The measure of a great communicator is not what he or she knows, it’s what those they want to influence know.  If you are seeking buy-in for your vision, your goals, or your message it all starts with clearly communicating the information.

Studies show that we are exposed to as many as 10,000 marketing messages every day.  Add in emails, social media, and personal communication and it’s no wonder you sometimes feel like your message is lost in translation.

A key to cutting through the noise and having your message heard, being understood, and gaining buy-in is to keep the message simple.  Try these five tips next time you need to be heard:

  1. Talk to people, not above or at them. Consider your audience when crafting your message.  Use words, body language, and images they will relate to.
  1. Get to the point. Attention spans are short, and your message has big competition.  Get straight to the point and you’ll keep their attention and share your message more effectively.
  1. Say it again and again (and again). Marketers will tell you that prospects need to hear your message at least seven times before they will take action.  Treat your message as an advertisement – say it, say it again, and then say it once more.  It may feel repetitive to you, but that repetition is necessary for your audience to retain the information.
  1. Say it clearly. Don’t cloud your message with needless information or jargon.  Be sure it is well written (or spoken clearly).  Being understood is as important as being hear.
  1. Say less. Don’t be afraid of silence.  Your audience needs time to reflect and digest on the information you share.  Allow time for questions and discussion.  Give them time to consider your message and respond.

Bonus tip:  consider different communication methods.  People learn in many different ways.  Reading these tips may work well for you, but others on your team may respond better to video.  Consider an infographic or slide show to present your information.  Making your message available in multiple formats not only help with the repetition but makes it easier for your team to receive the information in a way they can easily interpret.  For example, this information is also available as a video.

The ability to communicate your message so that it is heard, understood, and then internalized is a key leadership skill.  Try these five tips and see the difference in the way your message is caught by those who need to catch it.


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