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Sep 10 2021

The art of making a statement

This September, members of Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) participated in a communication training for three days where they learned how to make press and camera statements.

The Public Affair Office Officer from Command Support Brigade takes part in the communication training.

The phrase that "one cannot not communicate" was coined back in the 1960s by Paul Watzlawick, a communication theorist, who probably would not have expected to find himself being quoted fifty years later in an article about military communication training. The spirit of the time has to be taken into consideration when projecting his theory not only on our daily communication, but also on NATO press work.

This motto is the motivation behind organizing such a high-quality training. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Habermann, Chief Public Affairs at HQ MNC NE and the event's sponsor sees it as a special opportunity to learn situational awareness in front of the camera, a stressful circumstance nearly every member will be confronted with once in his career. Underlining the relevance of convincing and personal statements to the media on complex topics, he notes that "our soldiers need to send out the NATO messages in an accurate, appropriate and transparent way in realistic media and interview scenarios. We need the members of MNC NE to be credible and authentic representatives of NATO to the public of the Baltic Sea Region and beyond."

The promoter of this training, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Habermann welcomes the participants.
Instructor Mr. Dirk Finger prepares himself in the break.

One of the participants, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Braithwaite, confirmed, also based on his previous experience, the amount of insecurity and also stress in front of the press. "The emotions and feelings expressed in front of the camera are not always those the interviewer perceives. I expect this course to improve my behaviour and expressions in a press situation."

Mr Dirk Finger, the course instructor, is a communication expert and teaches the participants step by step how to behave in a number of settings. He emphasizes that not only the choice of words, but also facial expressions, gestures and rhetorical devices have an impact on the recipient. "Communication means inspiring people to do things. It makes them act and change their behaviour in a certain way."
Besides these great opportunities for the participants and the well-chosen instructor, the personnel who made this course possible deserve special mention. Corporals Heiko Mueller and Peter Alzner worked several days on the preparation of the room, the lights, cameras, sound technology and other logistical tasks to prepare a suitable setting for this special event.

All these arrangements have led to the satisfactory outcome the participants deserve. As Lieutenant Colonel Brian Braithwaite summarizes: "The communication training gave me not only the necessary confidence to speak in front of the press. It also gave me a great time and an experience I won't forget." For the organizing team the mission is completed, and for the attendees a new, more confident chapter in their professional and private lives can begin.

Members of the Multinational Corps participate in the communication training.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office / Lieutenant Maximiliane Strokosch

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Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin