Communication Strategy

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Communication Strategy

Episode Summary

How you deliver your message is probably as important as what your message is.  In other words:  How you say something is as important as what you say.  This is true if you communicate in print, via video or live in person in front of an audience.  In this episode we discuss how to deliver a message that packs a punch.

Dave Lorenzo, Chairman and Founder of Valtimax Consulting, energetically covers everything you need to know to craft the most powerful and most influential message possible.


Click the link below for the transcript of this episode.

Valtimax Podcast Transcript: Communication Strategy

Communication Strategy

This is Dave Lorenzo, and I want to welcome you once again to another edition of the Valtimax Podcast. Today we’re going to be talking about communication strategy. We’re talking about the ‘M’ in your MAD marketing plan. That stands for message, audience and delivery system. Today we’re talking all about how you craft the message. Not what you say, but how you say it. We’re talking about stylistic points that can make all the difference in whether your message is received in the way it’s intended to be received.

Think about it. How many times have you been to a speaking engagement, an event, where a speaker gets up there, and he talks like, this. He drones on and on and on for an hour or more. He lulls you to sleep so that his message is lost. He could be telling you that you just won $1 million, and you would never know it.

That is not the way to deliver a message. That is not the way to get your passion to come through. Everything in life is about energy, and we’re going to teach you how to deliver a message so that your audience has to take action. That’s what you want, whether you’re a business owner, a business executive, a doctor or a lawyer, you want your message to come through.

You want people to jump up off their seats and take action, and the way to do that is not only to have a powerful message that motivates people, but also deliver it in a way that is phenomenally effective.

Now, you don’t have to be an excitable personality type. You don’t have to be like me. You don’t have to be like Jim Cramer from “Mad Money.” You don’t have to be like Tony Robbins on late night TV. You don’t have to be a fanatic in order to get your message to come through. But you can use your personality, and you can use the techniques that we’re going to demonstrate to you today in the next 15 minutes. You can get your message through to any audience at any time whether you’re speaking, whether you’re on television, on the radio or in the written word. That’s right, folks, you can convey this passion, get people up off their seats and motivated to take action even if you’re writing. We’re going to teach you how to do that today.

Before we do, I want to remind you to subscribe to the Valtimax Podcast on iTunes. That’s right. Go to iTunes, go to the App Store, look for the podcast app. There’s a podcast app on there. Get the podcast app, download it onto your iPhone or your iPad, and then search for Valtimax, V-A-L-T-I-M-A-X. The Valtimax Podcast. Subscribe so you don’t miss any of our updates. We update the Valtimax Podcast each and every single Monday. When you wake up in the morning, the podcast will be right there on your phone for you.

If you miss any episodes, all the episodes are available at V-A-L-T-I-M- A-X dot com. Every Monday the Valtimax podcast is updated, every Wednesday we update a brand new article, and every Friday we do a brand new video for you. It’s great content for doctors, lawyers, business owners and business executives.

All right. Let’s talk about communication strategy and how to get your message received and get people to take action. The first element of crafting an effective message is energy. That’s right, you have to let your passion come through. Now as I said, you don’t have to be like Jim Cramer of “Mad Money.” You don’t have to be like Tony Robbins. You don’t have to be a motivational speaker, jumping up and down, getting people all excited. You don’t have to be that person. But you do have to vary your voice inflection and tone, and you have to let your passion for the topic come through. I don’t care if you’re talking about quantum physics, or statistics, or if you’re trying to get somebody jazzed up about a charity and get them to contribute $1,000.00.

No matter what the topic is, you must let your passion come through. And you can be subdued and still have passion, or you can be really excited and let that excitement come through. It’s OK to be yourself. It’s OK to show emotion, because emotion resonates with people. All of life is about energy, and if you project energy out, particularly positive energy, you’ll get positive energy back.

