Of course you are… we all are.
So being understood is important to you. And even better would be for people to agree with you. Indeed, the peak of a communicator’s craft is to also impel your audience to act.
These three desirable outcomes lead us to the three traits of the best communication. It must be compelling, persuasive, and powerful.
You make your messages compelling to read or listen to by giving them a clear structure that draws your audience along, just as a good story-teller does. And, just as with great story-telling, the more skilled you become, the more you can play with structure, moving from simple chronological or plain logical sequences to more complex structures. But never under-estimate the power of keeping it simple.
Now your audience or reader is with you, you want them to get what you are saying and to agree with you. Aristotle’s writing was the first that we still have. to document the three criteria for persuasion: you must appeal to my need first to trust you, then to my need to find your argument credible, and finally to my need for an emotional pay-off.
Believing you is not enough though, is it? What you really want is for me to remember what you told me, to change my attitudes, and to act on your advice. You must make your compelling and persuasive message powerful too. Give your language power by making it memorable and impactful.
Mike Clayton is author of:
How to Speak so People Listen
It is published by Pearson.