The 4 questions communicators should ask themselves

Use these questions to help you cut through the crap and improve your communication program.

Simple is not dumb. And clear does not mean basic.

What’s the biggest problem facing communications today? Fear, you say? Yes, that’s certainly holding back a lot of organizations.

Incompetence? Sure, there’s plenty of that going around.

What about this: The overwhelming desire, among too many executives and even some communicators, to make things more complicated than they are, or need to be.

What is it with this obsession with convolution, whether it’s how we write and speak, or how we plan?

Which leads us to the four big questions you should ask anytime you’re doing a piece of communication. Use these questions to help you cut through the crap and get to the heart of the matter.

Big Question No. 1: What are we trying to do?

We’ve sat in meetings with executives who talk about communication as if they’re planning the manned mission to Mars. You don’t have to use a lot of fancy terms to talk about what you’re trying to achieve.

In fact, the simpler the better. If you can’t sum up your communication goal in a sentence or two, there’s trouble ahead, cheri.

Here’s the problem: Nobody wants to ask this question, because they don’t want to admit they don’t get it, and because the question itself sounds kind of dumb.

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