How can you develop reach and resonance across social, digital, cross generational or cultural boundaries? How do you build the communication mindset and skillset that helps you inspire the best in yourself, your people and your audience?
Developing a message that stands out starts with changing your communication playbook. The goal of a communication playbook is to drive:
Reach: Opening the ears, hearts and interest of your audience
Resonance: Trust, congruency, purpose
Results: Engagement, buy in-the human factor that makes communication work and grow
Here are eight ways to change and improve your communication playbook, while building reach, resonance and results.
1. Less Is More. Short is sweet. Shorter is sweeter.
The plethora of information thrown at as before we eat lunch is extraordinary. People have less time, less patience and shorter attention spans than ever before. Making your case, connecting words that create value for the other party means fewer words that have more meaning, more impact and create value. Think about what you want to say, and cut down your statement, your message to three or four strong words that you want to get across with impact, and build your statement accordingly.
2. It is not about YOU, it is about THEM.
The size of your company, your bank account, etc., have lost their shine. Forty years of relentless advertising, vacuous messages have made the 21st century consumer wary of pitches, big companies, shiny objects and messages that talk about your power and clout. Communication is about empowering them, their clout, and their power to resonate with your message. It is a message that talks about them and to them.
3. Ask the right questions and you will get the right answers.
Your focus is finding the common thread, the shared objectives and values that transcend the noise, the stress and any cultural, general boundaries before you. Your ability to develop a ME to WE focus by listening more and asking questions that help your audience share their values and objectives is the first step in building communication and developing messages that stand up and out.
4. Stop talking at your audience and talk with them.
The new communication playbook is about developing communities of purpose, developing relationships that are held together by shared values and objectives that transcend social, digital, cultural/generational boundaries. Great communication is not about persuasion, it is about connection that occurs through transparency of communication, fluency of information and a spirit of collaboration.
5. Purpose equals profit.
Purpose equals profit on a multiplicity of levels. When our need for food and shelter has been met, human purpose our ability to feel needed, valuable and that we are contributing to a greater whole drives our most important decisions. If you want to build a message that stands out, and communicate in a way that builds a bridge, you must find words that open the ears of your audience and resonate with a purpose that ignites their head and heart.
6. Get over yourself.
Command and control communication may get the job done quickly, but the results you achieve will come back and bite you in the face. The new consumer, the new employee, and the new generation expect real, live news and communication for integrity and transparency.
7. Fail forward.
Take the high road by using conflict or misunderstandings to develop new ways to come to the center of the table. Use conflicts to build connections, because it is the human connection, the thread of shared values and objectives that can transcend the most difficult failure or conflict and turn it into an opportunity to connect and communicate.
8. Content is not king, communication is king.
The greatest content in the world is lost if it does not open the ears, hearts, and minds of your audience in ways that resonate with their purpose; and create a strong bridge of shared values and objectives.
Communicating effectively in a hyper competitive world is the litmus test of personal, business and professional success. The leader who communicates well succeeds well, but developing a message that stands up and out means rewriting your communication playbook. Doing so can be challenging, but it is also a new adventure that will help you grow, expand and develop new ways of thinking, doing and communicating.