All Choked Up: Making your message manageable
“Eat your dinner! There are children starving in China.” Familiar words to those of us who grew up in the “clean your plate” generation. If you didn’t eat everything that was necessary and good for you, you didn’t get the fun and enjoyable part—dessert. Thus, began the era of cramming in way too much.
Flash forward to these Clean-Your-Plate alumni in business: we find them making their prospects suffer in the same way they did as kids. They are force-feeding way too much of what they think the audience needs to know—what’s good for them—so they will be informed or make a decision. They are making the audience wait until the bitter end for dessert—the delicious, sweet part: what’s in it for them.
Life is too short, people. Let your audience eat dessert first. Tell them the value you bring them first. Show them how you can satisfy their unmet need. Entice them to want to know more.
Once you get the audience’s attention, you can enroll them in the Clean Plate Club and get them to take in the entirety of your message by following these two steps: establish a logical hierachy of information and deliver it in manageable bites.
Don’t choke your reader or listener by force-feeding too much information at once. Tantalize with tasty tidbits of what you can do for them. Allow them to reach out and serve themselves the main course. If you do it right, they’ll be lined up for seconds.
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