Thursday, 8 March 2012

Engaging an Audience with your Message

As a leader, how do you engage an audience when communicating?
As a leader, you need to communicate with individuals, small groups, and large groups on a regular basis. To capture any audience's attention, you must frame your message properly. Whether you're making a presentation, composing an email, or talking with your boss, here's how to convey your idea:
  • Start with what you want. Busy colleagues don't want to wait for the punch line. Provide the most important information up front.  Don't leave them guessing what your message is leading up to.
  • Explain the complication. Give the specific reason for your message. What prompted you to deliver it?  Why is it important?
  • Connect to the big picture. Explain why your audience should care. Point out what is relevant to them and how it links to their goals.  Where does this fit in to the bigger picture?
  • End with a call to action. Once you've set the context, reiterate what you need or possible actions that you're recommending. 

Adapted from Guide to Managing Up and Across (HBR OnPoint Collection).

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