This slogan for Coca-Cola’s brand “Simply Lemonade” captures desirable traits not only for products we consume, but also for how we express our ideas. In particular, these words describe an effective communicator.
As communicators, we want our ideas to not just be understood, but to be remembered. Our goal is to impact our audience, making a lasting impression. This can only be achieved by keeping the message simple and focused. In their book, Made To Stick (which we previously reviewed), Chip and Dan Heath emphasize the importance of making ideas stick with "Simplicity" (represented by the first letter of their acronym "SUCCES"). The Heath’s explain:
To strip an idea down to its core, we must be masters of exclusion. We must relentlessly prioritize. Saying something short is not the mission — sound bites are not the ideal. Proverbs are the ideal. We must create ideas that are both simple and profound.
All communication – whether written or verbal – is most effectively communicated when undiluted by extraneous matter. This is especially true in public speaking.
“I hear and I forget.” - Confucius
The more complicated, cluttered and crammed a speech, the less likely an audience is going to hear and remember, much less be responsive and motivated to action. A recent example of this is Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation speech.
Her speech was neither simple nor natural. Her core message was buried in rambling.
So how do we make our speeches simple, natural and downright perfect?
- Identify your point of view (POV). This is the meat of your message. This is why you're speaking - the driving force behind the presentation.
- Design your speech around your POV, using the rule of three to organize your message.
- Deliver your speech from these main talking points, allowing your communication to flow naturally from the structure you've created. NEVER read or memorize a speech. The only way to communicate naturally is from the heart and mind, using key points to keep your message organized and on track.
The Decker Grid System™ is an excellent tool for designing a simple, natural and downright perfect speech. In Creating Messages that Motivate, the Decker Grid System™ is explained in detail, providing the steps to create a clear and effective speech.
Keep your message focused on the POV- the core of your message.
Communicate naturally, from talking points
(using Decker Grid System™ )
Your audience will hear and remember.