The six simplest ways to make your communications miles better

10th April 2018

I like this week’s Tip.

Because it shows you the six simplest ways to:

  • Make your comms miles better
  • In the shortest possible time

So maximum impact for minimum effort. Always good.
Here they are:

1. Start

Always have an engaging title and introductory 1-2 sentences. Win your audience then, and they tend to stay ‘won’. Lose them then, and you might never get them back.

2. End

Always finish with a Call To Action. This ensures that people actually do something. So:

  • End meetings with ‘actions arising’ not ‘AOB’
  • Make your presentations‘ final slide ‘Next steps’, not ‘Thank you’
  • Finish emails with ‘Please can you (do X)’. Not ‘If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call’

3. Agree upfront

Wherever possible, when preparing a communication for someone, agree with them what content they want you to include. That way, you write less. It’s all relevant. You both like it more. It’s miles quicker to prepare. Most importantly: it tends to work.

4. Easy on the eye

Remember that people hate clutter. And they love white space. So remove as many words as possible from your slides. Shorten paragraphs. Things like that.

5. Shorter

Wherever possible, shorten your comms. Remove anything that isn’t core. If it’s background, bang it in an appendix.

6. Read aloud

The only way to know if you’re writing in English – and not ‘Corporate’ – is to read your comms to yourself out loud. Your ears quickly filter out bits that just sound like Corporate Stuff. Your eyes don’t. (Why? Because they’re so used to seeing ‘Corporate’ from everyone else, they don’t see it when you do it!)

So they’re the six. I know you know all/most of them.

But do you do them?

Every single time?

If not, this’ll help…

Action Point

Review your most recent communication – the one you’ve just done. Check you nailed each of the six.

If any could have been better, in your next communication… make them better!

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