www.wellsaid.comJanuary 2014



January Greetings!  What is your vision for 2014?  Are you or your organization striving to achieve a particular goal?  If so, how do you plan to get there?  A great place to start is by effectively communicating that vision to others who can help you accomplish it.  Whether it's a personal dream or a corporate mission, please consider the six techniques below to optimize your impact and influence.


Best wishes for achieving your vision in 2014, and Happy New Year!


Kind regards,


Six Tips for Communicating Your Vision 
By Darlene Price, Well Said, Inc.

 "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

--Proverbs 29:18


Imagine if Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Mother Teresa of Calcutta had been unable to effectively communicate their vision.  What a different world this would be.  Great leaders know how to describe a desired future state and generate the commitment to get there.  Whether it's a global humanitarian vision, an individual goal, or organizational mission, the same communication techniques apply for getting the word out in a meaningful way. Try these six tips for sharing your vision with influence:


1.  Craft a compelling story.  From Beowulf and Aesop's Fables to Little Red Riding Hood and Harry Potter, stories engage and connect us.  "Once upon a time..."  Your story is about a journey. You started somewhere; you faced a challenge, followed by a moment of truth that taught you an important lesson.  As a result you move forward with new insight--a vision to improve the world around you. Articulate the 'big picture' of your vision in the form of a story, and you'll capture the hearts and minds of others.


2. Practice your "elevator pitch." When Franklin D. Roosevelt gave advice to his son James on giving a speech, he wrote, "Be sincere; be brief; be seated."  Today, it's often called the "elevator pitch."  In two minutes or less, be able to communicate your vision in a clear, concise, convincing way.  Whether standing in the cafeteria line with a colleague, bumping into your CEO in the elevator, opening a meeting with customers, recruiting volunteers, or interviewing with the press, be prepared to succinctly present three elements about your vision: What it is, why it's important, and how others can help.


3.  Create a short simple hook. A short effective catchphrase captures attention, communicates value, and helps others remember your message. Consider these examples: Martin Luther King, Jr. repeated the phrase, "Let Freedom Ring" ten times in his "I Have A Dream" speech. CEO Jeff Bezos tells every audience that his vision for Amazon is to be "The Earth's Most Customer Centric Company."  Fundraisers for United Way ask us to help in their cause to "Achieve Human Potential Through Education, Income, And Health."  One of America's major cathedrals draws thousands because it creates "Sacred Space For The City." Apple's vision is to provide "The World's Best Personal Computing Experience," while Google makes "The World's Information Universally Accessible And Useful."  In seven words or less, what's your vision?


 4.  Schedule face-to-face conversations. Sixty years ago Albert Einstein wrote, "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."  I wonder what he would say today.  Although email, social media, webinars and teleconferences are efficient, there are certain supporters who may desire and require "to see the whites of your eyes," as one CEO recently told me.  Identify and meet in-person with key stakeholders, partners, customers, vendors, and supporters who will motivate others to buy into your vision.


 5.  Back it up with action. "Vision without execution is hallucination," asserted Thomas Edison as he brought his vision to 'light.'  Whatever you're creating or building, roll up your sleeves and get into it.  In thought, word, and deed diligently manifest your vision step by step.  When you 'walk the talk' and bolster vision with behavior others will believe. 


 6.  Prepare and practice a dynamic presentation.  When it's time to formally address an audience, prepare your message in three parts: an attention-getting opener, a body with three crystal-clear points, and a close that calls for action.  Support the message with easy-to-understand slides and visual aids. Next, practice the message aloud several times until it flows naturally and conversationally. Rehearsal is key for a confident credible delivery. As Ralph Waldo Emerson advised, "Practice is nine-tenths." 


 Let's put a positive spin on the opening proverb above: "Where there is vision, the people prosper."  I wish you much success in communicating your vision to the world in 2014.  If you would like additional tips and techniques on effective speaking and presenting, may I invite you to read my book, Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results (available in hard cover and Kindle). 


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