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Good Communication First Steps - getting the basics right.

A brief tutorial on how to ensure that any communication is based on effective principles from the start.
by

Janet Webb

on 8 May 2013

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Transcript of Good Communication First Steps - getting the basics right.

Good Communication -
why, who and what to consider
before deciding
how, when and where! Why - The Outcome Who - The Audience What - The Key Messages What next - The Action What is the overall purpose of the communication?

Consider what change you want to see happen as a result of your communication? What would be the result if your communication was effective? Who are you communicating to?

Think about their age, where they live/work etc. What is important to them? What interests them? Where do they look for information? What or who do they trust? What are the main things that you want them to grasp?

Decide what information they need in order that your desired outcome is achieved? What must they remember? And what information can be left out? What do you want your audience to do next?

What action do you want them to carry out in order that your desired outcome is achieved? How can you make this really clear? How, When and Where. This is now the point at which you should decide what medium to use -

presentation, social media, report, letter etc

- and when and where to communicate.
Your conclusions about your audience, desired outcome, required action and key messages will influence this decision. You will also need to think about your style - colours and graphics, use of humour, what language, jargon and tone you use etc.

Your style is part of what you communicate about yourself (or about those that you are representing). It gives the flavour of your communication and will change, depending on the circumstance. So how does this work in practice? Example 1
Advertising a concert that you have organised. Example 2
Reporting the results of your research. Why are you communicating about this concert?

You want the concert to have enough people attending to make it worthwhile. How many is enough - does it need to make a profit or just break even? You may also want the target audience to learn something in general about the choir/musicians. Who will this concert appeal to?

What age will they be? What are their interests? How do they usually find out about concerts? What do you need your audience to know?

What is the concert about, when and
where is it being held and what are the booking details? What do you want them to do next?

Do you want them to book/buy their seats, tell their friends, remember the date? How can you make this clear? How about a different example? Why are you communicating about your research?

Do you want your organisation to adopt your recommendations? Are your recommendations clear? Does the research back up your conclusions and recommendations? Do you have an implementation plan that includes costs? Who are you communicating your research and plans to - The Board of Directors?

Is there anyone who you particularly need to convince? What is on the agenda for The Board at the moment and how does your proposal fit into that? What information will they want in order to make a decision? What matters to them? What are the main things that you need to get across?

This will include the findings of your research, the costs of implementing the solutions, the impact of not and the effect of your proposals on the strategic plans for the organisation. Can you sum this all up in one key message for added impact? What do you want The Board to do?

Do you want them to agree the recommendations and implementation plan and allocate a budget?
Ask this directly in the communication. Good luck.
Janet Webb Consulting Once you have answered all of these questions, what's the next stage? www.janetwebbconsulting.co.uk To be effective in your communication you need to get the basics right.
Communication fails when people don't do this.
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