Getting your communications right is essential for any leader, entrepreneur or business owner.
Because whatever your objectives, clear communication is the key to success.
Yet it's a vast topic and it can be difficult to know where to start - the rise of digital and social media is not making this situation any easier!
So you might be surprised to learn that the keys to effective and impactful communications are the same today as they have ever been.
If you were looking for a blueprint for success or secret sauce, then hold tight, I'll reveal it to you in a moment!
Whatever your objectives, clear communications are the key to success. - Melitta Campbell
Before becoming a business success coach, a little over two years ago, I worked in Marketing and Communications for more than 20 years. First as an in-house resource and head of department, then later as a freelance consultant.
Over that time, I wrote articles, speeches, websites - and a whole lot more! - for some of the world's largest, smallest and newest companies.
Six years ago, I condensed all of my communication knowledge and experience into two one-day workshops that I delivered to communicators and entrepreneurs in the Swiss Romande area.
During the course of the day, I'd share more than 60 slides with participants, each one packed with communication theory, practical tips and challenging exercises to bring their new knowledge together. But of all the slides in my communication skills workshops, there is one slide that is my absolute favourite.
It's one that comes right at towards the start of the day and, even when training experienced professional communicators, I can almost see all the lightbulbs turning on above people's heads when I share it!
Yet it's not the most complex slide. In fact, it's quite the opposite!
It's the slide where I share my Four Golden Rules for Effective and Impactful Communication.
It features in all of my workshops, regardless of the theme, as I believe that if you get these four things right in your messages, presentations, brochures...any of your communications...then you are guaranteed to grab attention and hit the mark every time!
It took a while to whittle all of communication best practice down to just four essential ingredients (I started out with 58 essential rules!), but working through the list, and grouping and regrouping each success factor, I came down to the four key 'heavy hitters' that are essential ingredients for a successful message.
Okay, I can hear you yelling at the screen "What are they already?!!!"
The Four Golden Rules for Impactful Communication....
So here they are, my
Four Golden Rules for Impactful Communication
Be clear about your purpose
I'm shocked at how often people don't think about this. But here's the thing, if you don't know what you're talking about, then you can't expect anyone else to!
Get clear about exactly why you are communicating. This will usually involve thinking abut where your audience is now and where you want them to be after experiencing your message. Do you want them to think or act differently, or do something specific?
Write your purpose down in one sentence with 10 words or less - then keep it somewhere visible as you construct your message to help keep you focused.
Know your audience
If you don't know who you are talking to, then how do you share something interesting with them?
This is absolutely key, yet most people fail to think deeply enough about who they want to reach out to and what will attract them.
What is it that your audience cares about? What do they already know (or thing they know) about your topic? What words do they use? Do they prefer video or written articles?
With the Internet and social media, it's easier than ever before to research and get to know your audience. Taking some time to do this up front will have a huge difference on the success of your communications.
Be clear and concise
A confused mind doesn't buy or buy-into anything.
Make sure you strip out everything that is not relevant to your purpose or audience and give your message the chance to shine.
Avoid jargon, technical terms and clichés. Shorter words are always better than long ones. Today people want messages that are easy and enjoyable to consume, so make that your aim.
Communicate clearly - a confused mind does buy or buy-into anything.
Bring all the above together in a clear, simple plan.
It needs to be something that your entire team can understand, communicate and put into action.
Think about your message, audience and purpose and what delivery channel(s) and structure will be most appropriate.
Your plan must include some feedback elements that track the success of your communications so you can continually improve and grow with your audience.
So that's it, all you need to know to be effective and impactful in your communications, whatever media you are using.
Now of course, there is a LOT more tips and advice under each of these golden rules, but if you take time to research and plan each of these elements, then your messages will already start to pack a lot more punch!
Look out for my Golden Rules of Communication webinar coming soon!
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