He called and told her that she needs to talk to him about their problem with them.
Make sense? Nope. Not at all.
Good communication is the cornerstone of every successful event. While creativity, organization and good financial sense all help to create excellent event experiences a quality event requires clear communication.
Pronouns lead to problems in event communication. This is likely due to the many people and entities that are involved in producing a large scale event. Because there are so many people it’s easy to have a communication break-down.
It’s more typical that the below instances of pronoun problems occur in the tense hours leading up to the start of an event. Consider we are setting up for an outdoor festival and workers are unloading trucks, setting up vendors, organizing volunteers, constructing stages, erecting tents . . . do the following sentences really help get the job done faster?
“The contortionist called and the caterer just texted us, their schedule got all twisted up!”
“The Joan Rivers impersonator called him and he’s running late.”
“Peter and Paul are having trouble with the signboard, he told her it won’t fasten.”
“Can someone look through the lost and found? She doesn’t know what she did with them.”
“Please call the mimes and ask them what they want for lunch, then tell her to get it.”
“Oh Great! Now I’ve got him calling!”
The issue with these all too common examples is that unless the context from previous discussions is crystal clear (which it’s likely not) most of these examples require the receiver of the messages to ask “WHO?” or “WHERE?” or “WHEN?”
Time is the most valuable commodity when coordinating a special event. So it’s a good idea to use proper nouns when communicating, even if it sounds redundant. It saves time and continued conversation.
It may sound tedious or even condescending to continue using proper nouns while talking to someone. It’s also possible to conclude that you are “talking to someone like they’re an idiot,” however it’s all in an effort to provide clear, concise information. It’s necessary for people to follow directions and for the event to come together in the least amount of time possible.
“Please call Paul and Peter and let Paul know the signboards need Velcro and tell Paul to make sure he also makes Mark aware of the situation too.”
“The Slippery Catering Company is stuck in traffic but I let them know there is a short-cut into the event. The dispatcher called the driver and it is possible Slippery Catering will arrive on-time.”
“The stagehands need to move the band’s equipment from the storage truck to the stage, please make sure the stagehands are done with lunch before you ask them to move the equipment as to avoid over-time charges.”
The more direct the communication the easier it is to get the event up and running. While it sounds awkward and redundant to keep using proper nouns over and over, it truly does lessen the amount of time spent communicating to complete a task.
Final word on pronouns: Just say NO to them otherwise they will make him and her really frustrated.
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