The following questions will set you apart from billions of other people in the world all trying to communicate a message.
Effective communication is one of the most essential skills and is a trait that goes back to beginning of mankind.
Mankind has been able to adjust and tweak communication throughout history. Stemming from grunts, moans, cave paintings and hand motions to today’s world of instant tweets and Facebook Status updates.
The tools or vehicles of communication are not as important as to how you communicate your message. If you have a message to be heard, surely, there is a modern technology tool that can be the vehicle behind your message.
I strongly believe the best way to find solutions to any problems are asking the right questions (a topic I will touch on later at Life Destiny). Here are some questions (in no particular order) I believe will help effectively get your message across:
What message is it you want to communicate?
If you are giving a speech, you are probably not going to go up on stage and talk about the importance of eating organic food and living like a caveman one second and then traditional vs. social media the next second.
What is so important that you need to tell your audience?
What is it you want to get across to your audience? Do you want to inform, persuade, or educate them?
Figure out your message and how it provides value to your target audience.
For example, the main message of this blog post is to educate my readers on some questions they can ask themselves in order to deliver a more powerful message to their audience.
My criterion of effectively communicating this message is based on if this message helps at least one of my readers in delivering their own message. Helping one person is all it takes for me, some much more.
Who is your target audience?
Communicating your message to a group of women about why it is important to check your balls for testicular cancer is not effective communication. Unless it is a group of women who are say, mothers in a parenting class, who are looking out for their sons and would relay the importance testicular cancer to their boys.
Figure out who you’re communicating too. If you have a speech coming up, try and figure out who will be in the crowd. What problems do they have? What value can you give them?
For example, this blog post could cover a wide range of people. I know that a lot of my readers are bloggers themselves with message they want to get across. Another group of my readers are young entrepreneurs looking for bits and pieces of information to get ahead, this message might help them in their next sales pitch to investors on their business idea.
Where is your target audience?
Where does the target audience hang out, both online and offline? Can you access these places to better understand them so you can deliver a more effective and stronger message?
If you are going to give a sales presentation on your newest social customer relationship management web application tool, then figure out where the buyers of this tool hang out (both online and offline) and try and gain access to them. Figure out their biggest problems with their current CRM tools and then tailor your message to how your CRM tool helps solve their problem.
What action do you want your target audience to take?
Through your message, what is the action you want your audience to take?
It can be more than one action, though you should have one underlying main action.
For example, this blog post message is meant to inform and educate my readers on some important questions they could ask themselves before communicating, however the main action I want them to take is find it valuable enough to retweet the post or subscribe to my RSS feed or Newsletter.
If I had a product called “Effective Communication in the 21st Century,” then maybe my main action would be for them to buy that product.
What are their problems?
All of the above lead to this question. You need to figure out their problems and then tailor your message that provides solutions to their problems.
How is your message of value to your audience? Why should they care?
Do not be screaming out messages that have no real value to your target audience.
Are you effectively communicating your message?
Take a look at your current communications. Are they effective? Are your messages being heard? Are your messages driving the action you want them to take?
If it is not, this is a simple signal telling you that your current message and actions are not effective. You must change the way you are delivering your message or the actions you are taking if you want to get a different result.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Though there are more fundamentals to effective communication, these questions should be a guide that sets you apart from 99% of everyone else.
Later, we will look at some modern communication technology tools (emerging and established media technology) and how they get your message across. We will also look at some ways we can measure the effectiveness of our messages.
Though I tend to have many grammatical and spelling errors, modern communication technology allows people to instantly find and let me know about these errors so I can fix them. The important thing though is to ask yourself: Is the message I want to communicate getting heard and understand by my targeted audience?
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