All right. The tone you want to use in your communications, whether it’s a speech, or a written communication, when it comes to marketing, is conversational. I see people put out marketing material that looks very sterile and academic, and they’re wondering why they don’t get results. The reason you don’t get results is because it doesn’t resonate with people. You must produce marketing material that is conversational. Use the first person. Speak to people as if they’re people, whether you’re doing it in a written format, or whether you’re doing it in an actual conversation from the stage, or whether you’re doing it on television. Imagine that you’re having a conversation with someone, and write that way. You’re not receiving a grade. The grade you get is when people come to you with money in their hand.

The way to motivate people to come to you with money in their hand is to develop a relationship, and the way to develop relationships is through conversations. Write in the first person. Speak in the first person as if you’re just having a conversation in a one-on- one setting. Right now, on this podcast, I’m speaking directly to you. I’m talking to you, and I thank you for being here, and I’m glad you’re with me. We’re developing a relationship right now. This is how you want to develop relationships with all of your clients, with all of your patients, with your customers and employees. Speak in the first person in your marketing materials.

All right. The third element I want to get you all fired up about when it comes to communication strategy is offering an opinion. You have to have an opinion. Being neutral is not a way to go through life, because if you feel nothing for any topic, you are going to be the most bland person anyone has ever met, and they’re not going to want to hang around you. We know that you have opinions on everything. People you meet know that you have opinions on everything. When you don’t share your opinions with people, you’re guarded. It’s as if you’re hiding something.

In your marketing material, feel free to share an opinion. Yes, people will disagree with you, and yes, you will drive some people away. But the people who are magnetically

attracted to you will be even more attracted to you and more loyal if they share your point of view. Regardless of who you are and what your feelings are, what your opinions are, people will be attracted to you.

The example I give all the time of this comes from radio, two different ends of the spectrum. You have Rush Limbaugh, who’s a very conservative, right-wing figure who agitates people all the time. He gets people on the right very, very excited. He gets people on the left really, really angry. People listen each and every day. Why do they listen? Some listen because they agree with him. Some listen because they hate him. All of them listen because they want to hear what he has to say next.

The person on the left who does the same exact thing is Howard Stern. He doesn’t generally take political points, but he says outrageous stuff. People who are liberal, people who enjoy that type of humor, they listen every single day. Why do they do it? They want to hear what he has to say next. They want to hear what his opinion is.

People who hate him want to hear what he has to say next. That’s why they listen every day.

Both men, different ends of the spectrum, express their opinion, and people come back for more. And guess what, folks? These people sell tons of products. They sell lots of stuff, and they do it because of the relationships they build, mostly because of the opinions they have and they share. You don’t have to be as controversial as either of these guys. You don’t have to be fanatics, but you do have to express an opinion because people know it’s there, and they want to hear it from you. The folks with whom your opinion resonates will be people who are magnetically attracted and loyal to you.

All right. The next point I want to share with you is the narrative. If you’re trying to make a point to someone, if you want to bond with people, if you want to create a relationship with folks, you have to be able to tell stories. Many of you know the story of how I got into this business. Many of you know the story of why I help people make a great living and live a great life. I’ll tell you very quickly in case you don’t know it.

I was a corporate executive. I was working for the Gallup Organization, the Gallup poll. We had a consulting division, and I headed the consulting division up in Manhattan, in New York City, and I was working on a project that I had to deliver to the CEO of a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company. It was a very, very important project. We had just gotten some data in, and I was compiling it with my team. We were going to deliver a report in two weeks. The phone rang, and it was the CEO of this pharma company, and he said to me, “I have to go to China on the day we’re supposed to get the report from you. Can you come over right now and give me a very quick executive briefing?”

I dropped what I was doing. I happened to have a lunch appointment with my wife. I cancelled that, and I ran out into the December air, the very crisp December air, and down the street to deliver this report. I was crossing the street at Sixth Avenue and 43rd Street, when all of a sudden I was struck by a taxicab. In that moment, I was paralyzed from the armpits down. I was being wheeled through the hospital on the west side of

Manhattan, and I’m thinking to myself, “My goodness, the one thing I really wanted to do today, have lunch with my wife, I can’t do, I couldn’t do, because I was heading off to work.”

