Communication is the most important aspect of your business. It is the general term used to describe how you speak to your target audience and how you write your blogs or emails.
Our language enables us to share our ideas with other people, and communication is probably the most important aspect of our culture. Without communication, the pyramids wouldn’t have been built, the Eiffel Tower wouldn’t be standing – communication enabled the architects to convey their plans to their workers.
Effective communication helps avoid any misunderstanding with your audience, employees and customers alike.
My blog this week looks at the 7 Cs of communication and how, if you keep these seven things in mind, your written communication will be much more effective.
It’s important to always keep in mind the purpose of every message, email or post you put out. So, what is the purpose of this communication? As long as you keep this in mind, you will better be able to put your message across to your target audience.
If you don’t know the purpose of your communication, your audience won’t either!
Being clear is also about giving clarity to your reader – avoid complex words, long sentences and jargon. Keep it simple and to the point.
Keep your message short, simple, concise and to the point. Why use a whole paragraph to explain something that can take one sentence?
Being concise will also keep your audience’s attention, saving them and you time and energy.
BUT, keep in mind that, although you are keeping your message concise, you still need to give detail for the message to be complete.
This is about being specific with your communication, avoiding it being too general, vague or obscure.
Use words and sentences that can’t be misinterpreted, and it’s a good idea to add facts and figures if you can to underline your meaning. But keep the balance so that any illustrations or examples don’t detract from your main message.
ALWAYS proofread your message before publishing. I find that reading it aloud ensures that it makes sense. If you use facts and figures, put a link to the source, so you have proof that they are correct and that you haven’t just plucked statistics out of the air!
Check for typos or spelling mistakes, and ensure that sentences are short – this makes it so much easier to read.
Doing these checks saves you time in the long run and boosts your credibility.
Look at the structure of your communication. Does it flow in a logical way? You don’t want to be jumping from one subject to the other, as that makes it harder to read and understand.
Do a sense check to make sure you haven’t tried to be too in-depth and cover too much in one message. And ensure your communication doesn’t go off on tangents and side issues.
In order for you to get the desired response to your message or communication, it must contain all the necessary information.
The best way to do this is to think about your message and about any questions your target audience might have as a result of reading it. Then you can make sure that those questions are answered in the communication.
Include a call to action, so your audience knows exactly what you expect them to do next.
Always be polite. Being polite builds trust and goodwill with your readers. Make sure that your communication shows respect for your readers and their feelings.
My parents always taught me that manners cost nothing and this is just as relevant to written communication as to verbal.
Overall, the 7 Cs of Communication is an effective checklist, which will ensure you are communicating with your audience more effectively.
If you use this simple checklist, you can be assured that you are delivering the best and clearest message you can, with little in the way of misunderstanding.
Ultimately, this will boost the reliability and trustworthiness of your business, as well as saving you more time.
Let me know how you get on with this checklist the next time you write a message or communication.