So you’ve had the meeting, written the email and completed a blog post. But have you conveyed what you were trying to say clearly and concisely? Are you clear with your communication?
What process do you go through? What are the checks and balances you use before publishing?
Are your sentences long and confusing? How many acronyms do you toss in there? What is the subject? Is it too technical? Is there too much jargon?
How about the audience? Where are you taking them from and where do you want them to go?
A lot of the content we read here at Online Journey is just way to confusing. It takes too long to understand and doesn’t convey the essence of what the author is trying to get across. This also applies to face to face conversation.
I was at an event last week. There was a chap who was part of a five minute pitch fest. It seems to be the new black for the startup entrepreneur. You get your product or service out in the open in the hope that the story translates. It was an arena style setting. It seemed a daunting task to speak in front of this knowledgeable business type crowd. Our French friend got to the stage and did a pretty good job. Furthermore, the app his company had developed solved a real problem. It was not just another game, productivity or comparison app destined for Crap Brapps.
I was eager to chat with the gentlemen during the last breakout session of the day. We got chatting and one of my questions was around security. Before I got to the end of my sentence he blurted out, “We have end-to-end security (device and server and communications). This includes encryption, SSL/TLS, 2048 bits RSA certificate, forward secrecy, certificate pinning, passwords hashing and salting.
He spoke pretty fast too. Accent aside (my guess he was from the South of France, Antibes or close by) he could have throttled back just a hair. How about something like; “Your data is safe. We work with accredited partners who specialise in the security field. This minimises the risk of a data breach. It will allow you to rest easy in the comfort that your personal and private information will be secure.
Had I leant towards a technical discussion, acronyms and jargon may have been relevant. But this wasn’t the case.
It’s little wonder the person we are speaking with or the audience we write for is at risk of switching off. They stop listening, stop reading because we confuse them.
Let’s stack the odds of getting them doing what we want them to do back in our favor.
Don’t you love when someone asks you “so what is it you do”? There is often an enormous amount of indigestible answers given…..why? It doesn’t matter if you’re at your mates place or in a formal setting. People use fancy terms, trying to convince or persuade you. In the end it is not even clear what it is that they do, what the value proposition is or how is it even relevant to you? These are pretty crucial items don’t you think?
Let’s get simple, let’s get exciting and let’s get compelling. Why not weave a story into the mix. Story telling is a wonderful way for people to remember what it is you have said.
There are a couple of guidelines to storytelling. Be conversational. This applies whether you are telling a story or if it’s written. Don’t worry if you wander off-piste too much. A bit of color adds a dimension to your story. This helps paint a picture, visualisation if you like. Finally, don’t dive straight into your narrative. Lay a foundation. This adds congruence to your story.
How do you know you have succeeded? It’s when the person you have been telling the story/pitch etc, tells another person. They tell it in the exact same way as you did. It is so simple they can repeat it.
These days we live in a world of tools. There are some terrific tools out there to help you write in a clear, concise compelling copy. One we use is The Hemingway App.
It is most helpful if you want to make your writing clear. The Hemingway editor helps you focus on several key areas. Complex words or phrases, long sentences, adverbs and instances of passive voice.
Using simple language and having your purpose in mind helps.
Are you looking to get to the next step in conversation?
Try dumbing down your next piece of communication, see if it hits the mark. We love using content marketing as one of the pillars of your online presence. If you want to know more about how Online Journey can propel your business in the online world, get in contact.
Fill out our contact form and our team will nearly always get back to you within 24 hours?
- Image Credit – Alejandro Escamilla – alejandroescamilla.com