Once again, I was putting my family behind my work needs. I was putting my work ahead of my family needs. I can’t believe I did that again. All the money I made was not important any longer because my life would have been inalterably changed for the worse. Well, thank goodness I’ve recovered completely, and I also recovered mentally. I recovered physically, I recovered mentally, and I decided that I was no longer going to put my family behind my work needs, and I was going to completely change my work and structure it around making a great life through what I did for a career. That’s how “make a great living and live a great life” came about.

I restructured my entire living to make it so that I could live the life that I really wanted. That’s the story I tell when people first meet me so they understand how important and how passionate I am about this. That’s the story I tell how I got into this, and it resonates with people. It’s powerful.

Now I’m not telling you to go out and get hit by a taxicab. What I am telling you is that you have to have things in your life that have happened to you that have created the beliefs that make you who you are. Tell those stories to folks. If you want to stress a point to someone, whether it’s an academic point or a passionate point like the one I just made, you have to have a story. You have to have a narrative that goes along with it. Why? Stories emotionally engage people.

If you want to get people to come over to your side, if you want to sway their opinion, if you want to develop a relationship with someone, you have to be able to connect with them at an emotional level. If you connect with them at an emotional level, you can help them understand through logic and reason why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling. Once you do that, you have a relationship that’s a powerful relationship. You have a bond together.

Connecting to people on an emotional level is important. Doing it through story and narrative is critical. You have to build stories into your communication, whether it’s written or spoken word.

All right, let’s talk really quickly about action. You want to get people to take action so every communication tool you use, every message you put out, has to have a call to action in it. Today in this podcast, in this very podcast today, I gave you a call to action. I want you to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. I want you to go to the website and look up the old podcast episodes. They’re there for you. They’re resources. That’s a call to action.

Every marketing communication that you put out must have some call to action even if it’s something as simple as “use the additional resources we’ve provided.” I’m not trying

to sell anything to you here today, I’m offering you more stuff for free, but it’s still a call to action. Every marketing communication must have a call to action.

All right. Repetition is critically important. People follow messages they hear first, messages they hear last, and messages that are repeated over and over and over again. I’m not saying you have to say things the same way over and over and over again. You can change the way you say things, but repeating your message is critical.

Saying things multiple times will help it resonate with folks. Repeating things in writing multiple times will help it resonate, will help it sink in, it will make sure that it connects with people in a way that they can understand it. Rephrase it, say it multiple times, use different inflections each time if you have to if you’re speaking to make sure your message gets through.

Finally, I’m going to give you the last tip that’s really important that most people don’t get, particularly politicians. If you ever see a politician, you’ll notice that they don’t get this point. Your message has to be simple and concise. It has to be very focused, simple and concise. You want to convey one point at a time, you want to do it in a way that resonates with people, and then you want to be done. The best speech is a short speech. The best article is a short article.

You don’t want people to have to read your communications for an hour, for two hours. You’re not writing an article that’s going to appear in a long format like the Economist or the New Yorker. That’s not the marketing message you’re creating. You’re creating a marketing message that has punch, resonates with people, gets you into their mind and out quickly and leaves them to think and take action based on what you said.

Let’s recap the points we made today. You have to have a ton of energy. Your tone has to be conversational. You have to offer an opinion. You have to be able to tell a story. You have to be able to give a narrative. You want to get people to take action, and you want to give them a call to action. You want to repeat the information multiple times and vary the way you say it. Different ways, multiple times, that’s important to get the message through.

Finally, you’ve got to be concise, you want to be short, you want to be succinct. You want to hit them hard, get them thinking, get them to take action, and then move on.

That’ll do it for this week’s episode of the Valtimax Podcast. My name is Dave Lorenzo, and I’d like your feedback and comments on this week’s episode. You can call me at 888-692-5531, or email me at D-L-O-R-E-N-Z-O at D-L-O-R-E-N-Z-O dot com.

Here’s hoping you make a great living and live a great life®

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