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"Which adventure story?"
Here is a waste of efficiency. The first speaker should have named the story at once.
You are on a street car. You say: "May I get a transfer?"
"Yes. Where to?"
"To the-Eighteenth Street car."
If you had said at once, "May I get a transfer to an Eighteenth Street car?" you would have had to give but one question.
The rules for making inquiries are:
1. Be brief.
2. Be very explicit.
You wish to buy certain legal blanks. You enter the store and say:
"Do you keep legal blanks?"
"Yes. What kind?"
"Yes. What kind?"
The moment you hear a question in answer to your question you should revise all that you have said, and make a new, specific question thus:
"Do you keep large, printed forms for wills?"
1. During the next two days you will make many inquiries. Watch yourself to see if all are specific. •
2. You will hear others make inquiries. Notice if they make specific inquiries.
You are to go to Buffalo. Plan a telephone inquiry concerning the time of your departure from the railroad station in your home town.
How to Give Information
KEY WORDS: IN GIVING INFORMATION CENTER YOUR WORDS AROUND POINTS THAT CAN BE REMEMBERED AND UNDERSTOOD.
You have to give information every day. Naturally, you wish to give it clearly and satisfactorily.
/ am going to show you a psychological method that you can always follow, a method that will make it easy for you to give information, and easy for your hearers to comprehend and remember what you say.
Now let us practise.
Imagine that you and a friend are riding along the Berkshire Road.
You meet an auto whose owner says: "How do I go to get to the Albany Post Road?"
The friend who is with you, who has lived in that section of the state several years, says: "Go ahead to the Graham Road, turn to the west and go as far as the Old Turnpike. Then go towards the River as far as the Post Road."
Now all this is correct, but it is vague. The stranger has never heard of the Graham Road, nor the Old Turnpike. He may not be certain as to which direction is west. He therefore asks for further information.
First, find some point of information so notable that it will be comprehended and remembered.
Say to the man: "Go ahead to a white church. Turn to the left."
The words "white church" are words he understands, and words he will remember. Furthermore, he knows which is "left."
Now add further information of the same type: "Go on to a big red barn. Turn right, and go two miles."
It will be helpful if you repeat: "Just remember: white church—left; red barn—right."
The man will thank you and go ahead intelligently.
If the matter were more complex you could sketch a map for the stranger.
This method is the psychological method for giving information. Let us sum it up:
1. Give a notable point of information that will be emphatic, and that will be remembered.
2. Center all information around notable points.
3. Give a very short summary.
4. Give a drawing or illustration when necessary.
Follow that method in giving any information, and you are certain to be clear. Probably within an hour someone will ask you for information. Put the rules into immediate practice.
A new man comes into your employ, or under your direction. He asks you to tell him some of the rules of your office that he should know. Give him those rules.