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1. Use Plain Language. People are more likely to remember how you made them feel than exactly what you said. So, keep it simple and connect at the level of emotion and shared values. Drop the insider jargon and data dumps and describe the stakes and the rewards in clear terms.

2. Know Your Audience. Why should they listen to you? What are your shared hopes, dreams, and fears? Don’t assume they know what you know. Invite them into the conversation by finding a point of broad agreement—your audience is more likely to connect with you if your advocacy is linked to broadly held values and ideas with which they already agree (e.g. “All our children deserve an opportunity to succeed,” “We can have both a healthy economy and a healthy environment.”)

3. Stick to Three Things. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. People need to hear something several times for it to sink in. So, focus on three key points and don’t be afraid to say them again and again. You won’t sound like a broken record; your own clarity and consistency    will translate as conviction and credibility.

This Flashcard is adapted from communications resources developed by Anne Martens.

Click here for Anne Martens’ message memo, “How to Communicate Effectively: A Guide for Advocacy.”

See also:

June 30, 2011