Be clear, direct and precise: the n°1 rule of effective communication

The first step to successfully communicate live and online

In the previous introduction dedicated to effective communication live and through digital channels such as Youtube or Facebook, we have provided a general overview of this precious strategy, useful for those like us who work every day to get the maximum result. Point by point, we came across the foundations for successful communication with the public, offline but also online. The subject certainly deserves to be explored, thus offering non-experts a view as complete and updated as possible on a marketing technique – in fact we are talking about this – still less known and applied today than it should be. The first chapter that we are going to deal with first of all concerns vocabulary and syntax, essential elements for building clear, direct and precise communication with one's interlocutor. But it also concerns tricks for grab the attention and glue the person(s) to their seat. Let's see them below.

How to build a persuasive message in five steps

Lexicon is the set of words used in speech or writing. Syntax, on the other hand, concerns the structure of the sentence, and therefore the form that this assumes to the ears or eyes of the listener or reader. The combination of both (we won't talk about grammar because we take it for granted) depends on the effectiveness of the message and its level of persuasion. The "persuasive communication" manuals they are wasted, but we do not want to call into question underhanded and questionable techniques, on the contrary we are interested in providing concrete indications, easy to apply for anyone. So here is the list of steps necessary to build a clear, direct and precise message, capable of reaching people's hearts and generating the famous "lead" (or conversion).

1) Study the topic carefully

To hit the mark, we need to study the subject matter of our communication in depth. Whether it's a recipe during a cooking show, a marketing lesson during a course, or a quote discussed with a potential customer, it's crucial to carefully prepare the message, having already in mind the salient notions and their order of presentation.

2) Make the focus understood right away

There are those who say to start from the end and those who resort to the motto "say everything right away". In reality, in effective communication it is not necessarily necessary to reveal the plot and reveal the cards. From our experience it is better to reveal the focus, clarifying the core of the matter in a few words (or lines). A certain expectation must be maintained until the end, so as to keep the public's interest alive for the necessary time.

3) Choose the best words

“Take on the competition” is not the same thing as “Eat your competitors”. Similarly, "Do this and you will come first" is not the same as "Apply this method and you will earn 5.000 euros". The terms we select must always be the best available. In building our message, we consequently select the words that best explain the concepts we have in mind. From this point of view, the mastery of the lexicon, the result of hours and hours of reading, is a fundamental requirement.

4) Communicate in the active form

For example, always speaking in the passive voice is less effective than using the active voice. If I'm recounting my career as a trainer and I recall my first attempts, I won't have to say: "So I went to the training center and offered myself as a consultant" because I use fourteen words for a single sentence. Instead I will say “I go to the training center and offer myself as a consultant”, and lo and behold I have only used ten.

5) Avoid past tenses

Talking in the past tense or worse in the past tense is boring and takes people away from the possibility of empathizing with you. The same situations and the same concepts can also be affirmed in the present, gaining a lot in terms of effectiveness and power. Then write your text or your speech using only the present tense and you will immediately notice how each sentence is more captivating and direct.

Enrich communication with special effects and twists

Calling them special effects and twists is perhaps an exaggeration, but it helps us to give due weight to a crucial topic accompanying the first in-depth chapter on effective communication: unpredictability. Respecting the indications just seen, in fact, may not be enough. The public is now bombarded with information of all kinds (the correct term is information overload): television news, newspaper articles, radio spots, videos on Youtube, Facebook live and so on. Standing out then becomes an obligatory step to hit the target. We must not settle for a clear, direct and precise message, because there are already enough messages like ours, we must strive to go further and create a message that can shine in the mass of communications of the same type. It works like this in the real world as in the virtual one, otherwise it wouldn't be explained why some authors and professionals, despite being very good, don't have the same success as other characters who are less prepared but capable of emerge thanks to their talent as communicators. 

The question arises: how to do it? Such results are not obtained overnight, you have to try (and above all make mistakes) and you have to work for define their own identity and their own personal communication style. We will return to this point in the next episodes dedicated to effective communication, for now we suggest starting to become familiar with improvisation, reasoning for each topic and theme what could be the tricks that enliven the speech, catch the public by surprise, open breaches in listeners or in the most disillusioned readers, and ultimately allow to pose as a seasoned actor, whose ability is such as to overcome any barrier and mistrust until reaching the purpose of communication without anyone even noticing it. Follow us in the next episodes of this column and get ready to learn the secrets of effective communication, the real one.