What Makes a “Sticky” Point? Effective Communication!

Many factors play into success at getting your point to stick with your audience.  First of all, there needs to be a sense of urgency.  Yell “Fire!” and people will get that point fast and make for the nearest exit. Offer to develop a study on how to manage the eventuality of a fire and you have much less ‘stickiness’.

Your point will also be more likely to stick if it conveys consequences. For example, tell people that bad things will happen if they don’t do something and they’ll be more likely to sit up, take notice and take in your message.

If your point inspires fascination – if it feels like that next shiny object – it can also take hold more effectively. Similarly, it can stick if it generates excitement – that is, if it makes people feel they have to have that … or do that … or be part of that.

A point or idea that’s relevant now – that is important to the audiences’s life right now and may even require action – will also get traction.

And, you’ll sometimes hear someone say that “it just resonates with me.” Your idea can also come on stronger and stir an emotion of some sort. Even better is a personal connection: This is when someone hearing your idea doesn’t feel like you are talking to a roomful of people — they feel you are talking directly to them.

So, when you’re prepping for your next important communication – whether it’s leading a team meeting or having a one-on-one with your boss — think about these different ways you can make your point really stick.  And remember this: You have very little time to engage people and keep them engaged.


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