Valuable tips on writing for audiences that prize subtle tact and social relationships far above rationalism, individualism and debate
With an increasingly global economy and the necessary cooperation it implies, poet Rudyard Kipling’s words may ring false: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” Yet much research shows serious differences in the perception and thinking of Asians and Westerners—with profound implications for speechwriting and other forms of communication.
Suppose you’re asked to write a speech for a major international conference taking place in Asia. The audience consists of representatives from many countries, but mostly from Asia (which holds 40 percent of the world’s population). The question is: Is it OK to write the speech just as you would for an audience in the United States? My answer: Hell, no—unless you’ve just decided to bomb and want your company to come across as ignorant and arrogant, traits that often go together.
Your research must be wide and humanistic