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Speech Abstract

Getting the Truth - Unlocking the Secrets of Communication


This presentation, "Getting the Truth – Unlocking the Secrets of Communication," teaches attendees to more fully understand the communication process. The communication process (lightning-quick subconcious/conscious decision-making) is best imagined as a huge parking lot full of vehicles, each of which constitutes a communication element. Think of each vehicle in this parking lot as a word, a physical reaction, a grunt, a raised voice, a voice inflection, eye movement, hand movement, silence, pause, or a phrase. The “parking lot attendant” is our mind. This model serves to help explain the intricacies of the communication process: the timing, our individual and unique nuances of speech, our body language, and the infinite combinations of the thousands of variables involved. Our mind (the “attendant”) decides to select a combination or a string of these elements to create the communication (message) and to interpret and understand received messages. Each element has its own uniqueness. And when an element is selected, not selected, moved, or changed, a track is laid — to be detected by the trained observer to help interpret the real meaning of the message. The communication elements (vehicles) constitute most of the ways we uniquely communicate: our vocabulary, our communication habits, our experiences, our unique physical traits, and the library of all our communication tools and components. Each and every selection by the “attendant” represents a decision. There are no mistakes. Even mistakes are decisions.


Finding facts, like identifying deception, is not easy. The attendee will learn to identify a person’s communication patterns and identify changes in those patterns. Changes are significant and telling, requiring us to determine the reason for the change. The reason may be some distraction, a reaction, a sudden errant thought – or it may be deception. No changes in patterns tells us the communicator’s stress level is consistent – also giving us clues to the real meaning of the message. The communication process leaves tracks the trained investigator can use to zero in on what the communication really means. Are they communicating in a stressful way? If so, why? If not, why? What did they not say? Why? Why not? There is much, much to learn in finding out what is really being communicated.


Attendees will learn the importance of contamination, how to structure and ask questions, and how all of that impacts the response. A methodical and clear interpretation of a communication is the only way we can discover the real meaning of that message.


We will further explore deception. People who tell the complete truth are relieved. Truth tellers have less stress than those who don’t. One of the principles attendees will learn is that people don’t tell complete lies – they tell partial truths because that composition helps reduce the stress of telling a complete lie. Thus, there is always a modicum of truth in a lie. Partial-truths leave tracks. Liars hide in partial truths. Truth-tellers want you to know the whole truth. The deceptive don’t. The different approaches again leave tracks.


"Getting the Truth – Unlocking the Secrets of Communication" powerfully promotes better understanding and ethically fact-based decisions. Facts that can only be obtained through properly interpreting and knowing the real message.


The Joe Biden Denial

The Biden Denial

5/1/20 on MSNBC Morning Joe:


Mika Brzezinski: “I want to get right to the allegation made against you by Tara Reade. So, the former senate aide accuses you of sexual assault. And, please, to our viewers please excuse the graphic nature of this but I want to make sure there is no question about what we are talking about. She says in 1993, Mr. Vice President, that you pinned her against the wall and reached under her clothing and penetrated her with your fingers. Will you please go on the record with the American people. Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?“

Joe Biden: “No, it’s not true. I’m saying unequivocally that it never happened. And it didn’t. It never, ever happened.”


First, let’s take a close look at Mika’s excellent question. She first identifies the accuser, former senate aide, Tara Reade, and her accusation: “accuses you of sexual assault.” Then she gives the time frame (1993) and defines what she means when she uses the sexual assault words in her question: “She says in 1993, Mr. Vice President, that you pinned her against the wall and reached under her clothing and penetrated her with your fingers.”  Then the precise, simple, and direct question: “Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?”


Mika’s question is constructed beautifully by first defining the time frame, the accusation, and all the terms used in the question. Questions have to be simple, direct, precise – and contain mutually understood words.  This eliminates misunderstanding, leaving no future “wiggle” for the deceptive to use the excuse they misunderstood the question. 


Now, the analysis. Forensic linguists ask the following:

1. Was the question simple, direct, and precise using mutually understood words?

2. Did the accused answer the question?

3. If not, why not?


The question, 

“Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?” 

The response, 

“No, it’s not true. I’m saying unequivocally that it never happened. And it didn’t. It never, ever happened.” 


Remember, Mr. Biden’s entire vocabulary is available when he provides his answer. He chose to use only those words shown in his denial. He made decisions on each and every word. He doesn’t respond directly to the question. 


I expected, “I did not sexually assault Tara Reade." Instead he said, “No, it’s not true. I’m saying unequivocally that it never happened. And it didn’t. It never, ever happened.” He chose to respond with “It's not …,” instead of “I did not ...” Mika asked what “he” did, not what “it” did. This is not insignificant. His answer is more of a deflection. “I” is personal. “It” is not. So, he chose to depersonalize the accusation. He distanced himself from the accusation. Why? Does he find the accusation so disgusting, that he can’t associate himself with it? At the very least, his use of “it” is troubling and diminishes this denial. 


Further, Mr. Biden introduces "wiggle" when he uses “it.” "Wiggle" is favored by the deceptive because it allows them to later change their answer. The innocent provide simple, clear, and precise responses to eliminate doubt. He leaves his "it” undefined, wiggly.  Can we assume “it” is the "sexually assault?" Or is “it” the “pinned her against the wall?” Or, the “penetrated her with your fingers?” What is his definition of "it?" He forces us to make assumptions. Denials need to be simple, clear, and precise to kill doubt. Instead, his response creates doubt.


The pronoun “I” is the most precise word in any language to declare ownership, responsibility, accountability. There is only one "I." It's strategic absence is glaring and reveals his lack of willingness to declare “I did not sexually assault Tara Reade.” He didn’t “own” this denial. This essence of denial analysis is declaring "I did not ..."


The fact he used his only “I” in “I’m saying ..,” is also telling. “I’m saying ..” is an introduction and allows the deceptive to “say" anything.  We always need to be aware of what follows introductions. They also introduce "wiggle" in the response. The questioner cannot, must not, rely on anything that follows “I’m saying …” Mr. Biden spent his powerful “I” pronoun only here and nowhere else. He chose not to use his "I" where it counted. Again, why?


The accusation lives.






".. unlocking the secrets of communication." - buy Mr. Koenig's autographed books at BOOKSTORE.

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