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Want to Know How to Make Your Message Stick? Ask a 5-Year-Old

Want to Know How to Make Your Message Stick? Ask a 5-Year-Old

If you're smart and experienced, you're probably overcomplicating your communication. As a result, the message you're trying to get across isn't res

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If you’re smart and experienced, you’re probably overcomplicating your communication. As a result, the message you’re trying to get across isn’t resonating with the people you’re trying to reach.

The problem, according to Lois Kelly, author of Beyond Buzz, is that experts always “want to go deep into their subject matter area” because the people they hang out with share the same deep specialization.

That’s fine if you’re an accountant talking only to other accountants or an engineer pitching an idea to just engineers or a linguistic anthropologist who only cares about other . . . you get the picture.

“We often forget that many audiences are not specialists, but more heterogeneous,” writes Kelly. “Examples of this include marketing drugs to consumers rather than physicians, accounting software to small business owners instead of accountants or John Deere tractors to a suburbanite versus an experienced farmer.”

That’s why, to frame your message to reach a broader audience, you need to channel your inner 5-year-old. “How we learn most things is remarkably similar to how five-year-olds learn,” Kelly writes. “This is true whether you’re a 49-year-old Ph.D. or a 20-year-old assembly line worker.”

Here is how a 5-year-old learns and what it means to communicating to everyone:

Kelly writes, “As people try to digest more information, they want help in sorting it all out. They want to know what is relevant within their frame of reference and they want genuine advice.”

The best way to begin creating communication that meets your audience members’ needs? Find a 5-year-old.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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