The best language to communicate to your stakeholders in is the language that they use. A big part of this challenge is avoiding industry jargon in presentations, the media and published content.
Like a lot of others, I love the Einstein quote:
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
It’s really easy to confuse complex thinking/ideas with complex language. Most of us naturally love complex, sophisticated ideas. All of us can tolerate a surprising amount of complexity when the concept is described in simple language.
But when we watch someone use deliberately complex language to describe anything, the result is usually… snore.
The best communicating CEOs use simple language to connect across a broad set of stakeholders. They interpret and sense-make the complexity, and make it easy for anyone to understand.
The people you’re communicating to have never been more distracted:
Regardless of who you are.
Regardless of what your role is.
Regardless of who you’re talking to.
It doesn’t matter who your audience is, they’ve never had more distractions.
There was a time when you could assume attention because of your role (as the CEO, Commissioner, President etc.).
But that’s just not the case any more. No matter how serious your message, you must be interesting. There’s too many choices, too many alternatives available in the palm of hand for anyone to persist listening to a boring communicator.
Every message must has to fight for the attention and interest of your audience.
Everyone is competing for attention, which means everyone is an entertainer now.
Hi, I’m Steve Pell. Today I want to talk about if you’re earning enough unsubscribes on your communications.
Whenever you are sending emails, SMS, any other type of communication to clients, there’ll almost always be the ability for them to unsubscribe if they dislike what they’re receiving.
Now, when we talk to clients about analytics on their communications, unsubscribes are always one of those things that comes up on those conversations: “What does it mean?”, “Does this mean that we’ve sent something bad because we’ve had two, three, five or twenty people unsubscribe from our communications?”
The answer that I would almost always give there is that unsubscribes are generally a positive sign, as long as you’re not getting too many of them and you’re growing your list faster than those unsubscribes are happening.
Unsubscribes are positive because unsubscribes are an indicator that you’re putting a strong enough opinion out there into the world for some people to dislike what you’re talking about.
Now, that’s a good sign because generally these things work on a bell curve. You’ve got some people over on the far left who really dislike what you’re talking about. Then there’s also some people right over on the far right who really engage and love what it is you’re talking to them about.
These people on the far right of your bell curve are critical to communicating in a sales context. These are the people who love you and are going to buy what it is that you’re selling.
Many people try and communicate to the middle of that bell curve. They sit on the fence without strong opinions, trying to please everyone. If you do this you might not get any unsubscribes who really dislike what it is you’re talking about… but then on the other side of the bell curve, you probably really don’t have anyone over there who loves what you’re talking about and is likely to buy. Not the ideal outcome. You might not be getting any unsubscribes but you’re definitely not making any sales.
I’d say look at unsubscribes as an indicator that the content you’re putting out into the world is being valued by some people and being disliked by some others.
In that context unsubscribes are completely okay and actually a great indicator that you’re doing something right. You’re producing content topics that will make you more valuable to that portion of your list, who are your likely end buyers in any case.