3 Principles of Effective Communication

Do you want to learn to blog in a way that goes beyond just conveying information and helps people to take action on what you’ve written?

Last night as I was watching the new Australian version of The Apprentice I saw a very short segment featuring public speaker Brett Rutledge. The winners of a task were rewarded with a session with Brett to talk about communication and public speaking. The show only showed 30 seconds of Brett but in that very short snippet he said something that resonated with me.

He was talking about principles of communication in leadership – but I think it applies pretty well to bloggers. I’m paraphrasing here but what he said boiled down to this:

To communicate to me clearly you need to do three things:

  1. Give me a Message
  2. Make me Care
  3. Give me a Way to Remember it

I suspect there’s a lot of truth in that for leaders communicating in the business setting – but it rings true for me as a blogger wanting communicate effectively each day through my blog.

Lets explore each in turn briefly (this is of course my interpretation for bloggers on what Brett was getting at with his points).

Give them a Message

I suspect many bloggers work pretty hard on principle #1 – we craft our posts carefully and work hard on communicating clearly – but perhaps the other two elements are things that could lift posts to the next level in terms of getting people to actually take action on the things we write about.

Giving a message of course means we ourselves need to know what we’re trying to convey and what action we want readers to take at the end of posts. If we don’t know what we want people to do it’s pretty hard to get action.

It’s also about communicating clearly and giving people a call to the action we want them to take.

Make them Care

  • When someone cares about what you’re writing – they have much more motivation to take action on it.
  • When someone cares they’re more likely to tell someone else about it.
  • When someone cares they’re more likely to respond to you with a comment.

Communicate something to someone who doesn’t care and you might as well not be communicating!

How do you make them care? I think it partly comes down to showing people how what you are sharing with people applies to them, how it will make some aspect of their life better, inspiring them with a picture of how things will be once they’ve done something – it’s about getting people in touch with their feelings, fears, motivations, values and desires and tying them to what you’re communicating to them.

Give them a Way to Remember It

Have you ever read or heard something that inspired you to go away and take some course of action…. only to promptly forget to do it? I do it all the time. Sometimes I don’t take action because I change my mind, sometimes it is because I get busy and sometimes I just forget to do it (I’m thinking to myself ‘I’m sure there was something else I had to do today).

It’s one thing to communicate clearly what you want and to get someone to care about it – but a whole other thing to get them to actually take the action. A big part of closing the deal is to give them a way to remember what it is you want them to do.

I’d love to hear Brett (or others) talk more about how he helps people to remember what you say – but I find that I have most success in ‘closing the deal with people when I give them something simple, achievable and immediate to do.

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