Have you ever felt unheard?
I certainly have.
In today’s attention-deficient world, being heard is a challenge most of us face.
So how do we create clear communication and website design that leads to business growth and sustainable customer relationships?
Many years ago, in a communication workshop, we did an exercise. An exercise so powerfully clear in its message, it has stayed with me still. The exercise viscerally illuminated the gap between what one person thinks they are communicating and what others actually hear.
It was simple—not unlike the Game of Charades—yes, the one where a concept must be communicated to others without speaking the word(s). In Charades, a person often jumps around, gestures, mimes actions and mouths expletives in the hope that the rest of us watching will guess the concept correctly.
It is great fun while playing the game and we generally get a good laugh at ourselves and each other. However, this is too often how we communicate in daily life.
The communication struggle
Using charades as a communication strategy in daily life does not work very well.
In today’s world you have about 8 seconds to catch your reader’s attention. You might have your own business and want to attract and retain customers. Or be a non-profit with a vision and want to attract donors and volunteers. Either way, we desire to be heard. Not communicating clearly can waste time, money and result in unsustainable customer or donor relationships.
When we are not clear what we want to say, we jump around in half finished sentences. Or, my favorite, too many sentences all strung together without a breath. We often struggle to share our message clearly as we simply don’t really know what our message is.
Your single step to clearer communication
Focus and hone your message, even if it is a complex one with many parts, until it is simple to communicate. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as short as an elevator pitch, though it does need to be as simple to grasp.
8 tips to help you find your focus
- know your passion
- make a list of what excites you
- opens your heart
- what you enjoy doing so much that time disappears
- trust in what you have to offer
- make a list of what services or products you offer, even if they don’t seem feasible right now
- get testimonials from those who have used your services or products to enhance confidence
- just starting out? offer free or deeply discounted services or products to people in exchange for feedback, a testimonials and to build your confidence and trust as you gain experience
- start with a small offering—an initial consultation, a pdf ebook, a teleseminar class (even if you only invite your friends, it’s a great opportunity to practice)
- know your ideal customer
- find the sweet spot—the intersecting space between apparently unrelated aspects of your business or vision—to create an aligned message
- have the courage to share your story—write your journey to share your values with your reader in mind—this builds connection and empathy
- write, write and rewrite what you want to say.
- read what you wrote out loud after each iteration.
- read again until it flows smoothly when read aloud and feels good in your body.
- test your offering.
- be willing to ask for feedback.
- accept it as graciously as you can.
- refine your message yet again.
This one step—focus—works because when your message is finely chiseled, just like a diamond, you are aligned with your core, the center of your being-ness. and you shine. When you move from your authenticity, your ideal customer will be able to “know, like and trust” you.
You might feel shaky until you practice this new communication style, however you will have unshakable confidence in your message.
Ready to find your focus and be heard?
Are you a DIY’er—there are many great books, tutorials and how to steps available to guide you.
Challenged doing it alone and want some support? Contact me and we can work together to clarify your focus and get you moving on the path to being heard.