Personal Presentation and Deliberations

Pay attention to emotions.

Emotions, by their very nature, are not logical. It follows, then, that emotion is an obstacle for reasoning. While this may be the most difficult thing to keep in mind during Synesthetic Deliberation, it may be the single most important thing to do, for this very reason. The more emotional one is, the more likely it is that capacity for clear reasoning will be diminished. It is important, therefore, to be sensitive not only to the strength of one’s own emotions, but also the same for others. The degree to which a practitioner of SD accomplishes this goal, is the degree they can navigate emotional obstacles and resume a more reasoned discourse.

Pay attention to the pitch of your voice.

Pitch, in many languages, is one of myriad non-lexical cues that convey meaning. Having a moderate range of pitch, and avoiding significant swings, will help reduce unintended interpretations. Monotone speech, for example, can be interpreted as boredom, among other things. Significant deviations toward both higher pitches and lower pitches can have ulterior connotations associated with them as well. For example, a markedly higher pitch can be interpreted as being patronizing, while a markedly lower pitch can be interpreted as passive-aggressive.

Pay attention to your cadence.

The rate of communication can also inadvertently misrepresent the intended message. A moderate range of cadence is less likely to result in unintended interpretations. Speaking with too even a cadence, as if you were a machine, will likely be awkward and distracting for listeners. Speaking too slowly, however, could be interpreted as being condescending. Of course, speaking too quickly may be hard for listeners to follow, and can also be interpreted as being preachy.

Pay attention to the volume of your voice.

Volume, too, will least likely produce unintended interpretations when its range has a moderate range of variation. A higher volume will likely be interpreted as shouting, which is closely correlated with high emotions, such as anger. A lower volume, in addition to having the stereotype of being meek, can be difficult to hear clearly.

Pay attention to how many statements you’re making.

One of the cornerstones of Synesthetic Deliberation is utilization of the Socratic method. Making statements, as opposed to asking questions, is generally instructional in nature. For example, preaching, teaching, directing, testifying, and so forth, typically consist of predominantly making statements. When the opportunity for true dialog presents itself, simply making statements is more likely to result in entrenchment. Asking questions is a very successful way of keeping yourself from succumbing to emotions, and also puts the other person(s) at ease: instead of telling them what you think, you’re asking them what they think.


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