When it comes to framing messages, conventional wisdom says going negative is best. But sometimes sounding the negative note isn't the one that will get your point across. Knowing which side of the message coin to flip--positive or negative--is key.
Most business messaging fails because it speaks to what we do not why it matters to our audience. Break out of the list maker syndrome that ticks off all the products and services you offer. Instead, make your case by talking about great things that can and will happen with and through you. Get people excited about the big things so that they understand why all the smaller things you do every day are so important—and how they fit into making things better for the people you need and want to reach most.
There is an old saying that the shoemaker’s children are often the last to get shoes. The same thing holds true for communications professionals. We are so busy helping our clients and bosses reveal and reinforce their value that we often neglect the same efforts for ourselves.
As the cherry blossoms on my street hit their peak a few days ago, it made me think about how similar these beautiful trees are to the businesses we are growing every day. For more than 50 years, thanks to the civic-minded spirit of my neighborhood’s first residents, these trees have shaded my street.
When Jessica Curry took her daughter Parker to the National Portrait Gallery to see the recently installed portrait of Michelle Obama, a fellow museumgoer was struck by the little girl’s expression. Ben Hines snapped a photo with his cell phone and later posted the photo on Facebook.
Many clients have told me that when they make presentations, they feel as though they are facing a pack of lions waiting to pounce on every word. When observing these leaders in action, the reason becomes clear. More often than not, the issue is poor communication and presentation savvy. Their demeanor or conduct lacks confidence and conviction.
The New Year is a time of recharging and starting over. For me, it’s a time for the annual purge of the files. I’m a pack-rat who never met a piece of paper I didn’t want to keep. Every year, I vow not to do this, but somehow I end up with home-office files stuffed with cable company bills, medical insurance explanations of benefits, and tons of articles I find on the internet to read later.
The first time I heard Tony Robbins’ name was watching the movie “Shallow Hal.” In it, Robbins, playing himself, hypnotizes the main character Hal so that he sees an unattractive woman as beautiful, allowing him to get to know her and see that her true beauty is inside.
In the movie, Deconstructing Harry, one of the characters, Mel, played by Robin Williams, is an actor about to shoot a scene. The cameraman is agitated because Mel looks blurry. The cameraman thinks at first that there must be something wrong with his lenses.
I don't know about you but I am tired of a black and white world that squeezes out the shades of gray. We live in a culture where everything seems to be “either/or.” It is us vs. them. For or against. My way or the highway. Fragmentation and confrontation occurs in every aspect of our lives.