Choose the right medium for your message
How you say something is as important as what you say
Communication skills are fundamental to everything that we do. Communication is a key component in successfully responding to change, enhancing innovation and promoting your business. So far this isn’t headline news.
But does the way we communicate make sense in the context we’re in, or for the goals we have? Very often how we say things, and the channels we use, supercede the actual message. Which is why presentations about innovation that are full of text, and a conference panel about ending violence towards with women, with no women, even if well intentioned, feel more than a little flat.
The medium IS the message
As humans, our feelings about communication are driven by instinctive reactions first, and a rational absorption of content second. Which is why video and images are such powerful marketing tools. And by the way, Marshall Mcluhan first coined the phrase “the medium is the message” way back in 1964. Despite our instinctive understanding of this fundamental truth, the implications still haven’t quite sunk in.
In one of my previous roles, each division was asked to present their ‘brand’ to the wider business. We were given a PowerPoint template to work with. But my team and I decided to use a fast-paced presentation approach, called a PechaKucha instead.
We had so much fun creating our PechaKucha. We got a standing ovation at the end. People said they loved it because it was quick, concise, clear and fun. The approach was intrinsic to the way we got our message across because our message was that our brand was about being different, about being clear with clients and about making our work fun. That’s why we chose the format.
And that’s really the point. Think first about your audience, then about the best medium for delivering the content and message you want to get across.