Explain it like you would to a 5 year old.
Yes, it’s that simple, I’m not trying to sell snake oil here but if you want your message to be heard and understood you’ve got to explain it in a way that even a five year old could grasp it. The biggest fault of most forms of communication, is not conveying the message in a way that the recipient can understand. How many times have you opened an email, scanned it several times and still have no idea what the sender wants or why they sent it to you?
One of the most popular threads on the discussion website Reddit, is called “Explain it to me like I’m 5″ and you know why it’s so popular? Simple really, it translates the complex into something anyone can understand and that’s something any good communicator should be looking to achieve.
Just think about it this way, when you send an internal communication to your teams, all they want to know is the following:
- What is this?
- Why has it been sent to me?
- What do you want/need from me?
- Why should I do/action email actions?
You need to break your key messages down to a simple structure that anyone can read and understand in about 2–3 mins. We all have notoriously short attention spans and time is a precious commodity for all.
If you want people to read your blog post, corporate message or whatever you’re wanting to communicate – just think how can I simplify this? How can I break this down so my audience will understand and act upon it?
So in summary, next time you write you’re next email, just consider how can I make this short, sweet simple and effective.
Keep it simple.
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