Get to the Point in 30 Seconds or Less
Confusion abounds in our mostly one-way, multi-media communication arena. Likely, you’ve been the victim of an expensive misinterpretation of a communication.
This results from what I call “Stupid Scanning”, when people blur through e-mails, text messages, letters, contracts. Sure, you get through messages faster, but it is worth the price?
How Can It Get Any Better Than This?
By teaching yourself the skill of what I call Quick Mind-Deep Understanding 30-Second Sound Bite Communication. Then, you can communicate effectively and efficiently in every method of communication, because you have taken the time to carefully compose your Quick Mind-Deep Understanding 30-Second Sound Bite Communication. Again, you see you have to do the work for the best results.
While you can’t correct other’s communication styles, you can help others cut-to-the-chase with your 30-Second Sound Bite discipline. First, you need to improve from where you are right now. I say this knowing that some of you have already got this covered fairly well. Always, all of us can get better. And, we need to, because the fast pace of our world keeps ratcheting upward.
Most people aren’t naturally communication wizards. You know how uncomfortable it feels to stretch and search for just the right words to get people to understand what you are trying to say. Maybe that’s why you may be willing to struggle to remain polite while listening to someone muddle through a message, even though you know they are eating up precious time. You also know you don’t have time for what I call Mud-Swimming Communication.
Milo Frank’s evergreen book How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, focuses on helping you communicate quickly and effectively. His experience with his clients shows you can learn to say exactly what you want when you want to say it.
How often do you get a call from someone whose voice you do not recognize? It is egotistically arrogant to expect everyone to instantly recognize your voice or assume everyone has Caller I.D. Identify yourself to avoid a mutually embarrassing request to do so in the middle of your message. Remember, while your receiver is frantically trying to figure out who you are, they are not fully focused on your message.
Reading Frank, you see the benefits of adopting a proactive, efficient attitude about making your communications successful. In the forefront of your mind, you keep concepts like—
- Hook ‘em
- Hold ’em
- Harness ‘em
Imagine yourself painting a picture for people that they can see as well as you. Wouldn’t that reduce lots of misunderstandings?
Discover in Frank’s easy-to-read twelve short chapters quick and efficient ways to say WHAT you mean, understand WHO is involved, and add the WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW of convincing people to do what you want. And, you don’t stop there. You specifically close your 30-second message with your request for action or reaction.
Everyone knows and likes working with people who can do all these things when they communicate.
Here are Milo Frank’s Four Principles:
Principle No. 1 – Know what you really, really want. (Remember, the right approach without an objective fails; the right objective without the right approach also fails.)
Principle No. 2 – Know your receiver and what he or she really, really wants. (If you are thinking, yeah right, remember, until you learn that, you are basically talking to yourself in a vacuum. You can’t reach people if don’t take the time to discover what they are likely to want.)
Principle No. 3 – Know the right person or group of people who can give you want you want; find out all you can about them, including what they will want from you. (People are just like you; they pay attention when you earn their attention.)
Principle No. 4 – Choose a solid approach that will get you want you want. (People are different; tailor each approach to each person or group.)
On page nine, you’ll find a 30-Second Message that contains 97 words. How often do you hook, explain, reinforce, and prove your point in less than 100 words? How possible do you think it is for you to also include the five famous W’s (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) in a tight, focused 30-second message? Challenge yourself to create such a meaty message in less than 100 words.
Frank tells you HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR SUBJECT –
Step 1 – know what you want, who you want it from, and the best way to get it from that particular person or group
Step 2 – then, develop your 30-second message by answering Frank’s six questions –
- What am I talking about?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it?
- When is it?
- Why is it?
- How do I do it?
Step 3 – finally, check your 30-second message against Frank’s reality questions –
- Does my message reinforce and/or explain my objective?
- Does my message relate to this particular receiver?
- Does my message correspond to my approach?
Look at what a company medical advisor told a manager in a 30-second message that incorporates the three above steps—
- Hook ‘em – Some people die old at a very young age; how would you like to die young at a very old age?
- Hold ’em – Preventative medicine is the answer. Did you know that a heart attack is just your heart getting angry with you? You can keep that from happening by treating your heart well and keeping it happy. All you have to do is exercise regularly, not smoke, avoid fatty foods, and give yourself a totally relaxed day at least once a week. Do these simple things and your heart won’t get angry with you.
- Harness ‘em – I want you to stay healthy, so don’t just come to me when you’re sick. Call me tomorrow after I’ve had a chance to look at your test results. We can decide if you need to come back on Tuesday to discuss diet and exercise.
You know people respond better to clear, efficient, short messages. Get ready before you communicate. Read this short book and keep it for your 30-second message reference guide. Then, go forward and get the results you want, each time, every time.
Barbara, thank you for yet another fine article.