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Communications 101

Communications 101

If you sell anything or provide a service an important thing to learn is how to communicate effectively and to get people to believe in what you’re saying.  If you can do this price of your product will have little to do with your success especially when your audience buys into “why” you do the things you do more than “what” you do.

Over the years I’ve discovered that people really don’t care about you that much and they really don’t care about your products either. They care about themselves and their business and if you fit in somewhere then you make the sale.  So, don’t bore your customers with insignificant data, questionable statistics or your mission statement.  Put yourself in their shoes and give them what they need.

“As soon as you move one step up from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken and written word.”   ~Peter Drucker

Steve Jobs was the most captivating communicator on the world stage before his untimely passing, but he wasn’t always that way.  He started out small and grew into the Steve Jobs we all know today.  Jobs had the unique ability to see things very differently from everyone else and did things to make them a reality.  He did things not because it would make money but because he believed the ideas he had were better than anything on the market and we all believed his ideas right along with him.  His ability to sell his beliefs is what made Steve Jobs great.  When he was giving a presentation he followed these guide lines.

1.  What is the one big idea you want to leave with your audience? It should be short, memorable, and in subject-verb-object sequence.

2.  Identify why you’re excited about this company/product/feature, etc.  You can’t be effective if you don’t believe it yourself.

3.  Write out the three messages you want the audience to receive, and develop metaphors and analogies in support.

4.  Include a demonstration if your product topic lends itself to such. (e.g. pull the product out of your pocket if it’s ‘pocket-sized.’)

5.  Invite partners and customers to participate.

6.  Include video clips if helpful, but limit to three minutes or less.

7.  Answer the “Why should I care?” that’s in the audience’s mind. Have a passion for creating a better future.

8.  Having an enemy (e.g.. a competitor, etc.) helps visualize ‘the problem’ you’re solving.

9.  Simplify your presentation (and products).

10.  Make numbers meaningful and personalized – eg. “Stores 1,000 songs,” not “5 GB’s of storage.”  Only techies relate to memory boards and hard drives, etc.

11.  Don’t use ‘bullet-point’ style visuals; instead, use short phrases that accompany your talk, or pictures.

12.  Practice, practice, practice – and ask for feedback.

When marketing to your customers or prospects remember that becoming a great communicator will take time and practice but it’s a valuable resource that costs very little to obtain.  Just remember:

1.  Create the story.

2.  Deliver the experience.

3.  Refine and rehearse.

RPG Staff