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3 Principles of Effective Communication

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of October 2009 Writing Content 0 Comments

effective-communication.jpgDo you want to learn to blog in a way that goes beyond just conveying information and helps people to take action on what you’ve written?

Last night as I was watching the new Australian version of The Apprentice I saw a very short segment featuring public speaker Brett Rutledge. The winners of a task were rewarded with a session with Brett to talk about communication and public speaking. The show only showed 30 seconds of Brett but in that very short snippet he said something that resonated with me.

He was talking about principles of communication in leadership – but I think it applies pretty well to bloggers. I’m paraphrasing here but what he said boiled down to this:

To communicate to me clearly you need to do three things:

  1. Give me a Message
  2. Make me Care
  3. Give me a Way to Remember it

I suspect there’s a lot of truth in that for leaders communicating in the business setting – but it rings true for me as a blogger wanting communicate effectively each day through my blog.

Lets explore each in turn briefly (this is of course my interpretation for bloggers on what Brett was getting at with his points).

Give them a Message

I suspect many bloggers work pretty hard on principle #1 – we craft our posts carefully and work hard on communicating clearly – but perhaps the other two elements are things that could lift posts to the next level in terms of getting people to actually take action on the things we write about.

Giving a message of course means we ourselves need to know what we’re trying to convey and what action we want readers to take at the end of posts. If we don’t know what we want people to do it’s pretty hard to get action.

It’s also about communicating clearly and giving people a call to the action we want them to take.

Make them Care

  • When someone cares about what you’re writing – they have much more motivation to take action on it.
  • When someone cares they’re more likely to tell someone else about it.
  • When someone cares they’re more likely to respond to you with a comment.

Communicate something to someone who doesn’t care and you might as well not be communicating!

How do you make them care? I think it partly comes down to showing people how what you are sharing with people applies to them, how it will make some aspect of their life better, inspiring them with a picture of how things will be once they’ve done something – it’s about getting people in touch with their feelings, fears, motivations, values and desires and tying them to what you’re communicating to them.

Give them a Way to Remember It

Have you ever read or heard something that inspired you to go away and take some course of action…. only to promptly forget to do it? I do it all the time. Sometimes I don’t take action because I change my mind, sometimes it is because I get busy and sometimes I just forget to do it (I’m thinking to myself ‘I’m sure there was something else I had to do today).

It’s one thing to communicate clearly what you want and to get someone to care about it – but a whole other thing to get them to actually take the action. A big part of closing the deal is to give them a way to remember what it is you want them to do.

I’d love to hear Brett (or others) talk more about how he helps people to remember what you say – but I find that I have most success in ‘closing the deal with people when I give them something simple, achievable and immediate to do.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I believe this is called a Mnemonic device.

    Does alliteration count? I use it all the time, but wonder if it is cliche!

    I mean I chose the name Clueless Crafter, which I think is catchy and memorable?

  2. Effective communication and better relationships is the lifeblood of a successful organization. Great Article..

  3. effective communication plays a really important role in bolgging

  4. Boiled down, if you want to effectively reach your target audience, all you need are these three things.

    The keys to building, and maintaining, a strong relationship and encouraging others to continue to listen to your message are really quite simple. You don’t need to use tons of technical jargon or flowery sentences. All you really need to do is tell them what’s in it for them, and why it’s a good thing.

    Tessa Carroll
    VBP OutSourcing

  5. Efficectively describe the communication principles

  6. I can see what you mean about making them care though and it’s something I may put a little more emphasis on in the future. Without overdoing it of course.

  7. Communication is the way to success. All the great leaders can communicate, and they get the masses moving.

    It goes the same for bloggers who want to make your readers do what is best for them.

    Thanks, Darren.

  8. The keys to building, and maintaining, a strong relationship and encouraging others to continue to listen to your message are really quite simple. You don’t need to use tons of technical jargon or flowery sentences. All you really need to do is tell them what’s in it for them, and why it’s a good thing.

  9. This is valuable information. Sounds simple, the idea. Very hard to get just right, though. Thanks for the blueprints you provide on this blog!

  10. Great Post, and makes me think am I getting the readers who care as often as I could or should…. Thanks for getting me to re – think and revise. I have content to help people in my niche, but I am sure I can get more interaction …



  11. Having read the above post and comments you guys might consider reading So What?: How To Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience. It’s a great book for anyone trying to influence others.

    You’ll learn that it’s tough but true, that the people you are trying to communicate with, sell to or convince don’t really care about you until they understand how it will benefit them.

    The book shows you how to answer what the author calls the So What Question and shows you how to develop a So What Mindset in all your communication. I first found out about it on Mixergy and there is a great interview there with blogger Andrew Warner >> http://mixergy.com/so-what-magnacca/ . I hope this helps. Oh, there is also free chapter at http://www.sowhatbook.com.

    Ciao, Jason

  12. Cheers! They look great, but certainly glad that this particular journey is “fini” for now!

  13. I think you don’t need to use tons of technical jargon or flowery sentences. Thanks.

  14. For sure you managed to explain and practice the first two principles pretty well. Just like you I am very curious about the 3rd one in relation to blogging. How to make them think?

  15. A great post indeed. I’d like to add a small point to part 3 of the post which is ‘Make Me Remember’ it.

    “Tell me – I may forget, show me – I may remember, involve me – I may understand”

    So in other words, you must try to ENGAGE your visitor as much as possible and that will greatly enhance your chances of ‘EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION’

    Thanks for a great post!

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