Over our last several posts, we have been reviewing the key characteristics of great business communication: Clarity, brevity, context… and today’s topic: impact.
Does you message stand out? Do you make it easy for your audience to remember what you say? Does your message make an impact on the mind of your listener?
You need to care about this, because there is so much competition for the mindshare of your audience. There are so many things that come at each of us all day, every day. And if we don’t work hard to help our audience connect with your message, then it will be easy for them to quickly forget it.
And if your audience quickly forgets what you have just said, then how effective has your message been? Not at all effective.
How do we make our message have impact? It’s not complicated, but it does require a little work.
First, you have to know what you want to accomplish. What are your goals? What do you want them to do? Are you asking for something?
Second, you have to understand your audience’s perspective. What will be valuable to them? What will be important or unimportant?
Third, you have to outline the key elements of your message. Yes… do an outline.
Fourth, you have to create visuals (if and when you need them) that are easy to absorb and don’t look like a passage out of “War and Peace.” Your slides need to be simple, clear, consistent, and not require a lot of reading.
And fifth, you need to have a toolbox of delivery skills that will allow you to help your audience retain the key messages you have worked so hard to identify.
Do you want your audience to remember what you say? Do you want your message to make an impact? Then you have a little work to do. It’s not complicated. But it will take some work.
Photo by Nick Southall used under the following license.