Aristotle tells the story of a physician who tried to convince his sick patient to have surgery to live. The physician used his medical knowledge to convince the patient to go under the knife. The patient resisted. In desperation, the doctor asked an orator (a speaker) to try. The speaker used his messaging skills and the doctor’s medical information to convince the patient to go under the knife. The patient agreed and was saved. Sometimes, well-crafted messaging can be a game changer.
Most professionals miss the mark when it comes to strategic messaging in their business. I see it often in my coaching of business professionals. Most of them admit, they need help, but don’t take the time to understand and apply some key communication strategies. Most of us miss the mark when it comes to crafting key messaging for our area of expertise. Just like the doctor mentioned above. We are too focused on the end goal or on ourselves and lose sight of the keys to success through the power of audience-centered messaging.
Secret #1: Know and Understand The Communication Model
Communication is a dynamic process. Every word we utter will be replayed in the receiver’s mind over and over and may take on a completely different meaning than we intended. So keep these communication components in mind:
- the Sender
- the Receiver
- the Message
- the Channel used to deliver your message
- Internal and External Noise
- Frame of Reference
The sender, the receiver and the message are important but are challenged with obstacles such as external noise from waiters removing dishes, a bad public address system, etc. Internal noise or psychological noise in the sender’s or the listener’s head such as: “how long will this take? Did I send that response to my boss, my client?” etc.
Then you must consider the listener’s frame of reference. Their background, life, work experience, culture and vocabulary will affect how they receive your message.
Secret #2: Anticipate Your Audience’s Responses
The best speakers have the ability to tell pertinent and applicable stories, and are also able to anticipate responses and handle objections before the listener ever can raise their hand or get distracted from the presentation.
This component truly separates strong communicators and leaders from the rest. It takes work. You must know the mind, attitudes, behaviors and concerns of your audience before you can anticipate their responses. Take time to find these out with questions perhaps through a survey or informal conversation. Then keep your audience’s mindset in the forefront of your message preparation.
Secret #3: Speak in Their “Business Love Language”
Brain science tells us that we respond to language and behavior that mirrors our own. So I consult my clients to observe personality styles and actions that translate into thought and behavior. If they are going to meet with a decision maker, I teach them how to quickly identify that person’s “business love language.”
For example, if your prospect is analytical then you know he will usually need more data and more time to make a decision. So use their style and language to message your product or service to them. Don’t be in a rush and force the sale. This concept goes beyond selling. As a manager, employee or leader in your organization, take the time to know your audience, prospect or employee and prepare with their “business love language” in mind. You will stand out and see a higher rate of positive response and results.
Lia Mote is an International Best-selling Author, Speaking Coach and Communication Consultant with LV Mote Consulting Group and Lia Speaks, Inc. Contact Lia for information about her Accelerated Messaging Module for leaders, teams and organizations. She is The Message Whisperer, at www.lvmote.com, @lvmote, firstname.lastname@example.org, #LiaSpeaks