Previously we talked about the basics of a messaging matrix. That is a tested a proven method that will improve your communication effectiveness. But, what will make your matrix stand out are the actual messages. In order for a message to stick, it should be compelling. Today we will discuss what makes a message more compelling.
Relevance is the most important aspect of a compelling message. You have to study what your audience thinks and build your messaging matrix in a way to answer their hypothetical questions. This is not a tough task. Just think about people’s most significant concerns with your brand and answer those questions.
Conciseness is the second most important aspect. You should have no more than three key messages. That is a well-known fact. However, what is little known is the length of your messages. We live in an over-communicated world, so you have very limited time to convey your message. Therefore, try to keep your message less than nine words. (For more information you can read Dr. Covello’s work)
Next, aim for clarity. Always use simple language. Avoid unnecessary uses of negative words such as “no, nothing, never.” You don’t want your audience to solve a puzzle, you want them to understand what you are saying. So stick to straight-forward language.
Always have your most important message either at the beginning or at the end. The priority of the order depends on a couple of things and we have already covered those.
For increased credibility, consider citing third parties. (i.e. J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey shows that…)
And finally, back each of your message with three proof points. Again, just like messages themselves, proof points should be relevant, concise, clear and credible.
Today’s actionable tip: Your messaging matrix cannot answer every single question. Conduct stakeholder audit or customer research to understand the most important underlying concerns and focus on those.
This is how I build a messaging matrix. I am curious to hear your methods. Why don’t you tell me how you build yours?
2 Replies to “The art of crafting compelling messages”
Relevancy is a great point. I always try to consider my audience and all the stakeholders involved and try to align as many interests as possible with my message and then challenge any any misconceptions or stigmas around my message with logical proof.
Thank you Chad. Indeed, relevancy is extremely important. If there is nothing in it for to listen, then the listener is not going to pay attention to what you’re saying. Here is a “relevant” how-to video to improve the relevancy of your messages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnRWfWZkN84&playnext=1&list=PL7D573FE045FC9A62&feature=results_video