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Effective Communication – Multiple Channels of Communication

As if face-to-face miscommunication were not enough of a challenge, dealing with multiple channels of communication can compound the issue of clear message transmission. One of the most frustrating aspects of communicating to multiple audiences (e.g. customers, business partners, and senior managers) is the redundancy and repetition intrinsic to the process of repeating the same message, over and over, to different stakeholders.

One of the best ways to handle the need to repeat a message across multiple channels is to identify an “elevator pitch” version of your message. The idea is that you have the good fortune to be on the elevator with the senior decision maker for a project or proposal you have. What do you say in the 30 seconds available to you to hook his or her interest? How do you quickly and concisely convey the benefits of your message to someone whose time and attention is scarce?

When you consider your elevator pitch, think of the most concise way of expressing the key feature or benefit of your message. The more you understand and internalize the key aspects of your own message, the more easily your audience will pick up on your intended meaning. The American president Teddy Roosevelt was famous for giving “whistle stop” speeches that lasted from five minutes to two hours, from the back of a train that rolled through town (this was before television broadcast such messages throughout the country). When asked how long it took him to prepare a five minute speech he was said to have responded, “About a day.” And a twenty minute speech? “A few hours.” How about a two-hour speech? “I’m ready to go right now!” The insight here is that to convey your message clearly and concisely takes more work than piling on more words, hoping your listener can sort out your meaning from the vast stream of thoughts spewing forth.

Once you’ve identified the elevator pitch version of your message, you can tailor it for face-to-face communication at sales and networking events, for print advertising, for online newsletters, and so forth. The elevator pitch clarifies your message’s value in a succinct yet versatile manner, suitable for a variety of communication channels.

James Bergstrom is an organizational consultant and business coach. He is available to advise senior executives and corporate decision makers on innovation and organizational strategy. Visit http://professionalign.com for more information.

Author: James A Bergstrom
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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