Communication is the life-blood of any business. We communicate with the people on our teams, the people we work for and the people who work for us. We communicate with customers, prospects, suppliers, competitors and many more.
Having worked in a variety of communications roles over the past 12 years, I have found that there is always room to improve the way that we can communicate. From deciding on the message itself and its delivery, there is always a way to improve the effectiveness of your communications – in business and in life.
Knowing how to pitch your messages for cross-functional understanding are essential.
Whenever I plan any communication, I consider and use the ‘7 C’s of Communication’ for a sanity check, to ensure that the message is sent with clarity and understanding towards the target audience.
Completeness. This sounds obvious, I know, but you need to make sure that you convey all of the facts that the audience would need to know. Understand your audience’s mind-set and convey your message accordingly.
Conciseness. Communicate your message to your audience in as few words as possible. This saves time and cost. This is more appealing to the target audience. Resist the temptation to repeat yourself. Don’t forget to K.I.S.S – Keep it short and sweet.
Consideration. Step into the shoes of others. Envisage your audience’s needs and emotions. Empathise with your audience and show them that you are interested in what they feel. Emphasise positive words such as ‘committed’, ‘thanks’ and so on.
Clarity. Make sure that you communicate one message at a time. Don’t muddy the waters by sending out one communication with multiple messages. It is far better to plan multiple communications and convey one strong message in each to guarantee that your audience understands.
Concreteness. Support your message which clear facts – make sure that you don’t blur the lines, which could potentially result in your audience misinterpreting your message.
Courtesy. Always be positive and focus on your audience. A courteous message never shows any bias. Your message should come across as being sincere.
Correctness. Ensure there are no typing or grammatical errors in your message. Correctness boosts the confidence level in the reader. Always double check the facts and figures that you have used and make sure that you have the sources to verify these facts.