  I don't like prefaces in speech.  They allow me too much time to begin to try to guess what they are going to say after they are done prefacing.  My daughter was the queen of prefacing.  She would invariably come to me in her teenage years, and still now as an adult, with a statement such as, "Mom, I have something I need to tell you."  My heart would either momentarily skip a beat in terror of what was coming (I would rather just be hit by a car than look it in the face and see it coming unable to do anything about it), or I would rush ahead mentally and guess at what she was going to divulge.  Either way I hated that delivery system of preface. I have listened to sermons over the years that have a huge preface and little body.  Can't say I like that either.  I also don't like when people hand out materials in seminars or classes and then proceed to read every word to you verbatim off the handouts.  Really, you can't come up with something other than what I have in front of me - some addons, some highlights, questions, original thoughts of your own.  Statistics say when you speak, hearers can only really digest and hold onto about 8-10 minutes worth of material.  So, don't waste it on a preface:)

1 comment:

  1. let me preface my comment by saying
    that prefaces can be used to set the stage if you will...to make certain that we're all on the same page, maybe even to set the mood. I feel to belabor a point would be in the epilogue, to drive the point home, to repeat in case someone didn't grasp it the 1st couple of times. So in conclusion let me say that...(oh i don't even know i've kinda lost my train of thought) has it been 10 minutes yet?

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