Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Christine Loh speaks on The Power of Words in Raising Public Awareness

By Jennifer Eagleton

Last night, Christine Loh of local think tank Civic Exchange spoke of two crucial features in getting your point across to various audiences: policy makers, foundations, the public. No matter the audience, the most important way to engage their interest is to do two things: have a concise message and show that you have actually listened to their concerns. These two things are what Christine colloquially described as the "killer apps" of persuasion and activism.

The first, "conciseness of message", was instilled in Christine by a long-ago teacher who was a fan of "precis" writing - a method of summarizing and abridgement. The second, listening and repeating the audience's concerns back to the audience, will indicate to them that you haven't taken their concerns the wrong way.

Christine also spoke of other projects she is involved in. This included research into the status and role of women in Hong Kong over the past three generations to inform future policy, suggesting that as women age they should be seen as an asset to society and not a burden. A vigorous Q & A session followed her talk that had to be cut short due to timing issues.

It was a pleasure to have such an engaging and accomplished speaker give of her time to WiPS members and guests. While the twin thrust of Christine's message is so obvious, it is all too often ignored in both writing and in speech.