You know what you’re trying to say, but it’s just not coming out right.
You’re trying to tell your followers, or your supporters, or your customers, or whoever, about what you do and how you do it, but it just sounds…awkward.
- The announcement about your new service or product sounds self-serving…
- Or the thing you’re trying to warn your audience against (like getting hacked!) sounds too techy…
- Or you’re having trouble explaining your rate change…
- Or something else, but whatever it is, you know you’re not getting it right, and when you show the draft to other people, they agree with you.
So, how can you get your point across effectively?
Start by taking these five steps:
- Write down in simple language the point you’re trying to make.
- Address your target audience.
- Format your piece as though you’re speaking to your audience directly.
- Test that communication on a handful of the right people.
- Make changes as needed, then send.
And at the same time, avoid these mistakes:
- Don’t load the communication with nine different messages. You want to share one.
- Don’t over-complicate it. The phrase “Keep it simple, stupid” applies here. Leave your thesaurus on the shelf.
- Stay out of the weeds. Focus on that single point. If it leads off into the marshland, you can link that to a separate communication.
- Don’t “write” it, but “say” it in your head. Your message should sound spoken.
- Keep it short. Ideally, stay under three minutes. People are busy, and you’re not Tolstoy.
It can’t be that simple… can it? Yes, it can.
And if you want people to read it, it should.
But, but, but, what if you got it wrong?
Just give your audience a way to reach out if they have questions. They’ll let you know.