Getting your business message across can be particularly challenging in fast-changing times of high emotion.
Working out how best to say things to your clients, your prospects and your own team members as the world nervously comes back to work after Coronavirus lockdown, is hard enough.
If members of your team fear that their jobs are becoming less secure, then connecting with them in the right way can be particularly difficult – and particularly important.
Or if you need to convey a message which touches on the outrage over the killing by police of black American George Floyd it can be even more delicate.
And if your message relates to the increasing condemnation of statues to slave-owners then that can be a really tough one.
In fast-changing times there are lots of things – internally and externally – about which businesses need to communicate.
And in times of high emotion, people’s reactions are less predictable than they otherwise might be.
ASSESSING YOUR AUDIENCE BEFORE YOU LEAP
Whatever your communication challenge, you will do better if you can get inside the hearts and minds of those you’re targeting BEFORE you seek to convey something important.
If you have a solid understanding of how your target audience members are thinking and feeling, then you have a much better chance of saying things in the right way to achieve your desired outcomes.
There is one amazing method to find out what members of your target audiences are thinking before you launch into an important announcement.
This doesn’t necessarily mean asking all of them – though in some cases it may be worth sending out a survey to gauge everyone’s thoughts and feelings.
Such conversations or survey results may not influence what you’re going to say – although they might.
It’s something I typically do before a big presentation or a communications-boosting master class so that I know more about audience members before interacting with them.
But at the very least, if you can tap into the hearts and minds of a few of your target audience members in advance, it can result in a much better outcome.
Ideally you’ll already be in touch with some of your target audience members.
In some cases, it might be worth making some additional calls to probe more deeply into their latest thoughts.
This can give you an advantage when it comes to working out HOW to say what you need to say.
HITTING A RESONANT CHORD IN YOUR AUDIENCE
There’s a common misconception that communication is a simple matter of injecting a message into your target audience.
A more successful way to convey a message involves “hitting a resonant chord” inside your audience’s minds.
This is where you’re activating thoughts and feelings which audience members have already have been experiencing.
By doing so you can energise them and move them further in the direction you’re seeking.
So rather than working on an injection model, it’s more as if you’re seeking to set up a new radio station or music streaming service.
If you know what your target audience is already listening to, and you know what they think about what they currently hear, then it’s easier to send out a signal which they’re keen to tune into.
HERE’S HOW IT CAN BE DONE
An example of someone in business knowing what his target audience has been thinking and feeling before sending out his message is a British engineer who leads a large team in America.
He’s Bader Khan – President of the National Grid US, which delivers energy in North America.
Bader Khan knew in the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd – and the highly charged emotional scenes that followed – that people in his team were feeling unsettled.
And he could presume these feelings were built upon the already disturbing aspects of Coronavirus.
Knowing this, he recorded a video message from his office to encourage everyone to continue to reach out to each other – especially to those who don’t look like they did.
There are no fancy production techniques in his recording.
But Bader Khan gives a thoughtful, professional and engaging performance from his desk.
He strengthens his message by quoting Martin Luther King.
You can check out his video here.
One thing Bader Khan does particularly well is to reference his own back story – growing up in Belfast in the times of the so-called “Troubles” of Northern Ireland.
By touching on this, Bader Khan’s message is all-the-more powerful.
We learn that he’s been through tough times of frequent public violence, so he’s well-placed to understand the troubles on the streets in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
LEVERAGING YOUR BACKGROUND
AND YOUR EXAMPLES
In the right circumstances, you too can refer to your background or things you’ve witnessed to increase your impact.
It’s something we work on in individual and group sessions to help you get your message across in challenging times.
Many in business are seeing the advantage of making videos to help convey their Corona messages – especially when seeking to connect with members of remote teams, including so many who are or have been working from home.
Helping you and/or your team to get your messages across – by video, by email or through social media – is something I’m helping companies with.
This help can be delivered in online hook-ups, by telephone or face-to-face sessions (socially-distanced) with those who need it.
Sessions can be run outdoors where practical.
I’m currently involved in planning sessions in parks near offices and in private carparks.
One-to-one sessions can sometimes be conducted, in whole or in part, while walking.
GETTING THE COMMUNICATIONS HELP YOU NEED
In normal times the communications-boosting sessions run for half a day – or a day… and often two days are involved.
Because of current time pressures, compact one-hour or two-hour sessions are available on specific challenges.
These can be for company “lunch-and-learn” slots or sessions for business leaders’ groups and in-house training.
+ Give Great Answers To Tough Post-Lockdown Questions
+ Clever Corona Communications
+ Convey Your Message In “VUCA” Times – Of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity
+ Enhance Your Image On Zoom, Teams And Other Internet Hook-ups
+ Doing Great Media Interviews In Turbulent Times
+ Becoming That Inspirational Business Communicator
+ Transforming The Communications Skills Of Your Team
If you need help getting your content right on social media, sharpening your business newsletter, or enhancing your online or face-to-face interactions, call or email to discuss your challenge: 44 (0) 7944.952835 email@example.com
Martin Luther King and Bader Khan didn’t get their communications right without planning, preparation and practice.
If you need to get your own or your team’s communications to a higher level – to deal with the new challenges of today and tomorrow – let me know.