Six questions for communication is a checklist for you to think on each time you create a message.
Questions are levers for business. Even when you don’t immediately have the answers.
Maybe you are merely looking to provoke thinking on issues. Or perhaps you want some real and meaningful decisions on something in which you have an interest or stake in.
Whatever the kind of consideration you want use questions to help steer the context and discussion.
Whenever you are looking to plan and execute some kind of communication for an internal or external audience, asking yourself some key questions will determine its success.
The following questions are simple yet effective for deciding how to create your message and how you will execute based on the answers you find.
What are you trying to say? What action are you looking for? What change are you seeking if your message clearly and succinctly states its purpose?
Intent is something you must be specific about. It is monumental because without this clarity it is more likely you will fail to communicate effectively. Stating your purpose distinctly means less room for misinterpretation and more likely you succeed in your mission.
Why are you creating this message?
Contextualising the purpose of your message will create insight and understanding. Think of it as the opportunity to tune your audience into the emotion behind the message. In essence you are creating an awareness and empathy for what you are asking.
How will you implement the change? How will your audience have an impact by taking action?
Brief your audience on how they can best serve your stated purpose and move the discussion forward.
Summary and next steps
This is the part where you synthesise your discussion into a final statement of projected outcomes and where you think things will naturally go next. Succinctly make your case and state how you think to best progress matters.
Who are you?
Stating your purpose clearly also means be upfront about who you are and what you want your audience to do. So tell them who are you are and your point of view and how you came to it.
Who is it for?
Who are you communicating to? What perspective are they coming from? Why do they think this way? What is the value for them in what you propose (WIIFT)?
Changing someone’s perspective is distinctly challenging. Provoking them to think differently can be an almost impossible task. Putting yourself into their shoes is going part of the way into tapping into their mindset and what they believe. Are you credible and what level of trust do you share with them? How inclined will they be to take your proposed course of action?
Will your message spread?
After your initial communication how easily will the message travel? Sharing leads to advocacy, amplification and action.
Communicating effectively makes a world of difference. Make a difference with your communication.
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