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Your Message Farther with Fewer Words

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on Dec. 22, 2013

Do you want your message to go farther? Convert your audience into broadcasters. Extend your reach by equipping your audience to repeat your message. Instead of you presenting 100 times, imagine a chorus of 100 presenting your message. How? Learn from the most compelling speakers - their messages go farther with fewer words.

We often think that more is better. More explanation. More detail. More slides. And even if we know less is more, we can't help but sneak in that little extra bullet point.

I've been guilty of that. My presentations are generally short and to the point, and because of that, I never really worried about a super tight message. I messaged effectively with a slide of 3-5 points. Then I learned the hard way the difference between effective and compelling.

A couple of years ago, I gave an interview with Brian Banmiller, the host of KCBS' Banmiller on Business. My topic was a little known, but widespread issue called diversion.

Diversion is the unauthorized, but legal, reselling of goods. That's how a salon professional brand like Sebastian ends up on a CVS shelf. Diversion is a problem because it's plagued by fraud, theft, and quality control issues. I spoke to Brian about my business' breakthrough anti-diversion strategy which led to a whopping 70% reduction in diversion.

Banmiller on Business is a 60 second pulse of insight. Brian reports in 200 words or less! As I spoke to Brian, it didn't take me long to realize that I didn't have a message, I had a book report. It took me 10 minutes just to explain what diversion was.

Fortunately it didn't matter. Brian is one of the nation's most respected broadcast journalists, and he distilled our 30 minute discussion into into a thought provoking segment called, "The Price of Beauty." That was an eye opening moment for me and forever changed my discipline on messaging.

Your message can go farther. Ditch the paragraphs and bullet points. Go farther with fewer words and you will extend your reach through your audience. Now who's talking?

Brian is a master of messaging and transforming complexity into simplicity. Here's a link to Brian's website, Banmiller on Business where you can find transcripts, podcasts, and his blog.

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