To grab your audience’s attention, you need to frame your message compellingly. Whether you’re making a presentation, writing an email, or pitching your proposal, here’s how to convey your idea more effectively:
- Start with the end in mind. Busy people won’t wait for the punch line. Give the most important information upfront with the aim or call to action, then give the background i.e. a top-down approach. If it is an email or presentation, this makes it easier to read and less likely for your request to be missed.
- Explain the reason. Give the specific purpose of your message. Why are you delivering it?
- Focus on the problem and solution. What is the problem you’ve identified and why is it a problem? What is your solution and why will it solve the problem?
- Connect to the big picture. Explain why your audience should care, what’s in it for them… Point out what is relevant to them and how it links to their goals.
- Translate features into benefits. People don’t buy features, they’re interested in benefits. An excellent technique to help you translate features into benefits is to mentally ask “So what?” and answer it with “This means that…”. By way of an example, many digital cameras have anti-shake technology (the feature). So what? This means that you can take better pictures (the benefit).
- Close with a call to action. Once you’ve set the context, reiterate what you’re asking for and how your audience can help you.
# Adapted from Harvard Business Review