Of all the slides in my communication skills workshops, there is one slide that is my absolute favourite.
It’s one that comes right at the start of the day and, even when training experienced professional communicators, I can almost see all the lightbulbs turning on above people’s heads when I share it.
It’s the slide where I share my four Golden Rules for effective and impactful communication. It features in all of my workshops, regardless of the theme, as I believe that if you get these four things right in your messages, presentations, brochures…any of your communications…then you are guaranteed to grab attention and hit the mark every time!
It took a while to whittle all of communication best practice down to just four essential ingredients – and arguably, there could be just one that encompasses all four – but after working in communications for more than 20 years, I know that these four elements are essential for success, everything else is merely a part of these ‘heavy hitters’.
Okay, I can hear you yelling at the screen “What are they already?!!!” so here they are, my four Golden Rules for Communication:
Be clear about your purpose
I’m shocked at how often people don’t think about this. But here’s the thing, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, then you can’t expect anyone else to!
Know your audience
If you don’t know who you are talking to, then how do you share something interesting with them? This is absolutely key, yet most people fail to think deeply enough about who they want to reach out to and what will attract them
Be clear and concise
A confused mind doesn’t buy or buy-into anything. Make sure you strip out everything that is not relevant to your audience and give your message the chance to shine.
Bring all the above together in a clear, simple plan. It needs to be something that your entire team can understand, communicate and put into action. And this plan must include some feedback elements that track the success of your communications so you can continually improve and grow with your audience.
So that’s it, all you need to know to be effective and impactful in your communications, whatever media you are using.
If you’d like to know more about how to develop your communications around these four areas – along with gaining lots of additional information, tips, tools and insights – then don’t miss the full-day ‘Communicating with Impact’ workshop taking place at the Impact Hub in Geneva on 3 March delivered by myself and digital media expert, Kathleen Holmlund.