Why the way you deliver a message is so important
Understanding the delicacies and nuances of effective message delivery can be critical to your professional and personal reputation. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been offended by the delivery of a message rather than the message itself. So when it’s important that I clearly and accurately articulate a message, I remember these five steps.
Determine the message purpose. Messages are often misconstrued because they are unclear or send mixed meanings. Determine the meaning you want to get across and why you want, or need, to communicate the message. Ask yourself the “what” and “why” when developing your message. If it’s in response to a negative incident or situation, you’ll need to explain what happened, why it happened, and how you’re going to investigate and fix the situation.
Deliver the message effectively. This is the most critical part of crafting a message. Your language, tone and choice of words are crucial to how people will respond. The less room you leave for interpretation, the better off you are. Be clear and direct. Capture the tone of voice you want your message to portray and be consistent. Read your message aloud. Do you sound too angry? Anger tends to breed an aggressive response; so keep that in mind. It may help to write down two or three words about the tone you want to portray before drafting your message. Always remember that your story plus your voice determines your impact.
Anticipate a response; then craft your message accordingly. People are often driven by sentiment and may act as a result of an emotional response rather than a rational one. Think about how people will respond to your message and be prepared to work with emotional reactions from different individuals or groups.
Find the right vehicle. How will you deliver your message? A face-to-face communication, where you have more control over your tone of voice, leaves less room for misinterpretation than there is with a written statement. If face-to-face delivery is not possible, think of other ways to effectively reach your audience. Perhaps via traditional media, social media, email correspondence, or a combination of multiple vehicles. Choosing the correct vehicle will help the message be understood in the context you intend.
Look for feedback or a response. Check to make sure your message is understood. Ask questions to those it has affected and evaluate the situation for possible follow up responses. Based on this feedback, you can fine tune and tailor future messages.
Keep these points in mind when crafting your message or just as general tips for every day communication. No matter what type of message you are trying to convey, big or small, the single most important determinate of success is how you communicate your message. Do you have other tips to help deliver a message successfully?
Katelyn Fish is an Account Executive at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Katelyn’s blogs here. Connect with Katelyn at Katelyn@lovell.com, or @katelynfish.
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