Being smart and having a high EQ is essential for good leadership but as well there are many occasions where it’s necessary to take a complex concept and make it obvious to a 9 year old.
This is not easy.
It needs a balance between sounding condescending versus making the concept sound too simplistic.
There are five parts to achieving the simple from the complex:
- Refine your concept many times.
Draft and redraft the script to reduce down to the absolute essentials. Rehearse it and try it out with trusted friends. Put it away and come back to it a week later.
- Truly really deeply know your audience.
Previous posts (links posts 20, 2, 1.) have described how to match and influence your audience. These posts discuss HOW to present the message in an influential motivating manner. To truly capture simplicity it is crucial to refine your message to match the essence of the fundamental motivational aspects of the audience.
What grabs their attention? What is the key message they will lock onto? What will make a difference for them? (Not you)
Sharpen your message against the needs of each one of your audience.
Golfers like a good long putt.
Engineers prefer mathematical certainty.
Artists like to see sketches.
Accountants like to see balanced inputs and outputs
Use their key world view to define your pitch.
- What’s the one big driver for your audience?
As well as matching the expectations of the audience there is also a most VIP driver or key belief for all of us.
More painfully there may be several audiences and matching the driver of each is essential for successful engagement.
Finding what it is and using it to gain involvement is a leadership skill.
Do they have a favourite slogan or mantra? for example:
“It’s lonely at the top”
“People stuff is just soft skills”
“No pain, no gain”
Ensure your message reinforces or worse, doesn’t contradict that mantra.
What is their most visible image?
What photos are in their office?
Family snaps or VIP business and political figures?
Casual or formal photos?
Us everything to identify and match their mantra.
- Create a story with context, drama and solution.
Neuroscience says there are four hooks in a compelling story: relatability, novelty, tension, and fluency.
Identify a key point your audience can relate to and make the story have a splash of the novel or uniqueness. Offer a tussle between right and wrong or danger and safety, risk and security.
Keep the whole story brief and spiced with congruent flow.
- Be curious
An earlier post (link Post # 8) discussed the leader competency of curiosity.
This goes double for making the complex a simple as you can.
Make the process an adventure of discovery of connecting. The more curious you are about linking the pitch to your individual audience the more powerful it will be.
Curiosity is also an antidote to taking your pitch too seriously.
As I have said elsewhere,
“The more important something is to you the less you will be understood.”
If you would like to discuss being simple please contact me.