[Note: this an updated version of a post originally published in 2016]
There are six things every great communicator does – whether you’re giving a huge keynote or trying to run an effective senior staff meeting. The first: You have a truly provocative, useful idea.
What does provocative mean in this context? It means that your idea provokes attention, thought, conversations, and action. The best ideas do more than just grab your attention (that’s what cat videos are for). The best ideas are so good that they make you think. They make you think enough that you just have to talk to other people about them. The best ideas are so interesting that after you’ve had conversations with other people – you all have to act on that new idea.
Usefulness is entirely subjective. If you’ve got something (an idea, a product, a service) that can really help a particular population, show that you understand their need and have addressed it in an elegant new way. Show them that they can really use your idea or product or service – that it will change the way they work and live! Show them how to use it. Show them how to overcome barriers to change. Help them take that first step toward integrating your wonderful useful thing into their lives!
Originality is essential. If you see the same things everyone else sees, you don’t have something to add to the conversation. Ideas that haven’t been expressed before are provocative. Ideas that are contrarian can be useful – status quos exist to be changed.
Caution: something stunning, saucy, and unique is bound to attract eyeballs – but you must have the substance to win the hearts and minds and convert that attention to thought, conversation, and action.
Here’s the litmus test: If an idea inspires you to change the way you work or live, it’s a provocative and useful idea!
Your business must scale, and you must scale with it. Great communicators create the change they want to see in the world. poseycorp helps innovators build powerful messages and the skill to deliver them so they can break through the noise and be heard! Click here to receive pragmatic communications advice in your inbox every month.