How to Amplify Your Best Ideas
by Bruce Kasanoff, social media ghostwriter
Every day I see pitches, posts, and articles from entrepreneurs and executives; most of them are very talented, but some of their content is pretty mediocre. The difference isn't talent, but rather the thought and effort they put into communicating effectively.
If you are an accomplished professional, the ability to communicate effectively can accelerate your rate of advancement. We all know people who are obviously intelligent, but just can't seem to consistently offer a series of actionable recommendations. Such people aren't worth nearly as much as their colleagues who communicate with clarity.
Here's how to make dramatic progress...
Have a repeatable message. Most of the stuff you read has no clear message, which makes it nearly impossible to repeat. In our digital age, being easily repeated is the difference between fame and forgotten.
In most companies, it takes more than one person's agreement before anything happens. The people who you need to say "okay" must be able to repeat your message to the other people who must say "okay".
Ask yourself: in the simplest possible terms, what do I want? Even more importantly, what do I want the reader to do after reading what I wrote?
Know your audience. If you write everything in the same style, you are - sorry - an ineffective writer. You must adapt your style and approach to match the needs of the people you wish to influence.
The odds are that your boss doesn't think like your subordinates or your friends. The people in Accounting don't think like the people in Marketing.
Some of us like facts and figures, others crave stories.To get a message into someone's brain, you have to package it in a form they can process. For some people, that means using 100 words or less; for others, it means including three pages of support materials.
Ask yourself: who is going to read this, and how do they think? To get a clue, re-read anything they have sent to you.
Be powerful, not passive. Powerful professionals DO things; they don't sit passively while others take action. But huge numbers of professionals write in the passive tense, like this:
After careful consideration, our department's new operating policy was approved this morning by the management team.
What a lousy way to try to get others excited. Far better to write:
We just created five simple principles to make daily life in our department easier and simpler.
Whenever you write, show people how and why to take action. Demonstrate that you are doing the same. Empower others. Get them moving ahead.
Use examples. Without examples, your words are little more than abstract thoughts, and most people ignore abstract thoughts. There are good reasons for this; we all have daily pressures, and if you don't know how to implement an idea, it isn't useful to you.
Examples show readers how to implement your ideas.
If you are suggesting that your boss approve a new expense, tell him or her why the expense is such a good investment and give examples of how it will support your group's goals.
Every year in my town, the Board of Education fights for more money from the Board of Finance. And every year, concerned parents stand up and give heartfelt examples of how children will be hurt if the school budget is cut. Such stories don't always work, but without them our school budget would be much smaller than it is today.
Use more pictures and fewer words. There's a reason why nearly every LinkedIn article starts with an image; more people read articles with images.
The same is true for nearly every document. Some people think in pictures, others in words. If you fail to include pictures, you will fail to reach some people. Plus, you can use images to draw attention to your key points.
Just as importantly, don't waste words. In fact, you might want to write "don't waste words" right above the screen on all your digital devices. I'm serious. Only use as many words as is necessary to get your point across clearly, and no more.
Clarity really matters. Be clear about what you want, and how you help others. That's a powerful combination.
Please let me know if I can help amplify your best ideas. My clients enjoy great success, and many of them just needed some fine-tuning to dramatically increase their results and impact.
"Bruce is a masterful ghostwriter. Beyond his ability to simplify the complex, his intellectual horsepower serves as a sounding board for my ideas. He is quick to appreciate and build on unique insights, as well as to push back on ideas that may not be as interesting or engaging for my audience, or as well thought out. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him and have recommended him to several others searching for an intelligent source to give voice to their ideas."
— David Nour, Relationship Economics® thinker, advisor, speaker, author
"Thank you for providing an excellent keynote to kick off our conference in the main tent. Throughout the conference, each of us heard references to the challenges you put in front of our OD members."
— David Brown, President, Independent Doctors of Optometric Care (IDOC)
"Bruce, you changed my life in ways I am unable to articulate. My earnings increased by 30% in just few months following my session! Bruce is phenomenal at listening to you, capturing your vision and making it plain....no matter how scatter-brained you may think you sound. He is intelligent and skilled...but more importantly ...what he has is a gift. This is his super power."
— Danielle D. Pollard, Performance Coach for Agile Development Teams
'"'A delight... an inspiration... a breath of fresh air.' These are the kinds of comments we’ve been getting from attendees ever since Bruce spoke at Bend WebCAM in October.
— Cam Davis, Co-Chair, Bend WebCAM Conference
"Thank you again for the terrific job you did keynoting the Platinum PR Awards. It was a pleasure working with you, and your ‘Help This Person’ message is certain to inspire the hundreds of PR professionals at our event.
— Steve Goldstein, Editorial Director of Events - Access International/PR News
"You are inspiring (both personally and professionally). Haven’t stopped thinking about the words of wisdom, and the notable experiences that you shared during your two talks."
— Susan Sano Berado, Online Content Strategist
"I just wanted to say thank you once again for sharing your expertise with your dynamic presentation on Saturday. I had to watch most of it from the hallway due to the popularity!"
— Stephen A. Kirsche, Jr., Wesleyan University, University Relations
“Bruce - I think I was meant to attend your presentation at Wesleyan University. Your talk on How to Bring Out the Best Talent in Others was a win-win-win for me. It helped me realize how in line your clearly stated approach is with my core values, it helped me see that I needed help, and it spurred me to action on transitioning my career from an active law practice to helping other attorneys improve their practices (and lives). Thank you for being a catalyst, helping me to help myself and others.”
— Barry Seidel, Esq.
"Bruce came to speak at a conference that we hosted. His keynote was both entertaining and enlightening. He did a great job researching and preparing ahead of time so his talk was on point and valuable for the conference. Attendees reported to me that his presentation put them in the perfect frame of mind for the rest of the conference. I am very happy that he was our choice!'"
— Howard Nunes, President/CEO at PepperDash Technology Corporation
"Just wanted to say thank you again for the webinar. I think in one hour you helped me more than some advisors have in a year. You’re a great asset to the business world. Thanks for what you do."
—Daniel Gogek, Lawyer and consultant
"As a entrepreneur growing a new business, I found Bruce's workshop to be incredibly valuable - it simplified how to clearly and authentically communicate our key messages online and do so, surprisingly, with ease."
—Kelly Weber, Executive Leadership Coach