Recently I arrived to pick up my son at his karate class a bit early. As I hung out watching the tail end of his lesson, I found myself thinking about how in martial arts small, seemingly subtle moves can be extremely powerful, when the technique is right.
Which got me thinking about what my craft, communications, and martial arts, have in common. Crafting a good message, for example: it’s not about how strong or how loud you are, it’s about using your power the right way, in the right place at the right time.
And like martial arts, all it takes a patient teacher, and some practice, to get started.
My business partner Marit and I recently held a training session for a client on how to craft effective messages.
I have to confess, l love training. It’s perhaps the part of my job I love the most. It’s so rewarding to see people have “aha” moments after struggling with an idea or an exercise, and walk away with some new skills to make their work more effective.
We covered a lot of ground in that session. But the core of it was this: messages (whether they are being delivered via the media, or directly in the form of a speech, or via digital platforms) are ultimately about values, and express something positive. Your opponent too has a values-based message: what is it? The better you understand your opposition, the more effective your message will be.
Here’s a link to a Clinton/Obama “message box” that provides a really great synopsis of each side’s messaging from the 2008 presidential race. Can you see how a weakness can be re-framed as a strength?
The two campaigns clearly incorporated each other’s attacks into their core messaging:
Try crafting one of these for the upcoming American presidential race. It might be a good way to take the edge off what could otherwise be a challenging presidential election season.
And if your cause could benefit from some training or coaching on how to craft strong, effective messages, drop me a line at email@example.com