Distill your ONE BIG MESSAGE® to as few words as possible

When we prepare to give a presentation or speech, the tendency is to say too much. We want to make such a big impression on our audience and demonstrate our expertise that we tend to use too many words which can often dilute our message altogether. 

 

Writing lots of words to explain something is easy but distilling it into fewer words takes practice and skill. 

 

The truth is, the world is so much noisier now with Americans being exposed to an average of around 4,000 to 10,000 ads/messages each day. The competition is tough and it’s getting harder to be more memorable and to truly engage with our audience. 

 

By distilling your message into as few words as possible, we can make it easier to engage with our audience, be remembered, and persuade them to take action. 

 

What’s your ONE BIG MESSAGE®

Write down in one sentence what your message is. Focus on simplicity in your choice of words, cutting out all the unnecessary words that you don’t need. Keep asking yourself, “what do I really mean?” “How can I say it differently? Is my word choice really adding value and making people sit up and listen?”

 

You may want to write it out differently a few times to see which is clearer and more succinct. 

 

Once you’ve found the winning sentence, read it out loud, deciding where to emphasize words, and where to pause or slow down. 

 

Get down to the audience’s level

The chances are your audience will be made up of many cultures and backgrounds, so you need to simplify your language choices so that it’s understood by every single audience member.  

 

The more experience you have in your industry and the deeper knowledge you have can mean that jargon can become your standard language. 

 

Your job as a speaker is to NOT sound like the Shakespeare of your industry but to get down to the audience’s eye level, and speak their language. 

 

Keep it Simple Specific (KISS)

My KISS principle is about being simple AND specific.  

 

Let me explain …

 

A highly educated and intelligent IT engineer was preparing to speak at a board meeting. In our coaching session, this is what he originally had in his script:

 

“The new WoW is going to work great. But the thing is, it’s actually not really new. It has been our consistent approach to manage a new project, helping our team to invest our time into building products to meet the real needs of people, and at the same time, reduce the risks of tons of work on the initial phase of projects that will never go-live or get approved, and also sidestep the need for huge amounts of initial project funding with expensive product launches or failures.”

 

What on earth is “WoW”? 

What is “the thing?”

How much is “tons” and huge”?

 

It turns out that WoW means ‘Ways of Working together’ and was only used in his team. It was a term he used every day, so of course, he thought it was universally understood by everyone! 

 

What if he rewrote his script like this? 

 

“Until today, nearly half of our product development projects never came to fruition.  The new Way of Working I’m proposing will change this. First, we will be able to invest our time to build only products that are truly needed in the market. As a result, we can reduce the risk of project failure.  This means that each project will produce an improved return on investment.”

 

Can you see the difference with clear, concise communication? 

 

It’s simple and specific and can be widely understood by his audience. 

 

This is what I mean by the KISS principle and about breaking down your language and message so that it’s easy to remember.  

If you need help distilling your ONE BIG MESSAGE® book in a FREE consultation with me to find out how I can help you. 

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