You've got something important to say. Can your audience even hear you?
Never in modern history have the world's media channels been so choked with a single topic. If you are like most people, you've probably spent the last few months inundated with an overwhelming amount of content. It's been information overload.
Some of the data is accurate and genuinely useful. Some "data" comes from pseudoscientific and politicized sources. Some messaging is tone-deaf and self-serving crisis branding or less than helpful new age platitudes. People are shaming everyone for every conceivable social slight and so much of what we see and hear conflicts with so many other things we see and hear. I don't know what to believe.
People are isolated and desperate to connect and share. There is a dizzying amount of "information" available in blogs, podcasts and videos. There are cognitive and perceptual limits to how much information we can take in and process, especially if it's negative. Many people are now at the end of their emotional capacity to absorb any more, even if the message is ultimately positive and helpful.
Your signal is getting lost in the noise. How do you reach your people?
Times of crisis are times for leaders to emerge. Every leader has an audience, operates within a team and is part of a community of colleagues, clients, associates, friends, family members. Everyone of the people in your network is feeling some level of stress dealing with all sorts of new demands (like homeschooling) and facing threats of varying degrees (lost lives, lost quality of life, lost business and lost jobs).
Your primary value as a leader is to help your people see opportunities behind the walls of fear and doubt. Your job is to help them navigate an uncertain and ambiguous future. But what's really true?
The medium is still the message, even if the medium is overcrowded.
I'd like to avoid getting drowned out in all the shouting. And I don't want to risk being seen as another eager corporate interest trying to be seen as a good corporate citizen. But I do have something to say worth hearing. What I choose to write is my text and is one part of a communication system.
This sentiment is my subtext and reflects my values, my purpose and my vision. From this perspective I communicate as a matter of my own artistic self-expression. I write because I need to write. This is my intention.
I'm writing now for a very select group of entrepreneurial leaders. You know who you are and so do I. Because I know who you are and what you need, I can tailor this message specifically for your growth challenges at the moment. You need to make an impact. That's your intention and the context in which I'm writing.
Effective communication is the deft marriage of subtext and context.
Since insight and intention without action equals bullshit, here's my offer...
1. Think about a communication you are trying to make that's getting bounced or a communication you are about to make that you fear will be ignored or dismissed.
2. Think about your purpose for writing or speaking. What is your intention? This is your subtext.
3. Think about what you imagine the purpose is for your audience to listen to or read what you have to say. What is their intention? This is your context.
4. Script this out in a short paragraph before sending or speaking the text.
5. Send your script to me and I'll read it and respond.