One of the traits of successful people is their ability to effectively communicate. Think about the many times a day you have an opportunity to influence others. You might be emailing, writing a blog post, putting together opening remarks for an important meeting or explaining a new idea. One of the areas where many members of 805connect express needing help is in corporate communications, marketing, public relations and business development. What if you had a tried and true methodology that helped you create powerful communications in six steps?
Here is the easy-to-remember formula for improving your communications:
Context: The overall purpose and goal of the communication; what you are trying to achieve.
Vision: A clear and compelling picture of the future situation you are trying to create through the communication.
Strategy: How you propose to get to your desired future state, specific tactics.
WIFY (What’s in it for you): How the purpose and vision will benefit the person receiving the communication.
WRFY (What’s required from you): Specifically, what you are asking the person receiving your communication to do to get to the goal.
Next Steps: Most immediate and specific next steps that will be taken to move toward the goal (including by whom, and when)
Here’s an example of how this was used to prepare for a recent talk that 805connect’s Ambassador, Mark Sylvester, gave at the California Lutheran School of Management Entrepreneurial Speaker Series:
Context: “I have two simple tools that have helped me be a better leader. This evening I am going to share them with you, so you can be better starting tomorrow.”
Vision: “Imagine you had the ability to systematically solve any problem, could communicate effectively with any group of people and have more certainty about the outcome.”
Strategy: “I am going to teach you these tips in a way you’ll never forget them.”
WIFY: “By learning these, you’ll dramatically improve your leadership capabilities in two major areas. These will help you every day.”
WRFY: “All you need to do is practice them at least once a day for the next three weeks. This will assure that they become engrained in how you work.”
Next Steps: “Look at your notes from this talk and challenge yourself, make a commitment to improving your ability to solve problems and communicate with others.”
This lesson was learned nearly 20 years ago at a strategic planning session. It has been shared hundreds of times because it is easy to remember, simple to implement and 100% effective.