Messaging - Keep It Short & Simple!

By Tom Reilly, author of Value-Added Selling

You’ve got eight seconds and thirty-one words to grab my attention!

Now that I have your attention, you have ten minutes to make your best case. We live in an A-D-D chaotic world. We get news in sound bites, consume fast food, and read book summaries. We fly coast-to-coast at 500 miles per hour, communicate globally in real time, and run the mile in 3:43.13 minutes. We text and drive, gas and go, and eat on the run. We do everything fast. We are a distracted and hyperactive culture. These distractions cost U.S. businesses a whopping $650 billion annually in lost productivity. People experience 56 interruptions per day; spend 28% of their days dealing with these interruptions; switch activities every three minutes; and face 600 marketing exposures every day. The noise level in the buyer’s head is deafening.

Six Rules for Effective and Efficient Communication

These six rules will help you communicate effectively and efficiently. Make these tips part of your ongoing messaging, and you will become a master of influence.

Brevity—the average sentence length is 14.3 words. The ideal length is 8 words or less for 100% retention. The Gettysburg Address was only 272 words. The Lord’s Prayer is 70 words. Twitter limits you to 140 characters.

Simplicity—keep it simple vs. complex. The average number of characters per word is 5.1 letters. The human brain is wired for simplicity. It is more energy efficient.

Clarity—avoid jargon. Stay on point. Remain focused. Don’t meander.

Proximity—reduce the distance between you and the receiver of the message. Make your request within reach. Establish credibility early.

Contrast—humans are wired for things that stand out. If you blend in, you bland out.

Relevance—the only radio station people listen to is WIIFM—what’s in it for me? If your message fails to resonate with the receiver, they tune you out.

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