Today I want to address an issue I get asked about a lot. It usually goes something like this…
“Rachel, my topic is really complicated. I don’t have any idea how to simplify it.”
Or like this…
“There are a lot of nuances. If I oversimplify my topic, won’t I be dumbing myself down?”
Folks, I get it! No matter what your expertise is, there are always nuances. And I agree with you that the nuances are important. There are multiple levels of nuances in my teaching and I take them all seriously.
But here’s the bottom line…
I’ve never encountered a topic that could not be simplified while still maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the message. I promise this holds true for your message as well.
Why should you care?
You should care because when you learn this one skill, you will be more attractive to media AND you will grow your relationships and business.
Whether I am one on one with a client or teaching at Harvard, (I recently had the privilege of leading a workshop at the Harvard Kennedy School. Huge thank you Harvard!) the basic principle is the same.
You need to meet people where they are to take them where you want them to go.
When you share your message, your number one goal should be to authentically connect with your audience. It’s the same whether your audience is one person or millions.
Today I am giving you three steps to authentically meet people where they are.
Do your research on what your audience cares about. Then think about what in your messaging will most effectively resonate with them. Always do this honestly.
If you confuse people, you lose people. Let go of insider jargon and speak in words anyone can understand.
Test-drive your new approach on people who do not share your expertise. See if they understand, care about and take action on your message.
Here’s an example of how you can do that. Recently I had a doctor client who actively practiced his messaging with every patient. Want to know what happened? His patient satisfaction scores soared! Try this with your captive audience.
Let’s go back to the initial question. Is simplifying your messaging dumbing yourself down? No! Your message matters and you must authentically connect to successfully share it. Once you connect, the door is open to reveal more. That’s not dumb. It’s the smartest approach.
One more thing…learning this skill is a journey, not a destination. Every one of us can improve and that’s super exciting because it means we can always up our game!
Here’s my challenge to you. Think about how you can authentically simplify your message today and then share your experience in the comments below. If you found this blog helpful, please email it to a friend or share it on FACEBOOK. Tell me how this exercise benefits you!