Updated: Oct 4
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You have a great idea that others don’t see it when you talk about it. Why don’t they understand where you’re coming from?
Communicating your message effectively is important and often overlooked. We take for granted that we can simply make statements using our logic and others will understand, but this is not always the case.
In this article, we are going to take three known methods of communicating your message effectively and merge them into a simple formula you can use. Let us start by going through each of the methods briefly:
1. Elevator speech, where you have approximately one to two minutes to convey your message. The analogy is you enter an elevator with someone you want to connect with. As the elevator doors close and it starts moving so does your mouth. To be clear and concise, you usually structure your messaging by stating your point, circumstances, the benefit it would bring if it was done your way and whatever you need from them to help you support your idea.
2. Inspirational message: Simon Sinek’s famous words “People buy why you do it, not what you do!" is intended to have you convey your message starting with the reason why you are believing in it. Then you follow it with the “what” you are doing about it and “how” you are propagating the message.
3. Value Proposition: is used when you introduce a service or product using its attributes to sell the idea. This way you are showing all the benefits your product or service will bring. This requires strategic messaging which includes talking about quantifiable advantages it would bring. For example, you are introducing a new tablet. You will inform the audience of its features, like 150-hour battery life, 32 GB RAM, 64-bit operating system, 12 voice-activated languages, etc. In other words, you spew out a lot of numbers, dollars, or percentage information.
You can see that all three methods have their merit, and you may choose to use one to move forward. You may also consider the following alternative. It proposes to draw from the three sources. We believe that merging them and capturing each method’s essence will definitely increase your messaging power. Make sure when you are putting together your message using the formula below you keep the message to five sentences or less so you can stick to a quick and concise messaging, similar to the elevator speech:
1. Definitely start by stating your “Why”, the reason this topic resonates with you, and you find it important to have others rally around the idea. Describe this in a couple of sentences using your own vernacular. Then, use the root-cause technique of asking “5 Why’s”, where you just keep asking yourself the “why” until you get to the root of your motivation.
2. Know your audience! To bring value to the table you need to understand what value is to the people in your hearing. This means that you will have the best response if you know what is important to the person to whom you are relaying your message. For example, you may be wanting to get money for a new venture in your company and you know the CEO loves to hear about financials; your message includes estimated numbers that give a great cost-benefit ratio (or payback). If on the other hand your CEO is more concerned about the environment; you point out the green benefits (as long as it can materialize when your topic comes to fruition).
3. Make sure you close out your messaging by being inclusive. You don’t want to sound like an ad campaign or despair. You want them to get on board and have them partner up with you. This is a way you can build your following and spread your ideas around. Your closing sentence should have words like “you” and “we” rather than “I”.
4. Be open and flexible to feedback. Listen attentively to their response. Feedback will help you understand how well the message was received and give you their insights on your idea. Based on what you hear you may want to alter your message so it resonates better.
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Want to read inspirational stories that make you think? go to our Anna & Dude series.
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