Enlightenment Issue MADE Magazine - Page 46

MADEXXXX MADEINC 7. Are you using too many words? Painting the picture is important and providing context can be helpful in doing that. However, if your communicative efforts are full of extraneous words and facts, your main points can get lost in the fray. Everyone appreciates clear, concise messaging, so if your conversations are running long, take the time to see what you might cut. 8. Or, are you clipped and brief? On the flipside, you can also underwhelm your intended target with skimpy messaging. If you’re replying to a client or a subordinate, take the time to write full sentences and include proper greetings and sign-offs. It’s probably not a good time for a one-word or single-line reply. 9. Do you consistently consider overall formatting? If you’re curating something comprehensive, you’ll want to put thought to how you can make it scannable (easy to skim). Maybe bullet points will work or you could give each paragraph a heading? That way readers can scan your email or thought-leadership post and find the section that’s most relevant to them. 10. Do you edit yourself regularly? If you’ve already spent an exorbitant amount of time writing a message, it’s tempting to want t o just put it out into the e-universe and never lay eyes on it again. However, you’ll get a fresh perspective if you let it breathe. Time’s always short, but if possible, give a draft 24 hours or even 30 minutes to rest and then review it. 11. Do you ask for feedback? Do you ever scan your outbox and cringe when you look back at some of the things you’ve written in the past? Writing can immensely improve if you take the time to corral a differnet set of eyes on your work to offer constructive tips. If you want to improve, ask for feedback from someone who handles words in a way you admire. 12. Are you direct? If you’re broaching a tricky topic or subject matter you’re not well versed in, it’s really easy to beat around the bush. However, it’s best to be straightforward. Don’t expect people to guess what’s going on in your head. Be nuanced, but be clear and honest. 13. Do you always think about which platform you’re using? Social media has undoubtedly broken walls that have existed for decades between brands and their consumers. With the recent uprising of direct-to-customer access that social media provides, it’s especially important to curtail the message for the appropriate channel to truly penetrate the audience. Should you use a Twitter, an email, a phone call, a Facebook, a blog or a keynote speech to deliver your message? All valid questions that can be answered by identifying who you are and whom you’re talking to. For difficult messages, speaking to someone on the phone or face-to-face over email is usually the best way to go. 14. Are you constantly aware of your tone? In the same way that you speak to your friends is different to how you speak to your mom and dad, what’s appropriate on Twitter might not be OK in an email to your CEO. If you’re unsure whether you’ve got the tone right, check in with a trusted co- worker, before you hit send. 15. Are you considering your intended target? Take a quick second to look the person up on Linkedin before constructing an email to them. That might help to avoid some blunders or add a helpful personal detail in the email. 16. Do you keep the connection alive? It’s a lot less random to ask for an invite, an intro, or a recommendation if you’re not reaching out for the first time in months (or years) to do it. Once you know who the other person is and what he or she cares about, keep the connection warm by sending a quick ping or text. And this isn’t just for one-on-one personal relationships: Consistent communication through engaging with followers on social media, through regular blogging/vlogging or sending out a newsletter drives the point home that you actually care. Remember, strong credentials can get you in front of the right opportunities effective communication skills will help you capitalize on them. made-magazine.com | 46