Getting Over Yourself

August 28, 2010

” ‘Blank’ ‘airheads’ ” really isn’t specific

Filed under: Observations,Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 12:29 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve cleaned up this sidewalk message a bit and believe I can still make the point.

We’re often admonished to be succinct, get to the point, don’t be too wordy. And “blank airheads” certainly falls in that category.  However, it’s way too open to interpretation to be effective.

First, it’s rare that anyone self-designates as an ‘airhead.’ And probably even less so with the actual word. So, while there may be those that agree that ‘airheads’ should be ‘blanked’ the will just go right over the head of the intended recipient.

Next, there are some who might consider ‘blanking’ to be a good thing and also miss the point. And by being so unspecific, the message could even be interpreted as an invitation by the writer.

On another sidewalk in another part of the city I saw this much more specific message: ” ‘Blank’ you.” Short, to the point, much harder to misinterpret, and more direct.

When you’re giving a presentation. Even if you’re being succinct, make sure your message isn’t so generic your audience can assume someone else is the intended target. As you close your presentation, rather than use the broad brush of saying “everyone should,” or “everyone needs to,” get the attention of each person in the audience by saying “you.” They may not do what you’ve asked, but they’re more likely to listen and consider your point.

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