Concentrate less on what you want to say and
more on what you want them to hear.
Getting Your Point Across
When we're trying to get a point across to someone else we often
think long and hard about what we want to say. That is the wrong
way to go about it. Instead of focusing on what you want to say
to get your point across, you should focus on what you want the
other person to hear.
What Do I Want to Say?
All this is done to make sure we send the right
Whether you are giving instructions to an employee, ordering
food at a drive-through, or writing a memo explaining the new
dress code you want to be sure to get your point across. You
want to say just the right thing so the other person understands
your point. Sometimes you practice what you are going to say.
Often we write drafts of our memos and speeches to make sure we
use the right words.
Countless books and articles have been written
that explain why sending the right message is so important and
teach you how to send exactly the message you want to send.
Their authors stress the importance of being concise, precise,
and specific in choosing your words, regardless of whether you
write them or speak them. They tell you that this is the best
way to get your point across to your audience.
Who Is My Audience?
We all know how important our audience is in deciding what we
are going to say and how we are going to say it. Explaining the
value of a new phone system is different if you are speaking to
the finance department than if you are addressing the telesales
staff. The better you know your audience the easier it is for
you to tailor your message to them. The more your message is
tailored to your audience the more likely it is that you will
get your point across.
How Do I Reach Them?
While the message you send is important, the message the
receiver hears is even more important. If you know your audience
you usually have an idea of how they will interpret or filter
what you say. You can use this to your advantage to make sure
they receive the message you are trying to send.
We all know, for instance, that if we are
addressing a group of first-graders we can't use "big words"
because they won't get it. They won't understand our message. So
we choose words they will understand. Rather than using "big
words" that convey the message we want to send, we use words we
think they will understand. That way they will hear our message
and understand it.
Don't try to explain technology concepts to
accountants using technical terms. Don't use a financial analogy
to get a point across to the Creative Department. If you want
your service department to handle more calls per day, tell them
that. Don't tell them they need to "reduce the time interval
between customer-interface opportunities."
Manage This Issue
To increase your chances of getting your point across, focus
more on the receiver than on the sender. Tailor your message to
your audience to improve their comprehension. Don't worry so
much about what you want to say as about what you want them to
hear and understand.