If you want to make sure that people ‘get it’ – make sure you get them. Start by untying two knots: structure & content of your communication.
Let’s talk structure first: Inspired by my friend Chris Atkinson‘s book on engaging audiences I use OMEC, which stands for Opening, Message, Evidence, Close. Here’s the first big knot that we need to untie – focus on the evidence (not only on the message). It’s compelling evidence that will pull people your side.
In which order should you prepare your communication?
Message comes first – if your communication doesn’t have a clear message, you confuse people. So get that straight first.
Then prepare the evidence: back your message with evidence that is appropriate for the audience.
Then tie a nice ribbon around it, adding an attention-grabbing opening and a close that drives action.
Here comes the second knot: content, more precisely: the right content, particularly the right evidence. Without the evidence, you don’t get the ‘yes’.
Evidence is not about making them get YOU. Instead, you show them that you get THEM. You don’t just need one evidence, but a chain of evidence. This chain connects what you care about to what the audience cares about.
Let’s say you present to the management board. You pitch for a sales campaign budget. You focus on the operational indicators this budget would drive, like higher number of store visitors. Management cares more about the aggregate, strategic indicators, like market share, return on capital, overall profit.
Make sure you link the outcomes of your campaign to the success metrics management cares about. This is when they see the logic, and consider your campaign and investment, and not a cost. When you get them, so they get you.
Main image by Crawford Jolly