Stage 5.4.1  Writing and Oral Presentations


Lectures and textbooks are still standard fare in college teaching, but they present awkward formats for change agents in the field. Such traditional message forms are effective only when the audience is either captive or thoroughly tuned in and turned on. This will only apply to a handful of innovators who are already aware and interested. For the majority of potential adopters, written and oral communications can only serve to provide awareness and, even then, only if the messages are brief and to the point.

In more progressive communities, opinion leaders will be media-oriented; e.g., some of them will read about the innovation in the local newspaper and may even get to a public meeting to hear a lecture. This kind of exposure may create awareness and interest but it may also create resistance if the message is not carefully composed. A major difficulty with written communications is the fact that the change agent has no control over the conditions of exposure. Words and phrases can be torn out of context and meanings badly distorted with no assurance that the receiver has even heard or read the important parts of the message.

Google and other internet search engines bring all sorts of text images instantly to our eyes and have probably changed the way most people, even scholars, manage inputs of the written or spoken word.  The visitor to this web site will notice how the text has been broken up into separate bits and pieces. The intent is to make the material more manageable and the use more flexible. Click on any highlighted item and another page will instantly appear.  On the other hand, there is a carefully constructed logic to the flow of the Guide and of each section within it.  Thus, for optimal utility, it should also be a free-standing  book.  Similarly, any potentially useful innovation should be available in many forms including a textual explanation that can be accessed on line and in hold-able, thumb-able hard copy.