Welcome to the course book 'How to Communicate' in 8 chapters. Write engaging documents and have enjoyable interactions with people in the kitchen, office or on stage.

Good communication can resolve any problem even among the cacophony of today's interactions. Conversations between people are at the root of all problems and also integral to solving them.

Please read the foreword first and then we wish you a fun journey in the art of communication.

Ideas on this site are free. What it took to get them to you is given freely also. In future we shall sell books and audio books.

1. Idea

Chapter 1 – Idea

An idea is the ideal realised, the absolute truth of which everything that exists is the manifestation; (Hegleian)

What is it that we are sending across space to a receiving point? discussions, dialogues, speeches, song, all conversations one way or another.

In many conversations it’s hard to extract an idea from what is being said. Quite often there can be so many ideas present within one sentence, that no point can be understood individually; there can be a series of words without a noun among the copious adjectives: there can be a single expletive such as “DAM!” or Jesus Christ!” expressing a representation of many ideas – which one can only assume…

The definition of idea varies. It has never been thought of as a solid or real thing – “it’s just an idea”. Recently it is being better understood that thoughts are real. Therefore the many definitions are all correct. Here’s the Chambers 1890 written at a time where the thought and imagination were not considered ‘real’ nor was reality perfect in the scientific or religious thinking.:

Idea, (noun) An image of an external object formed by the mind : a notion, any product of intellectual action––of memory and imagination :

an archetype of the manifold existance in the universe, belonging to the supersensible world, where reality is found and where God is (Platonic) ;

one of the three products of the reason ( the Soul, the Universe and God) transcending the conception of the understanding –– transcendental ideas, in the functions of mind concerned with the unification of existance (Kantian)

the ideal realised, the absolute truth of which everything that exists is the manifestation; (Hegleian)

(adjective of idea) existing in idea : mental : existing in imagination only : the highest and best conceivable ; the perfect as opposed to the real:
(noun) the highest conception of anything

The current Oxford English Dictionary describes it thus:

1 a thought or suggestion about a possible course of action.
2 a mental impression.
3 a belief.
4 (the idea) the aim or purpose.
— ORIGIN Greek, ‘form, pattern’. (

Communication of an idea

From wherever thoughts arise, and regardless of how real they are, Thoughts take over the activity of the mind leading to the desire to tell someone else what we have thought .

Communication is fundamental to the growth of a person, a family, a tribe and so on to include a whole nation. Recently there is more of a tendency to talk about illness, our children, the latest issue, the planet, money, the Universe and aliens. The desire to communicate is fundamental to survival and happiness.

When the HitchHikers’ Gude to the Galaxy was on the radio in the 50’s, the idea filtered through that our solar system was a part of ‘our’ galaxy and that NASA were listening for (radio) signals from other planets.

Now, for the purpose of this book, we focus on an idea as the pivotlal point of the communication. Any of the above is what is being sent to a receiving point. The common understanding of the word has been degraded over the century – ‘Hey ideas are ten a penny’. Everyone has them, writes them down, sings songs about them, expresses them on Twitter and dreams them when asleep or even awake. Advertisers are paid to alter and control them and transmit them to the bewildered herd on mass media.

First they are in the mind and then we want to express them.

In the absence of an idea the communication will miss the mark. You will fail to get through. The interaction will be irrelevant.

“what’s your point?” can be the only response to many an expression. Should a person respond with politesse, or with a desire to please, the answer will be leaving it all to fate. A welter of assumptions can ensue. That’s because another idea has taken over – that is the idea that to please the other person is the over arching factor. This is where platitudes come from.

The majority of ideas are transmitted nowadays for the purpose of complaining about something. The idea of complaint pervades the conversations. The point is missed. “The drain is blocked” is left unheard when wrapped in blame or anger. Then the idea mutates into damage limitation. “…er not my problem”.

Jennifer is confiding in Tracey in a coffee bar. She and Tracey have been through several cups and with some tears Jennifer has put across her part.

Jennifer – “That’s the last thing I expected to happen between us”

Tracey – “Yes dear, I know. I’ve been there I understand it happened to me too – just last year Mark did that to me.. It all works out in the end – you’ll see”

Jennifer – “Well I’m not holding my breath”

Tracey – “Just watch your back, remember what goes around comes around. Maybe It wasn’t meant to be. You might have bitten off more than you can chew.”

Jennifer – “I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens”.

Re-read the conversation just above and see how many platitudes you can spot.

The only thing to turn this into a conversaton is to ask a question which is in itself an idea – like

”What do you really want to have happen?” “What’s next for you?”

What questions would you ask to get the conversation back on track. Was is a dialogue? a discussion? a debate? to give you a clue because it’s your first exercise, you go through and count the platitudes* -Tracey is unaware of the fact that each platitude is an idea … but which one is appropriate? Put in too many ideas and the first point will be like a sludge that’s difficult to get across. Conversations are illustrations of the title and can be visualised as sketches. You can make the conversation dramatic, funny, tragic – anything.

(*I got 9 on last count).

By the time you have read this chapter you may have an idea what an idea is. Or you may be so overwhelmed with new information you’ll need a sleep to digest it. Either way you have to think of an idea you want to get across. Just one idea.

[see also the post- Idea – truth versus opinion]

The next chapter is Audience – the receiving point of your idea.

The adventure begins.