Great entrepreneurs craft vivid messages – messages that are passed onto others.
A vivid message is short. One or two sentences maximum. It needs to be catchy and relevant to your audience.
You need a sharp message because people forget 95% of what they hear. You have to explain the details of your idea; people won’t remember the details a day later, they’ll remember your message.
Steve Jobs’ message for the original iPod was ‘A thousand songs in your pocket’. It is simple, thus it is memorable and is still repeated today.
Successful entrepreneurs command attention by clarifying and distilling memorable messages.
2. Structure your ideas
Persuading investors to get on board requires presentation skills to bring your idea to life during a pitch. Structuring your conversations keeps people engaged.
The best way to structure your ideas is to break them into chunks – two, three or four chunks.
The human mind can’t remember more than five things without a memory device. That’s why we chunk our phone numbers. If you don’t want to overwhelm people, break your ideas into two, three or four sections. Even if you’re talking about rocket science you can still break it into a few key sections.
And, if you really want to capture attention, number your sections as you go through them by saying “firstly, secondly…” and so on.
Structuring your ideas is the way to keep people engaged and build a compelling story.
3. Give great explanations
Be prepared to give compelling explanations to address challenging questions. As an entrepreneur you need to be able to defend your business claims with great explanations.
Start by listing difficult questions you might get from a client. Most entrepreneurs are so focused on the benefits of their idea; they fail to prepare themselves for an opposing view. You need to step out of your view and explore the perspective of another person.
Imagine an aggressive person who wants to attack your business idea. Now, write down the 5 most aggressive questions that person may have. Now write response. For example: “This won’t work because its been done before”, then explain why it will work.
This is the way to not only give you great explanations for your pitch, it might help you find holes in your business plan.
4. Speak to large groups
Successful entrepreneurs share their messages with a lot of people.
The difference between a great idea that succeeds and a great idea that fails is the number of people that are excited by your idea. Find opportunities to speak to large groups.
For example, Janine Allis and Richard Branson are constantly speaking at conferences, to the media, and to whatever groups of people that may gather. They actively look for opportunities to speak, and as a result – they are heard.
It’s not hard to be a good public speaker. Be yourself, warts and all. Just be very clear on how you’re going to start, how you’re going to finish and what your key points are. You don’t have to be perfect. The combination of your natural style, great explanations, and vivid messages are the key to large groups.
5. Build a personal brand around value
Successful entrepreneurs use messaging and communication to build a personal brand. A great way to do this is to package your knowledge into a series of presentations.
You have value buried in your ideas, talents and experience. Most people are not aware of that value. Making presentations that simplify that knowledge will build your personal brand around value.
For example, what are the three steps to getting something done or the four stages to achieving a goal, etc.
Packaging your knowledge helps other people recognise it, and use it. The better you are at doing this, the stronger your personal brand will be. And the more value you will be able to offer the world with your ideas.
About the Author:
Cam Barber is a communication coach to CEOs, authors, sporting clubs and media personalities. Cam created the Vivid Method for public speaking whereby he dispels communication myths and makes persuasion simple by distilling complex ideas into simple steps.
Cam is conducting a half-day Presentation Skills Masterclass in Sydney on February 19th 2015.