In today’s world of information overload, people move quickly from sound bite to sound bite. To be successful with your message and to avoid be washed away in the sea of noise, you must connect quickly and convey effectively. You must transmit something meaningful in the small window in which you have been granted the benefit of their attention. This is true in face-to-face as well as electronic communication. How many times, even when you are physically present with someone, are they distracted by some electronic device? Failure to connect with someone and convey meaning to them quickly will often lead to failure. Here are some tips:
- Present the Big Idea First – Don’t ramble and slowly build up to the big idea or you are likely to lose your audience. A much better tactic is to present the big idea right up front and then try to prove it with what follows.
- The Eyes Are Most Important – Humans are visual creatures and pictures are truly worth a thousand words. Slides with text don’t work near as well as slides with pictures. Think how much is conveyed in a cartoon picture with a short caption – for example.
- Trim the Data Fat – We now routinely ignore most of the information that we are blasted with simply as a defense mechanism. Make your message stand out with simple, concise, and clear content.
- Tell a Short Story – Humans evolved telling stories. Long stories may have worked in the past, but the key in today’s world is to make them short or people will tune out. I recently read a book I really liked, but it started out with a long story. As valuable a lesson as the story contained, I am willing to bet the author lost a lot of people before they made it to the end of that initial story.
- Show Confidence and Decisiveness – Displaying confidence and decisiveness make you more credible and will lead to a greater likelihood you will convince your audience. Many times in my work career people have complained to me “I told them the same thing but they only believe it when they hear it from you.” A forceful, confident, and decisive manner makes all the difference.
- Aim For the Heart – The most rational person in the world cannot make a decision without their emotions. This is a demonstrable scientific fact. If you want someone to decide in your favor or buy what your selling, then appeal to their emotions first and their intellect second.
There is so much more that could be said on this topic but in the spirit of the message, I think this will do for now.
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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