Where’s your proof? – Improve your messaging

Do you use messaging that works?

What was the UK government’s key messaging during the COVID 19 pandemic?

Can you remember?

Most of you probably remember “Stay at home – Protect the NHS – Save lives”. or “Hands – Face- Space.”

Those are the messages that appeared on the lecterns at the daily press briefings, in TV adverts and when health officials or government ministers are interviewed on the radio.  And apparently they worked. About 85% of the UK population was keeping to the two-metre social distancing rules within a week of the lockdown being announced.

That messaging is working.

messaging that works

Messaging that works

Now step back a moment and look at the government’s messages.

Those of you who have taken part in our presentation coaching may recognise some of the techniques being employed. (We didn’t come up with the Government’s messaging, but whoever did was using five tips that we recommend to our clients):

  1. Boil down your argument to three key messages

  2. Link those messages into an overall narrative e.g. staying at home leads to saving lives

  3. Keep the messages short – each of the three messages has at most three words

  4. Use everyday language, simple verbs, monosyllabic words

  5. Keep repeating the messages until you are sure that they have landed and are being acted on

Your communications aims are probably more modest, but you can still use the same, proven techniques to create, test and land your own messaging that works.

Create powerful messaging for your business

If you are planning to improve your business messaging , you need to think about some key questions:

For example:
Does it fit the current mood of your target audience?
Does it address their concerns?
Does it speak to them?

You’ll also need to think again about your proof – that mixture of fact, anecdote and commentary that supports good messaging. Remember, messages without proof are just assertions.

When you work with us, we ask you tough questions, such as: Are your statistics up to date, or do they seem to belong to a different time and place, before the pandemic? Are your anecdotes tight, telling and memorable? Is your commentary relevant and differentiating?

A lot of messaging falls down because it lacks compelling proof.

Help me improve my messaging

As a result, when you start to talk to investors or customer, journalists or partners your story unravels. That’s why you should take a fresh look at your proof points and then road-test both the messaging and the proof before you go live again.

We work with our clients – helping them polish their talks, presentations, interviews and investor updates.

So if you are interested in polishing your messaging and the supporting proof, get in touch.

We’d be delighted to discuss how we could help you.

P.S. If you are interested in messaging and want to read a fascinating article about branding, messaging and US politics, read this from the NY Review of Books.

Help me improve my messaging

About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.

Over the years the BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

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