Oct 26, 2009

Best from Blogosphere: 3 Principles of Communication

Being a presentation blogger I follow a lot of blogs on the subject. I even read stuff on design and marketing. Starting today, I will share with you good posts from all across the blogosphere once every fortnight (15 days). I call this feature 'Best from Blogosphere'. Here is the first post.


Pro Blogger's Tips on Effective Communication


I am a regular reader of ProBlogger. It is a blog for bloggers and is run by Darren Rowse. I came across a post which talks about 3 principles of effective communications for bloggers. The tips are very useful and apply to any sort of communication. As a presenter you will find these 3 principles very meaningful.

Darren in his post quotes Brett Rutledge, a public speaker. Brett says,

"To communicate clearly you need to do just 3 things:

1. Give me a message
2. Make me care
3. Give me a way to remember it."


You can read the complete post here or you can read my explanation (with some value addition) below.


Summary


When you are communicating you are passing a message from yourself to the audience. Message which they need to remember, act upon and pass on. In order to ensure they understand you, remember your message and act upon it you need to do three things.


Have a message: You need to know what you are trying to communicate. There should be no room for doubt here. Spend enough time and figure out what your key message is. In order to find this out you can ask yourself this question,

"What is the one thing which my audience should remember after the presentation?"
or
"Can I write down in 1 sentence what I am going to talk about today?"

Make the audience care and make it easy to remember:
Most of the times, you would know what you are trying to say. What your key message is. Your problem will come with how to make people remember so that they share it with others and act upon it.

Chip & Dan Heath in Made to Stick say that "emotions lead to actions". In order for your audience to share your message and act on it, they need to first care about your message. If they care about your message (not about you), they will respond in the manner you want them to.

You can make your audience care by making your content relevant and by inspiring them. This depends on how you present your content. You can use relevant videos and images instead of plain text. You can bring your topic to life and make your audience feel it instead of just narrating it in a manner which is boring and passive. There are many ways you can do these things, but what is important is for you to realise that you need to do all of this.

Do you have tricks and techniques to share by which one can make people care and make the content memorable?


Further reading:

Use Mnemonics to make your message memorable

How to make your content exciting and understandable