Quite often when we are planning our communication we spend much of our time thinking about how we can get our message across, however the first place to begin is understanding your intention.
1. What is your intention?
We want to convey a message for a reason. It may be that you need approval for the next stage of a project, perhaps you need to allocate budget money to a task, perhaps you have an idea you want to share. Begin with the end in mind, what is it you really want to achieve?
2. Who is my audience (stakeholders)?
The better you know your audience, the easier it is to tailor your message. People communicate differently, and so a bit of forward planning can help you assess the language you use and your delivery style. Depending on your audience you may have to go into detail with numbers and evidence, or it could be a high-level overview that’s required to wet an appetite. Consider, who are the people that need to hear my message and who can influence the outcome?
3. What do you want to say?
A key part of delivering your message is ensuring that you get your point across effectively, and that your audience really understands. Ensure you are clear with your message. Try explaining it to someone else to see if you can express yourself effectively. People tend to understand direct messages or stories that are directly relatable rather than ‘fluffy’ details.
People like and respect honesty, so avoid falsely building-up your message. Tell it as it is, but clearly and professionally. This allows you to manage expectations.
4. How do I reach them?
Knowing your audience will help you to understand your message might be interpreted.
- Is it appropriate to use jargon or technical words?
- What language do they usually speak in?
- What language would be understood?
- Do I need visuals to aid understanding?
- Is it a formal or informal meeting?
- Do you need to book a slot and room in advance?
- Will the meeting be face to face or over a conference call?
- When is the best time for then to be receptive? (particular days could be stressful or busy)
5. Be appealing
You want to attract the attention of your audience, so make it interesting and relatable. Ensure you remain authentic, and bring passion, relevance and fun. Tap into their emotional side, into what drives them.
Ideally you want your audience to walk away remembering what you’ve said, so try and be inventive in making your message appealing as you want it to stay in their memory. Allow interaction and ask for feedback, thoughts and related stories or experiences. This type of action will make you come across as credible.
6. Be Inclusive
Your audience has a vested interest in your message as it’s connected to something they most likely want. That commonality is the overall goal or objective which they are striving towards too. How does your message relate to the overall objectives you are collectively trying to achieve?
Build enthusiasm around the message and show your audience how they and the goal could be impacted. People often want to know “what’s in it for me,” don’t hold back, ensure that they know the answer.
7. Deliver with Style
When you communicate be clear, direct and speak at a level that everyone can hear. A low and dull tone of voice can come across as lacking in confidence.
Stand or sit tall. Standing will help to boost your confidence. Try adopting a stance now with your hand on your hips (the Wonder Woman or Superman stance). It automatically makes you feel better. I don’t however recommend you adopt this stance in your meeting as it could be perceived as aggressive.
Be aware of the language you use ensuring that it’s positive and convey with open body language and a smile.
In order to get your message across effectively you need to engage with people’s emotions. Appeal also to logic and their integrity. Largely people like to deliver things the right way. It has a feel-good factor for everyone involved.
When we want to improve on something, there is always a learning curve so allow yourself learning experiences. Try some of the recommendations and see how they work. Don’t give yourself a hard time as it’s all part of making you a better and more effective communicator.
If you’d like a consultation about the effectiveness of your communication please contact me
For fourteen years Danielle worked in the male dominated industry of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Danielle’s work took her not only to all corners of the UK, but onto European and International destinations with prestigious brands such as Coca Cola, Tesco, Oxford University Press, Stanley Black & Decker and Panasonic. She achieved her ambition to one day have a global remit.
Throughout her career she has been dedicated to personal development and growth. A particular triumph was growing into her own authentic confident version of herself which catapulted her to win two industry accolades in 2013, one of which was the Everywoman DHL Award for Innovation and Sustainability.
Danielle believes that if we are growing, life will present challenges and obstacles, but it’s up to you if you accept them. Before acceptance there is fear. This will always be there. It’s the feeling of the impossible task, that you’re not good enough or that you will fail. To know the outcome, you have to take action and try.
This ethos lives in Danielle’s work as a confidence coach, trainer and author. Danielle has captured her knowledge and experience on this subject in her book Confidence through Courage. Using her valuable experience as a success in her industry, she helps others to push themselves over the boundaries of fear to find the inner confidence to achieve personal and professional success. Danielle inspires people to change and achieve through learning confidence!