“Our goal is to create synergy that will help us pivot to new strategies when we utilize the talent of our right-sized organization while also finding quick wins.”
Wait, what? We’ve all read these things in internal memos or heard them come out of the mouths of leaders. And something happens when we hear these words and phrases used over and over – we check out. For me, I immediately start creating my grocery list or mentally reciting the lyrics to the last song I heard on my way into the office.
Why do people communicate this way? Obviously, they don’t say things like this when talking with friends or family.
We’re all guilty of using buzzwords every now and then, but if we truly want to connect with people and ensure meaningful communication, we have to resist the urge and be more authentic in our language. Here are three things to keep in mind when crafting complex business messages, especially those you want to have staying power.
Speak Your Audiences’ Language
Salespeople have known forever that if you want someone to buy your product, the best thing to do is to address the question, “What’s in it for me?” When your communication answers this question for your audience, they’ll pay attention. Every time. Create messages that resonate by using language that is clear and focused on the receiver. Keep messaging simple, straightforward and focused on your audience – avoiding any and all unnecessary words.
Make a Connection
If you really want to connect with people, don’t just share information. You’re probably communicating because you want people to think, feel or do something specific. What is it? Develop your communications in a way that speaks to that action. People don’t respond to abstract ideas like “synergy,” “churn,” or “socialize.” Use authentic words. Use real examples. Use emotion, humor or drama where appropriate. And deliver your message in plain, action-oriented language.
Edit Yourself. Edit Yourself Again
French mathematician Blaise Pascal is originally attributed with the saying “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” It’s a great reminder that when we get too wordy or lean on buzzwords, it’s likely because we didn’t take the time to edit ourselves. People are hard-wired to tune out buzzwords and may even subconsciously question the authenticity of your message. So, carefully think through your word choices and be sure your message is clear. After all, that is the whole point of communicating.
Your time is valuable and so is your audiences’. Avoid the buzzwords and be intentional in your messaging – especially if you expect people to actually listen. The best communications are those that evoke an emotional connection, encourage response and ultimately achieve the desired impact.
Looking to create messaging that resonates with your audiences? Let’s talk.