Six Characters in Search of an Author was written by Luigi Pirandello in 1921. The story plot goes like this.
The rehearsal preparations of a theatrical company are interrupted by a Father and his family who explain that they are characters from an unfinished dramatic work. They want to interpret again crucial moments of their lives, claiming that they are "truer" than the "real" characters.
"How can we understand each other if the words I use have the sense and the value I expect them to have, but whoever is listening to me inevitably thinks that those same words have a different sense and value, because of the private world he has inside himself too. We think we understand each other: but we never do," says the Father.
Have you ever had one of those conversations? You though you were on the same page, yet discover that you were not. There is a definite disconnect between what you think you conveyed and what was understood on the other side.
Professional communicators know that they are competing with the internal dialogue of their audience. That's why the best memoranda are short, to the point, and crafted to address the concerns of your publics. It's more than just talking about what's in it for them. It requires responding the questions in the minds of your constitiencies before they are formulated and from their point of view.
Good presenters understand the power of interaction with the attendees. They anticipate the rhythm of the room by staying in contact with you, listening to your cues, and making the talk seem two-way even when technically it is not.
Marketers communicate through stories. Brands become lovemarks when they connect with customers at a deeper level so that they are adopted by them and retold in unique ways. At that point, as the message resonates with the worldview of its audience, it is hard to tell if the orginal story is truer than the one reenacted in the enthusiastically fertile minds of your evangelists.
As The Producer in Pirandello's acts says: "Make-believe?! Reality?! [...] Lights! Lights! Lights!" What's important is that we adopt the lens we believe to be the most real.