• Maryrose Milkovich

Messaging Principles

There are six key principles for making your ideas stick in your listener's head.


Your messaging should be:

  1. Simple

  2. Unexpected

  3. Concrete

  4. Credible

  5. Emotional

  6. Tell a story


1. Simple

Simple = Core + Compact. Identify the core message or theme you want to communicate and make it tight, just a few words.


Example: Bird in hand.


2. Unexpected

Make people listen. It's easy to zone out when someone is predictable. Instead, break the pattern.


Example: Megan giving a talk while doing a handstand.


3. Concrete

Make people see. The curse of knowledge causes us to forget that our audience has no context for our abstract ideas. Use specific examples and vivid details.


Example: List everything you can think of that is the color white. Now, list everything you can think of that is the color white and is in your refrigerator.


4. Credible

Make people believe. Create a reason for your listener to believe you. Whether it's a statistic, an analogy, an authority, or your particular credentials.


Example: The Sinatra Test. If Frank Sinatra eats at your restaurant, that's all the proof you need.


5. Emotional

Make people care. Create empathy and bring your facts and statistics to life with a human face.


Example: Mother Teresa. "If I look at the masses, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” (This is also an example of credibility.)


6. Tell a Story

Make people act. Stories are simulations that make your audience experience what you're telling them.


Example: Wrap the pill in some tasties.


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Stive to apply these six principles anytime you need to communicate a message.


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