Of course your business is unique, and you have to be clear in your differentiation. However, many businesses deliver complex messaging that actually ends up deterring a deeper relationship with prospects. Simplifying your messaging can increase leads, sales and, by connection, revenue. Even if your organization is complex, your messaging should be easy to understand. And you may think that what you’re communicating is very clear, but you’re probably not the best one to assess that.
Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind, whether you’re presenting, pitching or writing an email:

  1. Start at their level. Don’t expect them to instantly follow a conversation that is over their head. Start off at a simpler level of understanding (not condescending), and move them up with you. Getting lots of head nods or yes’s are always a great sign.
  2. Know what matters to them. Jumping into a subject that doesn’t include their interests or concerns is a sure way to lose their interest. Relate what you’re communicating to their situation, problem or (industry) culture.
  3. Avoid the use of jargon. Making things clear and understandable is the best way to be understood. Although jargon is often used to indicate an industry understanding, it can also greatly contribute to miscommunication. Besides, there will be little proof that everyone in the room understands or uses jargon.
  4. Reduce the amount you’re trying to communicate. It’s likely that you’re communicating too many details and inadvertently confusing your audience. Keeping it simple is always the best plan. If more details are required, consider layering it in stages.
  5. Close the loop. We often lose track in extended conversations or on topics that are new to us. This means that it’s wise to circle back and connect the dots to make sure you’re not losing them. If you’re in-person you should be checking for that ‘ah-ha’ look right about now.
  6. Practice this outside your circle. People who already know you and your business will not be the best to judge clarity.

Need some feedback? Type your messaging in the comments to get feedback from me and from others!

Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing. She helps her clients create clear and simple messaging to attract clients and clarify branding.