Transcript: Sound Bite – Answers

Hi, Davina Stanley here. I want to bring a really short video to you today that helps you assess whether your core message does what it needs to do in your communication. Have you got one powerful message that holds the whole story together? And how do you know? Let me do that by way of a couple of examples.

So firstly, I've got one here for you to rank. I want to ask you, do you think it answers a core question that you would really want to pose in your communication? Is it specific? Is it powerful? Does it tie your whole communication together? And does it use the right tone?

I actually think it's pretty poor. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's full of baffle-speak. It's too long. It's a list rather than being a synthesis. It uses generic language and it leaves you asking, so what? It doesn't progress your agenda very far at all, it really doesn't give you a good, strong feeling for what the person is actually getting to. Now, this version down the bottom, I personally think is a whole lot better. And I'd like to share with you why. It's short, it's less than 25 words. It synthesizes a fairly punchy message. It uses specific language and it's unambiguous. It does not leave you asking, so what? It's clear and set you up then to explain how your role would come together in that story, and why your role actually matters within that system. So I think that's a really good one.

Now, I've got another one here. And this one's short, but the concern is around tone. I think it's technically right, but tonally poor. If you were to try and encourage someone to join you in your program, you wouldn't really start by saying ‘To confirm, we need to know by November, how you would want to be involved with the project when we start working January.' It's just very bland. It's not exciting. It's technically okay. It's short, it overarches the story, it answers the question. But it's even though it's on point, it really doesn't excite somebody to join the program, which is what you want. So I'm hoping that the tone of this one below is a bit better while still doing the same job. Okay, this one, I think, is tonally right. It's short, it synthesizes a punchy message, it's an ambiguous but like I said, it's tonally right. So when you compare those two, technically they're both okay but that second one is much more engaging and much more likely to push your agenda forward.

So when you are using structured techniques, please be aware not just of being technically right, but also of the tone and the language that you want to use. I hope that helps you. And I look forward to sharing more insights with you another time soon. Bye for now.