Whether you are drafting a message to your boss, a client or prospect there are a number of key elements you should consider in order to get your point across and ensure that the recipient will understand what it is you are trying to convey. Obviously, depending on the message, the amount of time needed to develop will vary, however, the basics will stay the same.
For this post let’s stick with broader messages, where you need to convey an idea. To start with, you need to understand that messages are not necessarily “facts” no matter how they are presented. The facts are the proof points that back up your message. The message is about connecting with the audience.
Is it a simple process? Yes and No. Below are a few guidelines that will help.
- No matter what you are trying to convey, you want to say it the first.
- Consideration on how you want your audience to feel after receiving the message will help determine the tone and the words used.
- Arguably the most significant step is to determine and include a call to action.
- Shorter is sweeter and easier for your audience to grasp. No one wants to spend time reading a dissertation on why you want to take next Friday off.
- There is a difference in language used when speaking vs. writing. Avoid jargon and buzzwords.
- Not everything needs to be clever – there is a risk that if you come up with something clever, your audience won’t get it.
Previously I have written about story-telling and its importance in delivering messages effectively. A well-crafted message will bring your story to life as it will help you express what you believe in and what you stand for while engaging your audience. A good narrative, with a clear message will work together to tell a great story.