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Stop right there! Tammy Jo Anderson Taft Public Information Officer, Guam EPA 671.475.1646 or 671.988.7582

Overview  Figure out who you are speaking to/trying to reach  Know what they know and what they don’t know  Initiate conversation  Tips for all times  Practice makes better, not perfect

Who are you trying to reach  At a public meeting?  At a school presentation?  During a cleanup along the beach

What do they know?  You meet this person at a public meeting you are having.  You have never seen her before.  What does she know?

What do they know?  You are giving a presentation to a class that includes this person.  2nd grader  What does he know?

What do they know?  You are helping at a beach cleanup.  This person is picking up trash alone.  What does she know?

You must connect with what someone knows, before trying to discuss things they don’t know.

To connect with someone is hard Avoid the following: - Words that make them feel dumb - Offending them or insulting their mother - Using threatening body language

What don’t they know? - Level of education (PHD vs. 2nd grader) -

Words used

- Age - Background knowledge of topic you are talking about - Ex: Where is the old Quiznos in Guam?

Initiate conversation Evaluate the setting and your audience. Determine what they know and how best to connect. Determine the best approach -Formally introducing self -Casual conversation -Wait for introduction -Buy them a drink

Tips for all times – DO NOT Avoid words that make your audience feel dumb. This is very hard for smart people like yourselves to remember. When in doubt, 5 letters or less.

Tips for all times – DO NOT Avoid the following words when talking to someone who doesn’t have a PHD: -Biosynthesis -Catalyst -Diffusion -Inertia -Photosynthesis -Refraction -Vector -Biohazard -Containment -Dispersant -Endemic -Naturalization -Toxicity

Tips for all times – DO NOT Don’t be offensive Try to pick up on cultural, religious or other keys. These are often very important issues for people and if you offend based on this, the day is lost. On small islands, this type of interaction will always be remembered.

Tips for all times – DO Make them feel like they already do things to connect with what you are talking about. Ex: “What is your favorite kind of tree?” “I love that tree too.” Bad example: “What is your favorite kind of tree to burn down?”

Tips for all times – DO Use good body language This depends on -Who you are talking to -What you want to talk to them about.

Take two seconds. Think before you approach and speak. Your opening lines are critical!

Practice makes‌ more better - Don’t be afraid to approach people. That is part of the job. - Talk to people about what you know. - It may never be easy, but it certainly gets easier.

Making people stop so you can connect with them  

This presentation was given as part of the 2013 Communications Workshop associated with the 27th Pacific Islands Environment Conference.

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