Posted by: kerrywills | March 4, 2011

Tailor your messages

I have received hundreds of resumes in my career for various positions.  I always find it amusing when people keep one generic resume for every position. I will often see the title say “looking for a job in marketing…” when they are posting for a Project Management position. After I giggle, I toss the resume in the garbage. The point – tailor your messages to your audience.

I see this very often in project communications as well. You cannot use the same presentation that you gave to the technical team for a presentation to senior management. It is imperative that as leaders, we understand our audience and then tailor our messages to them. Consider the following…

  • Do they like facts?
  • Are they visual and need diagrams?
  • What do they care about? Impact of work? Risks? Business need?
  • What are you asking for? A decision? Awareness? Action?
  • Do they like the punchline first or need the storyline first?

Tailoring the messages will allow the audience to focus on the key messages and your objectives instead of trying to interpret or focusing on the wrong things. This requires skill and an understanding of the audience so ask around to get a sense of their preferences beforehand.


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