Finding your voice – online discussion 6 August

When asked to host an online discussion at at 8pm on Thursday 6th August 2009, I chose the title ‘Finding Your Voice’.

Communication is the primary business tool. Whether you’re negotiating finance with the bank, instructing suppliers, motivating staff or selling to customers, you depend on words to inform people and to persuade them to take action. Instructions have to be clear, motivational messages inclusive and marketing messages compelling: our choice of words and how we use them can determine whether or not we achieve our business objectives.

If you’d like to  join in the chat on Thursday, visit

Do you have anything to say?

There is so much information published today, but how much of it do you find useful?

If you’re running a business, it is vital to broadcast messages to potential customers, suppliers, the media and other audiences. Yet they are being bombarded with messages from every side, so how can you get through to them?

The answer is to be selective. Select the message you want to get across and the audience you need to reach. Is it a message that this audience will be interested in? If not, how can you make them interested? If you’re just trotting out the same words that everyone else is using, your communication will be ignored, along with millions of others.

So what can you do?

Make sure you know your audience and that it is the right one for you. For example, would an audience of over-50s be interested in baby goods aimed at young families. On the face of it: no. But could you interest them as grandparents to buy the products for their grandchildren? This is why it is important to analyse your audience thoroughly to ensure you are targeting people who will take the action you require – usually making a purchase.

Once you’ve identified the right audience, you need to identify what excites them. If they are not excited by your message, they won’t take the action you require of them.

It’s likely that you have many competitors doing the same thing, so it is a challenge to think up a new message, but it is possible. And when you do find the right message and an innovative way of presenting it, it will make a real difference to your results.

People will only take notice if something catches their attention. It is better not to publish something that is ordinary, non-targeted and unexciting. Be selective: you may have to work harder, but it will be worth it.


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