Do you feel that your message is not heard or is discounted? How can you influence the capacity of others to hear your message? Today, we’ll learn more about how to create a messaging framework for success.
I think we all realize that our communication and messaging style has a major impact on how effective we are at selling our ideas, products, services or how we promote ourselves. In the last post, Messaging that Works, Brian Kane, leader of Three Lakes Communication, took us through the top ten messaging mistakes. You might be surprise at how many of those mistakes you do every day.
To create the capacity for others to want to listen, it starts with attitude.
Brian asks and rightfully so – “Are you credible, articulate, an authority, knowledgeable and sincere? Are you making eye contact, using facial expressions and hand gestures, speaking slowly and clearly, watching for cues from your audience?”
If not, you have to start with your attitude before developing a plan. No matter how good the plan, if you deliver the message ineffectively, people will not listen and remember.
Now for the success formula and framework behind “Creating a Message that Works”:
- Plan your work, work your plan. Take the time to develop a plan. Establish goals, milestones and performance standards. Without a roadmap, you will lack a definitive path and the likelihood you will waiver off course is likely.
- Know your audience. The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to talk with them. Will they respond to data or humor? Are they interested in the subject? Is your language at the appropriate level? For example, talking with executives vs. blue collar workers will be markedly different. Avoid using acronyms – invariably someone doesn’t know what they mean.
- Take people where they are at (not where you want them to be). What level of knowledge do they have on the subject – do you teach or discuss at a novice, advanced or expert level? It is up to you to take them on the journey, not lose them along the way.
- Tailor your message. The same message can be said in many ways. If you are working with a group on a sensitive subject matter, soft pedal it. If you are teaching a new skill, break it down to the smallest components for better understanding. If you are talking to an employee group, talk about what is important to them.
- Be succinct and memorable. How can you say the same thing with fewer words? Will a story help to drive home a point more than a graph? Use varying styles of communication to reach your audience more effectively.
- Small measurable chunks. Too much information will lead to communication overload. When your audience gets to that point, they shut down.
- What is your personal experience to get where you are and does this line up? Do you have a good track record with people listening and understanding your message? If not, you may want to work on your attitude and delivery. Volunteer to speak to a group, join Toastmasters or practice with some trusted colleagues.