Sunday, December 27, 2009

High-Impact Communication Skills: The Extraordinarily Articulate Bruce Hoffman in Action on the BBC This Morning

Bruce Hoffman’s name first entered my consciousness in the early part of this decade, shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, thanks to his unremittingly lucid and penetrating comments on al Qaeda in particular and terrorism in general, and I soon realized that he is perhaps the most articulate American in the field of anti-terrorism. Ever since, I’ve found listening to Mr. Hoffman to be most rewarding: His extraordinary command of the language enables him to give expression to his expertise, deep insights, and views as few specialists can. Thus, whenever he is featured on any of my favorite radio or TV shows, I instantly sharpen my antennas so that I don’t miss a word of what he is about to utter. Not surprisingly, I honor Mr. Hoffman on my website’s home page as well in my book The Articulate Professional – 3rd Edition (on page 4, where I laud some 15 or so Americans whose voices are extremely influential partly because they possess a vigorous vocabulary).

This morning, Mr. Hoffman was on a 3-member panel assembled by The BBC World Service to discuss the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. He did not disappoint, using a stream of fresh, vivid, evocative, and synonymous words and phrases--the defining trait of articulate people--to emphasize his points. For instance, when asked whether it was his view that the 9/11 attacks had indeed shaped this past decade, Mr. Hoffman replied: “This was the end of the halcyon period during the '90s when, supposedly, a new world order was emerging which would be far more peaceful, far less truculent than was the case during the Cold War. (Instead) these attacks led to a dramatic transition from the belligerence but non-violence of the Cold War to an actual hot war that the U.S. was involved in during the last 9 years--this succession of military engagements that would have been unimaginable in the 1990s.”

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