What Is The Message You Are Trying To Get Across?


Friday, 8.22pm

Sheffield, U.K.

You can change your world by changing your words… Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue. – Joel Osteen

I’ve recently been attending some networking events and come to a depressing realisation.

I don’t know how to tell someone else what I do.

Well – that’s not entirely right.

I can tell them what I do right now – but it’s harder to talk about what I want to do, or wish to do or hope to do.

And the chances are that lots of us are in the same position.

It’s one thing if you have a profession – something that is relatively straightforward.

People get what a doctor, lawyer, accountant or firefighter does.

It’s harder to get across what a management consultant, application developer or business analyst does.

Or if you do a number of things – your main hustle, your side hustle and your hobbies.

So, what should you do if what you do seems to span quite a broad range of activities and is hard to sum up in a single word?

And perhaps one way to think about this is to reflect on the business end of a spear.

A spear has a couple of bits – the head and the shaft – but the bit that matters is the pointy bit at one end.

It’s easy to use jargon and words that you and people like you understand to describe what you do.

It’s also easy to give lots of disconnected examples to show the variety of work you do.

But it’s quite likely that the effect you have on your listener is a little like blowing room temperature air in their general direction.

They probably won’t notice.

Something that gets to the point, on the other hand, might get their attention.

So maybe that’s something to try.

When you have something complex to explain, keep most of what you know to yourself.

Instead, pick out something that your listener can understand in one word.

I’m a copywriter.

If you can’t do that then try and talk about the outcomes you make happen.

I help small business owners connect with prospects on LinkedIn.

The thing I need to learn is that you can be anything you want to be.

You just have to tell other people what you are.

But you have to do so in a way they understand.

Or you won’t get anywhere.


Karthik Suresh

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