“Do I have to talk to him? He totally bores me.”

“If she doesn’t get to the point, I’m going to scream.”

Milo Frank, author of How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, believed that in these fast-moving times, it is essential to understand that making your case briefly and succinctly leads to successful communication.

In any spoken or written communication, especially between two people, be it with spouse, client, neighbor or friend—we benefit greatly by applying the principal of Getting to the Point in 30 Seconds.

The essentials of every form of spoken and written communication are:

  • Know what you want
  • Who can give it to you
  • Know how to get it

There is a fundamental law of human interaction that underlies the principal that argues for brevity. It has to do with how quickly we think and how much slower we can verbally convey information.

We think at a rate of 600 to 800 words a minute, but we speak at a rate closer to 125 to 150 words per minute. So while I’m going on about how Orgwide can dramatically impact the amount of training development… zzzzz, zzzzz… hmm, I wonder what’s on TV tonight—hope my wife will have dinner ready in time… oh, sorry, what was that you were saying about training development?

It’s the classic case of tuning out—not because you may not have interest in Orgwide’s services—but because of the basic disconnect between how quickly you process information versus how speedily I can convey information to you. Because we think faster than the other speaks, we have time left in which to wander to other thoughts. Failure to apply this knowledge can lead to missed opportunities to be understood.

Let’s turn to the three essentials of communication.

  1. Know What You Want.

As you begin a written or verbal conversation with a prospective customer or colleague, briefly consider what your objective is. What is it you want to achieve in having this conversation? It’s the definite reason for communicating in which you have a point to make.

There can be only one objective and it must be specific and clear-cut. You’ll balance everything you plan to say against your objective. If your thoughts and words do not introduce, reinforce or help achieve your objective, it’s important to stop and reframe your purpose.

  1. Who Can Give It To You.

Learn what you can about your listener and be mindful of what they want. What is the person’s position, background, interests, and hobbies? You’re looking for common ground and starting your 30 seconds with such a reference breaks the ice.

  1. Know How To Get It.

Start crafting your 30 seconds with the right approach. It is the single thought or sentence that will best lead you to your objective. It’s simple and direct and keeps you on track whether talking to an individual or a roomful of people.

Build in a hook. What entices, tantalizes, captivates and catches you makes you remember. A hook is an object of speech used specifically to get attention.

The first thing you want to do in talking with someone is get their attention. To find your hook, consider the following:

  • What’s the most unusual part of your subject?
  • What’s the most interesting and exciting part of your subject?
  • What’s the most dramatic or humorous?

What you come up with could become your hook, but check it against:

  • Does the hook lead to your objective?
  • Does it relate to your listener?
  • Does the hook relate to your approach?
  • Can it be the first sentence in your 30 second message?

Your hook can be a question or a statement. Anecdotes and personal stories or experiences make great hooks.

Close your 30 seconds by asking yourself what you specifically want from the listener. The close could be a demand for action or a reaction.

If you ask the other person to perform a specific action within a specific time frame, you’re more likely to get what you want. On the other hand, situations may warrant getting a reaction, which rely on the power of suggestion or example to get the point across.

When you’re communicating successfully, you’re getting your listener to “see” as well as hear what you’re saying. Descriptive words help them visualize what you’re talking about. Painting word pictures help the listener assimilate what is said more easily because there’s color to the sentence, which makes the message more memorable.

Imagery, clarity, personalizing and emotional appeal all give power and memorability to your 30 seconds.

Understanding and using these principals is fundamental to creating successful communication with others. The #1 takeaway?

Keep it short and meaningful. They’ll get that and it will ensure a successful communication.

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