Do you confuse people? 3 simple steps to simplify any message...

Simplifying your message is key if you want to engage people. This applies whether you’re writing a book, preparing a pitch or explaining your latest project to a new member of staff. You need them to not only understand what you’re saying, but also why it’s useful.

Try the following three simple steps to simplify your message:

1.    Avoid jargon
Using jargon is a very quick way to make your audience switch off, especially if they aren’t from the same business background as you. Assuming knowledge of acronyms and industry-specific phrases is dangerous, as it can easily cause confusion, as well as a sense of exclusion. As soon as people stop understanding you, they stop listening (or reading in the case of a book) and this means your message - no matter how great - won’t get through.

If you find jargon creeping into your language, stop and think about the words you’re using and what they actually mean. Don’t shy away from taking an extra sentence to explain a concept if it will help more people engage with your message.

2.    Don’t overload them with details
Specific details can be incredibly useful when it comes to helping people understand a complex business concept, but use them sparingly so that you don’t water down your message. Whenever you’re including a specific example, think first about what it adds to your core message - does it really help explain the concept in a way people will understand, or will it distract them with extra details they don’t need?

Secondly, tailor the detail you do include to your audience. Think about what example will have most relevance to your audience and use it, rather than taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. If you can put your message into a context your audience understands, they’re more likely to engage with it.

3.    Ask for feedback
Once you’ve simplified your message, it’s time to see if it works - and that means sharing it with other people. Friends and family are one option, but be aware they’re not always the best people to ask, as they may not give you the completely honest feedback you need. Colleagues or acquaintances who are one step removed from you could be a better choice.

Whoever you test your message on, encourage them to ask questions - they may throw up ideas or perspectives you hadn’t considered before, or highlight areas where you’ve assumed knowledge or omitted information. Make sure you listen to what people tell you and take the time to improve your messaging based on their feedback.

If you’re finding it difficult to simplify your message, Georgia at can help you strip your message back to its essential components and find the best way of explaining it to others. 


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