Hello All! Welcome to my next blog. Yes..You have the topic right in front of you. ‘How to become a Master Communicator’?
To come to this point first read this…
According to this year’s annual job outlook survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the No. 1 skill employers seek from 2013 grads is the “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization.”
Now do you think that communication is an easy task? If your answer is YES then you don’t have to read more. But if your answer is to the contrary then go ahead..
OK.. lemme give you one more instance here.
In the 1990s, Volvo found itself with excess inventory of green cars. People just didn’t want them. So the Sales and Marketing departments came up with all sorts of great deals just forgreen Volvos—and they started selling.
Problem is, no one in Sales or Marketing told the rest of the organization what they were up to. So when the Manufacturing and Planning teams learned green Volvos were flying off the lots, they took it as a sign of the color’s popularity. And they ramped up production of green cars!
Now, consider how much more likely you are to remember that story than if I had simply written, “Increase interdepartmental communication to improve organizational effectiveness.”
The best way to communicate an important point or insight is to put it into story form. If you want your written documents to compel your staff or colleagues or prospects or other constituents to take action, wrap your points and insights into great stories.
See I have just given you the first point i.e. Tell a Story. The next thing that you need to keep in mind is that ‘The smaller the word is the easier it is to be read’. Try reading this in one breath.
After endeavoring to ascertain the
origins of the problems in the customer
service department, I am of the opinion
that these issues necessitate more
training, and, as per your request for
suggestions, I recommend that new
programs be implemented forthwith.
Now read this…
After searching for the source of the
problems in our customer service
department, I think the issue is poor
training. The solution, I believe, is a
better training program.
Can a piece of writing physically harm its reader? Yes, if it fails what master copywriter Bob Bly calls “the breath test.”Often when we’re passionate about our topic, we write too much in each sentence. But our readers need to receive information at a reasonable pace. More important, they need oxygen.
As you review your writing, read it aloud and give every sentence the breath test. Your readers can’t take whatever action you want them to take if they’ve fallen unconscious.
The next thing that you need to remember is ‘Lead with the bottom line’.
The recipients of your business documents are busy. So the first statement of any document you send—a report, proposal, status update, even an email—should summarize the document’s purpose and content. This shows clarity of thought—and respect for your readers’ time.
This report outlines the results of Customer Service’s survey of first‐time customers on their experience with the company.
I am not impressed with the new marketing campaign. Here are my reasons:
Many professionals miss this easy opportunity to make their documents more readable and compelling. Instead, they write linearly—starting with an introduction, building their case with fact upon fact, and finally explaining at the end the document’s conclusion and purpose.
Give away the punch line up front. Start with your conclusions and then go into your facts. This not only shows your readers you respect their time, it enables them to read your document with much more context, and with an understanding of why you are including each point.
Leading with the bottom line also gives you more of an opportunity throughout the document to persuade your reader of your argument, if that’s what you’re trying to do.
The next point will be – Think like a reader.
My friend works for a small software company. At one point, the business struggled to stay afloat, and the staff knew that without new investment the company would dissolve. So imagine what the average worker thought when they read this subject line in an email that the CEO sent to the whole company:
To: All Employees
Looks like bad news, right? Nope. The CEO was enthusiastically announcing an investor had acquired the company. It was this company‐saving deal that “closed.” Not the company. Phew!
The lesson: That subject line could have given someone in the company a cardiac event. Had he stepped back to consider how his nervous staff might read his words, from their point of view—
the CEO might have used a different subject line. Maybe, “Great news on the financing front!” Always try to think like your reader when you write. You’re writing for them, after all, and the more you can see things from their point of view, the more effective your writing will be.
Last point – Easy on the LOL.
It takes so little effort to send an email that we tend to think of it as less important, more disposable, than other forms of business writing. But remember: Your work email is a professional document that reflects on your reputation—and it can end up anywhere.
What if you include a great idea in an email and a colleague prints it out and puts it on the desk of someone whose opinion you care about? Do you want that person to see that you’ve written
“wut dew u thk of this craaaazy idea?!?” or “OMG” or “:)”?
Still think you can put less thought and effort into your professional emails than into your otherdocuments? LOL!
I don’t want my reader’s to fall asleep so I will end it here.
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