One can agree we live in a world where we have an abundance of knowledge and are continually communicated ‘at’ (a blog for another day). There are so many different channels of communication and many, varied messages. So why do we still misunderstand each other?
Certainly in the corporate world there is an abundance of knowledge and I dare say astute people. So why do we still not get our messages across, understood and actioned?
Over many years in the communication space and many writing courses later, one teacher stands out, Clare Lynch from Doris and Bertie Limited. She certainly helped me understand the ‘writing voice’ and has a great way of making corporate communications interesting.
So today, I have whittled down a lot of information from my learnings and un-jumbled the scary writing process into a 10 step framework for simple, meaningful and authentic communications.
Step 1: What’s your intention with your message? Do you want to inspire, persuade, entertain, inform, teach or sell? This certainly assists with the voice, tone and feel of the message.
Step 2: Who is your audience? Demographics – of course. Moreover, do you understand their needs, beliefs, existing knowledge, culture and values?
Step 3: What are the key points or call to action you want to convey?
Step 4: What other information would you like to relay?
Step 5: Organise the narrative from these points (3 and 4). Find the flow, illustration or challenge and then elaborate further on fundamentals, benefits or solutions.
Step 6: Put yourself in their shoes. Is this information useful? Or compelling? Why should they care?
Step 7: Edit. Edit. Edit. Take out all superfluous or complicated words and find simpler words (like superfluous😁, perhaps use redundant). Remember….
“The writer who breeds more words than he needs. Is making a chore for the reader that reads.”Dr. Seuss
Step 8: Stay clear of abstractions. Speak as though you would if you were in conversation. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS principle).
Step 9: Would I trust this message if it came to me? Does it sound authentic?
Step 10: Edit. Edit. Edit again. Is it too long? What can I lose? What has no impact or is boring? Did I do a spellcheck?
Oh dear, perhaps there are 11 steps – remember to press send!