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Seven Symptoms of a Sick Message Strategy

I've had several friends and family members come down with a nasty bug over the last month or so. And they had some nasty symptoms including fever, headache, lack of energy, cough, congestion... Ick.

Meds, kleenex, thermometer... oh no!

In my role as a Corporate Storyteller, I frequently see a specific set of symptoms when people give presentations.

Have you or your team experienced any of the following?

  1. Your audiences comment on the number of slides - and not in a good way (usually referred to as "Death by PowerPoint")

  2. Your audience doesn't remember key topics you just finished presenting

  3. It could have been a presentation by your primary competitor if the color and names were changed

  4. You present to the same client multiple times... and sale doesn't seem to advance

  5. After your presentation, your audience says "that makes perfect sense"... but they don't make the decision to buy or act on your recommendation?

  6. Your presenters cannot identify a tangible, reasonable, and measurable action they want from their audience (beyond a generic "buy the product" or "understand the technology")

  7. The same core presentation deck is used for every audience (engineer, CTO, CFO, etc.)


These are all symptoms of poor message strategy.

And it comes down to one or more of these core problems:

  • The presenter doesn't have a specific goal, audience, or message

  • The content is not effectively prioritized

  • There is too much information / content

  • There is no emotional trigger

Of course there are other components to an amazing, effective, transformative presentation: Flow. Media. Aesthetics. Delivery. Practice.

But these other components don't have nearly as much impact if the message isn't right - for each specific audience, outcome, and topic.

And they don't have nearly as much impact if the message isn't tight - more content than what is needed slows (or stops!) the decision making process.

That's why every persuasive presentation and every key message needs to start with your message strategy.

Need help with message strategy?

Two quick tips:

  1. Always start by identifying the audience for each specific presentation or message

  2. Limit your content to what will help the specific audience make a decision

Need more? Message strategy is a key part of the Articulus Corporate Storytelling Workshop. In the workshop we:

  • provide a repeatable process to prioritize, differentiate, limit, and order a message

  • discuss why strategy and implementation are important

  • focus on audience needs and desired outcome to guide the strategy

Yes, we also work on flow, media, delivery, and practice

Let us know if you need help with your message strategy. Schedule a workshop for your team. Or register for an open enrollment workshop.

Get well soon!

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