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The 1 Communication Mistake You Can't Make
There’s one communication mistake that can single handedly derail your entire effort. Even if you; deliver your message, keep concise and connect with the audience, none of your hard work will matter, if you don’t wrap things up!
You need to tell your audience what you want them to do with the information they’ve just heard. Remind them again why your message should matter to them. Don’t assume that just because you’re done, people will walk away remembering what you want them to remember. You need to check back in to ensure you’re on the same page, and that your message was understood correctly.
The problem is, most people miss major opportunities to circle back, redeliver their message and wrap things up effectively.
So here’s how to find the opportunity in common communication scenarios you’ll most likely face.
The end of a presentation: What happens if you’re done presenting, you ask, “Any questions?”… and….crickets. No one engages. What do you do? Well, the number one thing you should NOT do is say “Ok, thanks for coming!”, and dismiss the audience! What a wasted opportunity! Your audience is focused, listening, waiting, and you say “Goodbye!”?
If no one asks a question, ask yourself a question! Examples are: “The question I’m most often asked is…”, or “The last group was curious about…”, etc. Asking yourself a question that relates back to your message is a great opportunity to work in your message again. Plus you’re setting up others to ask questions, since most people don’t want to go first.
The end of a Q&A session: When you’re done with every question or when you’re about to run out of time, that’s another opportunity to wrap up! Maybe the last question has nothing to do with your topic or is contentious. Is that what you want your audience walking away remembering? Instead wrap it with phrases like “So to sum up everything we’ve discussed”, or “Once again that website is…” Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping your audience understood your message and intent, remind them what you wanted them to understand and what your call-to-action is!
The end of an interview: I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve conducted where I’ve asked “Anything else you’d like to add?”, and the person I’m interviewing simply says “No were good!” I just silently scream. That’s opportunity that the interviewee has just thrown away. If you’re asked “Anything else you want to add?”, or “Did we cover everything?”, take the opportunity to reiterate your main points again. An example: “I think we covered everything but again the big things to remember are….”
If you’re working hard to craft a compelling message, don’t leave it up to chance how your audience interprets your message. Spoon feed your audience exactly what you want them to remember and what you want them to do with your information. That way you can help control how your message is remembered and understood. People remember what they hear last, so make your message, your main points and your call to action, the last thing your audience hears!