The 3 Biggest Communication Mistakes That Are Keeping Your Message From Being Heard By The Right People
Many times when we have a hard time making people pay attention to what we are saying, it’s because we confuse them or overwhelm them with too much information.
Confusion is the #1 communication mistake that is keeping your message from being heard by the right people.
You need clarity, your audience needs clarity.
Why is clarity so important?
Because our brain needs it! Two things about our brain and how it functions.
- Its job is to help you survive and thrive. To keep you alive and happy as much as possible. If your message is not directly related to helping your audience either survive or thrive, you will have a hard time getting them to listen.
- Conserve calories. Have you ever been in a meeting all day long only to feel exhausted at the end of the day? You haven’t done any physical activity yet you are exhausted? Why? Because your brain consumes a lot of energy when a bunch of new information is thrown at it. Our brain is constantly looking for the path of least resistance. Now take this to the people you are trying to get to listen to what you have to say. If you are unclear or confusing in your message, you will lose them, because the brain checks out. The brain says, this is not helping me survive or thrive and it’s super complicated, not interested. I’m gonna shut off now to conserve my battery.
You need clarity, your audience needs clarity.
3 areas you need clarity in when it comes to sharing your message more effectively
#1 You need to know exactly who you are and what your message is about. Can you articulate it in a sentence of two? If not, that should be the first thing you need to get clear on. What is the message you are so passionate about, exactly? If you said it to a 6-year-old could they understand and repeat it back to you?
How can you say it in as few words as possible and say it clearly? The shorter the better, because it’s easier for people to memorize it. And that’s what you want.
#2 You need to know who it is for and I’ll show you right now how you can figure this out in three simple steps.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to be for everyone. In fact, you shouldn’t be for everyone. In fact, you aren’t for everyone. The faster you embrace this reality, the better of you will be and the more effective your message will become with those who you are for!
One of the greatest examples of this is Jesus from the Bible. Talk about someone who had a message that attracted many and repelled others. So, think about that when you are too afraid or worried about alienating some people.
#3 You need to be clear on how you, your brand, your company, your product, or service can make your audience’s life better?
How do you help them either survive or avoid pitfalls, how to avoid pain. Or how are you helping them become a better version of themselves? How are you helping them succeed?
Mistake #2: Timidity (Lack of Confidence)
Let’s just call it what it is, a lot of us, myself included, have a hard time taking a bold stance in our message because we don’t want to tick people off. We don’t want to step on toes and hurt people’s feelings or repel them. But if there is one thing I’ve learned in 20 years as a professional communicator and 4 years as a business owner and coach is this. You’ve gotta have a certain level of confidence if you want to captivate and hold the attention of your audience and potential clients.
Why is confidence important? Let me ask you a question. Have you ever sat through a presentation where it was obvious that the speaker or presenter was super nervous? Their hands and voice were shaking, maybe they were sweating profusely, and you could tell they were very uncomfortable and insecure being up there?
How did you feel watching them? Did you feel bad for them? Did you feel like you were a bit sitting on pins and needles the whole time because you were nervous for them? Were you able to fully enjoy and be engaged? I know I’ve sat through a few presentations myself. At one of these, I was seriously worried about the person passing out.
While I was super concerned about them you know what I didn’t feel at the end? An assurance that this person really knows what they are talking about. Full trust that this person can really do what they just said they could do. I had serious questions and doubts about really fully believing and trusting the words they just shared. Why? Because when we see a confident person, now hear me on this. Confident, not arrogant. There’s a huge difference. We feel at ease. We feel, ok this person obviously knows what they are talking about so I can rest assured and trust in the abilities.
We have to have a certain amount of confidence in order to effectively share our message.
If you are reading this and think, OMG, I’m not confident, I don’t think I can do this. How can I be more confident? I have good news for you.
Confidence is a learnable skill! No one is born with it. It’s something we all can and need to work on daily.
So quickly, how can you get more confidence?
#1 Confidence comes with clarity. The clearer you are on your message and more and more times you repeat that message the more confident you will become in sharing it. I love the quote that says: “The best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.” Michael H. Mescon said that.
Having easily repeatable core concepts and core words that repeat throughout your message also help. You will hear me constantly say the words, clarity, confidence, connection. Those are some of my core words in my brand and message. I have some other phrases like, Embrace your God-given confident voice.
#2 Practice. I cannot tell you how many times people walk up to me after doing a keynote or performing on stage and say something along the lines of “wow, that was amazing. You are so good. You are so talented. You look so effortless. You are a natural. You are so confident”
I can tell you one thing, while I do have a natural talent in music today I sound nothing like I did when I started out. The reason why it looks effortless or it feels so natural and looks confident is because I practiced my behind off.
Tony Robbins has a famous quote that says: “Repetition is the mother of skill.” And I tend to agree. Now you can also repeat the wrong things and good at that but when you are clear on your message and you repeat that over and over again, you are building your confidence.
