How To Convey Information

On many occasions a Question and Answer routine is based on the old principles of stealing envelopes and opening them, getting carbon-copies or sneaking information by way of personal interviews. Generally, when this is so, it is a matter of getting the information from an off-stage backroom to the Reader who is on stage working, or ready to work. We shall not bother to detailise the methods—but content ourselves with listing some of the many; most of which suggest for themselves the method that is used.

We should know this, however. Our questions must be analysed, abridged to the minimum of context without losing any vital facts (i.e. names, dates) and written clearly though in very small letters. Bearing in mind that the Reader must hide this secret information from the audience and yet he must be able to see it clearly enough to read, we must be practical in our method. Sometimes the Reader himself will write out his questions, copied from the originals and listed for a handy reference for himself whilst performing. We have methods of doing this—since it would be far too confusing to try and remember some thirty or forty different questions in detail.

Fogel has advised me considerably on this matter and does so with good authority as one who has performed Question and Answer routines during his professional career. He suggested that a sample "code" be developed to reduce the context of the question to a minimum of writing. For example, he would write . . . "D!!MOORE/Mr/Tr/19()7" which would result as the coding of the question "I have travelled as a soldier during the war and I am now fifty-two-years-old, do you think I will go back to where I was stationed?", signed D. MOORE. We see the basic points are Name, M. MOORE; Sex, Male— , indicated by Mr.; Subject, Travel—we use Tr.; age, 52—we write his birth year. Space permitting, we could include "Soldier" and "War"—but already we have enough to go on. No complicated code is needed, simply abridge the question to a bare minimum of writing so that you can understand what was originally written—and quite often you will remember the complete question, word for word, when you see your code guide.

We see now that by coding the questions to reduce their length and along with the ability to print small but distinctive notes, we can write very many questions in a very small space. About-twenty questions could be coded on to the back of a Postage Stamp (English Id. in size), although this economy is hardly called for!

Just one last tip before we deal with actual means of conveyance. Do the writing whenever it is possible with a good black ink—which shows up well unless the method calls for writing with chalk, pencil or methylphenolatetri-iodide.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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