It’s Greek to Me

By Pamela A. Scott

Yesterday I sat through a 45-minute presentation where I understood next to nothing. The guy might as well have been speaking Greek, which I don’t understand.

I was supposed to walk away from the presentation understanding what his business does and what his business model is. Didn’t happen.

When we write or talk to others about our business, we talk from what we know and understand. We throw in technical terms and acronyms. We assume our reader or listener follows us.

Doesn’t happen.

When crafting a message, written or oral, you have to think about your reader. Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly.

  1. What does my audience (reader or listener) want to know?
  2. What does my audience not need or want to know?
  3. Does my audience really need a step-by-step history of how I got to where I am?
  4. What jargon, technical terms, and acronyms will my audience understand?
  5. What do I need my audience to understand when they get through the message?
  6. What do I need my audience to do after they get through the message?

Spend some time answering these questions before you even start to write anything. Your audience will be glad you did.

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