#3 Action. Action not only helps you get more clarity but also builds your confidence! When you take action you get feedback. Did this work, did it not? Do I have to adjust? Am I on the right track? Taking action can really help you with all of that. But also, action builds your confidence. Because when you act even if you are afraid you will find out that it wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be, you didn’t die in the process which boosts your confidence level. It tells your subconscious that you can do difficult things. You can handle the harder stuff.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind. Building your confidence doesn’t happen overnight, it happens one step at a time. And it’s an ongoing process. If you think that the most successful people don’t still have to build their confidence you’d be wrong. With every new level comes a new challenge. And every new level requires a new, more confident YOU!
Mistake #3 - Our words and message don’t connect
Our final mistake, and the most important one! Because without this one the other two don’t really matter.
You can have the clarity and you can have the confidence but if you are not able to connect your message with the heart of your audience you are still not going anywhere.
Being able to connect with people at an intellectual, emotional, and soul level is KEY in being able to influence them.
So, how can we connect the dots? How does connection happen?
#1 Authentic connection happens when we are transparent in who we are, in our intention, in our desire for impact. Meaning showing up as YOU. Again, we live in a world and age where it’s so easy to fall for the shiny new things and think, maybe if I was more like her or if I delivered my message like him, or if I used all those apps and social media platforms, or if I just had a big enough budget for ads I’d be heard more.
People want to know you-- your unique you. You, your story, your journey, your overcoming and transformation, the help you offer is special to them. And they want you.
Not the perfect you. Not the, I have it all together, you. But the honest, this is who I am, this is what I’ve been through and overcome and not let me help guide and support YOU. That’s what you people crave. We have enough fakes. We’ve heard enough bloated promises. We want the real thing. So, don’t be afraid of fully stepping into being YOU! No one can YOU. YOu’ve mastered YOU. So let you SHINE.
#2 Telling stories. We are suckers for stories. You want the easiest way not only to connect but also to keep the attention of an audience? Tell a good story and tell it well. Now, you might be thinking, “what if I don’t have good stories?” I didn’t have anything earth-shattering happen to me.
Well, first of all, I think you might be surprised that a story that to you sounds ordinary how extraordinary it might sound to someone else. We tend to underestimate what we’ve been through and deem it as, ah it’s not a big deal. So, I bet you, you have more stories than you think you do.
Second of all, not all stories you share have to be about you! You can use other people’s stories. Or analogies, anecdotes. What matters most when it comes to telling stories is that you help your audience recognize themselves, their journey in those stories and you show them how a transformation can take place in their lives as well. To help insert themselves into the storyline.
#3 The final piece in the Connection step is Consistency. I know I keep going back to this piece but because it’s that important. Consistency beats everything. Small consistent steps will always outdo big one time steps of big intentions. Trust me. But here’s what consistency does as it relates to making a connection. When you consistently show up for your audience over and over and over again you build trust with them and you deepen the connection.
You know I see this so often online and I’ve fallen prey to this as well, I see people constantly talking about how they can grow their audience. So much of our focus goes to bigger, better and faster.
But you know what? When it comes to people. Slower is faster! I learned this the hard way. With people slower is faster. Developing a know, like and trust factor takes time! So you want to grow your audience? Great! I am all for growth. Let’s start with your current audience! Pour into them, show up day in and day out for them, be a consistent presence in their lives, and I promise you when you do that those people will start bringing in others. And yes in the meantime work strategically on bringing new people in but first start with your people!
Why is it so hard to be consistent?
Well, sometimes it is because we pack our lives to the rim and it’s hard to juggle too many things without dropping them. That’s a reality for many of us. It’s hard to be consistent in too many things.
But more often than not, lack of consistency also is a manifestation of self-doubt and inner talk.
We grapple with inner thoughts of who am I to share this message?
Someone’s already doing what I’m doing and more successfully?
What will people think of me?
And yes, while our number one focus is not money, it’s the impact I can also tell you, your impact will be extremely limited if you don’t have the funds or resources to grow it.
And as a side note, if you don’t bring any profit what you have is an expensive hobby.
And I don’t think that’s what you are after.
Now, I'd love to hear from you. Out of the mistakes we talked about above, which one is the one that you do well, and which one is one that you have to work on? Tell me in the comments below.
Finally, If you are a female faith-driven communicator and coach (or you aspire to be one) and you want to be able to convey your message with confidence and clarity so that you can make the impact and income doing what you love then I want to invite you to join my free community called Captivate Insider’s Tribe. Inside this group, you not only get to meet and hang out with over 600 amazing women like you but we also have weekly live Q and A where I teach more in-depth about how to communicate your message in a way that is clear, confident and connects. Again, this is a free group and we’d love to have you. Click here to join us.
Don't forget to listen to the latest CAPTIVATE episode with amazing guests and passionate female thought leaders sharing their inspiring stories.
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