Sometimes what’s missing from a message is… just about everything you need to make sense of it. But how, and why, does that happen?
While we’re in days that all seem to blur together, the things that are different are what stand out. It’s partly why, unlike in The Time Before, I try not to do ANY work on the weekends, and why my husband, Tom, and I have closely observed Cocktail Hour (and yes, these days it deserves Full Capitalization). As […]
“We must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough.” —Winston Churchill When creating content around messages, we usually focus on the “long” forms of it: the presentation, the book, the white paper, etc. And yes, in the words of Churchill, those long forms are tough.
One of the things that’s most different about these past few weeks is how much we’ve had to meet, and present, virtually. While we may know, or sense, that the biggest enemy of virtual presentations is your multitasking (on the part of your audience), often our focus is on minimizing that multitasking, it helps to […]
Since I’m a relentlessly pattern-driven person, that’s what this week’s post and video are all about: helping your audience through pattern recognition. In the latest “What’s Missing From This Message” video, I talk about an important way to do that: with your conclusion. Your conclusion is your last opportunity to land your message. That […]
If you want to keep your message simple (and you do!), then the structure needs to be simple, too. That may seem obvious, but it can be harder than it looks. That’s because it isn’t (just) about the number of points you make, it’s about the structure of them. Structure creates pattern, and pattern creates memorability. But […]
These are strange times, and it feels even stranger to be doing “normal” things like sending out this newsletter. But for me, sometimes doing normal things helps me feel normal. The best kind of normal things? Those that bring strength. I love how author and speaker Marcus Buckingham talks about this. He says: “A strength is an activity that strengthens you. […]
“The narrower your focus, the broader your reach.” That’s my take on what author Bill Schley (affiliate) calls the “Universal Paradox” of communication. It’s a paradox because it seems impossible to be true: if you focus on narrowing your message, how can you possibly reach more people? The simple answer: clarity. When you focus your message, you’re more clear […]
There are two quick questions that can help make your messages even stronger: Am I giving the people what they want? Am I doing that in a way they don’t expect? It’s a good test, especially when your message or copy is short, like on a website or tagline. In fact, that’s the test I […]
You’ve probably heard about all the benefits of stories and storytelling. You’ve heard that stories make your message both more interesting and more concrete. But what if you don’t think you’re a very good storyteller? Is all hope lost? Nope. It’s a funny thing, but not even five years ago, that was me. I watched and […]