By Kimberly Johnson
Denissa is a friend of a friend. She has, umm, an unusual vocabulary. While eating from the riblet basket at Applebee’s, fantabolous floated from her sauce-ridden lips. Guess she was really hungry. Suffice it to say, I never heard that word before. Dino-riffic-ness. That one sprang to life after we left the late night viewing of Jurassic World. Needless to say, I didn’t see that word in Webster’s. Frump-pah-lee. That one tickled the eardrums when she described an off-the-rack haute couture design that Kim Kardashian paraded around in at some event, somewhere in La La Land. Not quite the word I would have used to describe the outfit. Denissa possesses a loosey-goosey lexicon that gets the point across to her listeners. Isn’t that what words are supposed to do? I found an article by Deborah Grayson Riegel, president of Elevated Training Inc., a communication skills training and coaching company. Riegel showcases the P.R.E.P. method, a way for “plain talkers” and “protracted talkers” to communicate to the rest of the world. I thought it was a reliable template for writers. (It could reduce the drafts and hair-pulling when writing the next American Novel.)
In this four-step process, you get to figure out where you tend to go long, where you fall short, how to organize your ideas, how to make a complete case, and how to keep from getting lost in your thoughts. As long as you remember which letter you’re up to (there are only four), you’ll always know what’s supposed to come next.”P: Make your point. Make it clear, clean, and concise. It can include a point of view—brief doesn’t have to mean neutral.
R: Reason. Justify your point. I think one robust reason is excellent, two solid reasons are good, and three are the maximum. After that you start to lose your listener, your ground, and your train of thought.E: Example (or Evidence, or Experience.) Bring it to life, and bring your life to it.P: Point. Restate your point.