“If you want to create messages that resonate with your audience, you need to know what they care about.” – Nate Elliot
During times of transformation, there’s no such thing as over-communicating. In our fourth podcast episode, Navigating Transformation, Stella Low, Chief Communications Officer at Apple, notes that business leaders should keep the cadence of their communications frequent and consistent at all times. There’s no room for rumors to fill in the gaps. Instead, your messages should be honest and authentic.
Here are Stella’s favorite tips for using communication as a bridge between the known and unknown.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Your communication should always be audience-focused. To minimize fear and uncertainty surrounding transformation, it’s important to understand where your audience is coming from.
What are their fears, expectations, and thought processes? Are they nervous or unsure where they fit into your company’s new, developing strategy? All of these concerns are valid and worth exploring.
Your audience wants to talk to people they trust. They want reassurance not just that the future includes them, but that they are an integral, valuable part of that bigger picture. That’s why focus groups, polls, and surveys are so impactful. They give business leaders and audience members a chance to listen and engage so everyone is on the same page.
TACTIC COMES LAST
Many business professionals make the mistake of diving straight into action. In fact, Stella call is out as one of the most common and ineffective pitfalls of communication. Instead, she recommends the following process before jumping to the tactic:
- Pause and take a step back
- Consider what you want to say
- Identify your target audience
- Brainstorm various mediums for execution
By taking this moment of reflection, your communication is given a broader, more intentional scope. It allows you to consider the best approach for your purposes like individual conversations, organized small groups, or facilitated communication.
No one wants to be bored to death by communication. And let’s face it, emails aren’t always inspiring.
Stella’s advice: Don’t be afraid to get creative! Ask yourself—what’s the best and most interesting way to reach the audience I’m targeting? What does the data show that’s working and not working?
For example, if your audience is constantly traveling via car or plane, consider making a podcast for optimal reach. Be deliberate about the medium you choose and bring it to life through engaging storytelling.
Upgrade your communication skills with these impactful transformation tips in your next business presentation. Catch the full conversation with Stella Low here.