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Welcome to our 5 minute leadership blog
This is part 3 of our blog series on communicating vision. In the first part we looked at the methods you use to communicate, whether it’s through announcements or social media. Then we looked at the actual message itself – what you would say if you were the communicator and you had the crowd in front of you. Today I would like to look at just 13 principles that you ought to bear in mind when you’re composing your message.
1. KNOW YOUR GOAL
What is your goal? What is the reason for communicating vision? Are you trying to move people, sign people up, inspire people or get them to attend something? You have to have a very clear goal in mind.
2. LOSE THE CLUTTER
You have to be aware of clutter. Sticking a vision announcement in amongst another 10 announcements will only lead to the vision getting lost. If there are background distractions or if you’re announcing it in the busiest part of your meeting, it’s not going to be as effective. Think through how you position it on your website – don’t stick it in amongst other stuff. Clutter dilutes your message.
3. SELECT THE MESSENGERS
The messenger is as important as the message. To get a light weight youngster, who you can see has never worked a day in his life, to talk about a business breakfast would just be crazy. You have to think through your messenger as they’ll lend credibility to your message.
4. MAKE IT MEMORABLE
I can remember when I was a youngster studying advertising at university and the lecturers said there was no link between the likeability and memorability of a message. I remember a car advertisement that said everything keeps going right, and then the name of this particular brand – most of you know how to finish that advert, not because you loved it, just that it was memorable. Memorability is something that causes people to respond.
5. MIND THE GATEKEEPERS
You need to get past certain gatekeepers. The gatekeepers for children are their parents. You’re not going to get a youth function going unless mom and dad agree. Gatekeepers in a business environment are very often employers. You’re not going to be able to speak to the workers unless the boss agrees. Gatekeepers can be people or things like language – language can act as a gate and if you don’t understand it you won’t be able to get through.
6. COMMUNICATING = LISTENING
To be a good communicator you have to be a good listener. If you’re going to inspire people you have to listen to them; know what motivates them and inspires them and know what God is doing in their lives.
You have to be able to adjust your medium to your context. Young people: instagram; grannies: Facebook, Zulu speakers in a rural setting: Zulu; Zulu speakers in an urban setting – not necessarily so. You have to be able to adjust your medium and adjust the way you’re speaking to your particular community.
8. KEEP THE FOCUS
You need to stay organised and stay focused. If you want to envision people, waffling on and wafting around the point is just going to cause you to lose people. Stay focused. Stay organised.
9. BE PERSUASIVE
Jesus was very persuasive. He used incredibly persuasive tools – hell was one of them and so was volume. Every now and then the Bible says that He raised his voice. If you are trying to communicate that somebody ought to go somewhere, you had better believe in it yourself – that’s the starting point of being persuasive!
10. STRIVE FOR CLARITY
In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes it says that the good teacher picked the exact words. Be clear with what you’re trying to say.
11. COMMUNICATE VISUALLY
Visuals can be extremely important in helping you convey your point. A picture tells a thousand words. If you’re wanting to inspire someone to put money into a building project having an artist’s impression of the building or video walkthroughs can really help your communication.
12. TELL A STORY
Stories are great because they allow people to enter into the narrative and become part of the experience.
13. LESS IS MORE
People think talking for hours on end is going to convince somebody. Most often, short, sharp and impactful is the way to go.