Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are you thinking of flowers today?

If content is the detail of your topic, context is the diagram of what you say.

If you represent all your ideas contextually, you’ll be able to say more in less time, avoid confrontation and increase engagement.

Communicating an idea is like arranging flowers in a vase. Once you have a great vase that fits your environment, you can change and arrange the flowers to suit the vase.

The vase is the context of your message – the flowers are the content. Content needs to be refreshed and rearranged. Context rarely changes.

Here are some quick and easy points to remember to help people navigate your line of thought.

1. Make your point and set the direction.
Detail is necessary at some level; not when you have little time and a lot to say. Revealing your ideas from a broad framework first gives people a map to your line of thought – which engages them from the start.

2. Appeal to the creative right brain types with a metaphor.
Metaphors are object and activity based and can be sourced from real life and everyday examples. Some examples include instruments, household objects, hobbies, sports and environments. Compasses, vases and maps are three common examples.

3. Appeal to the logical left brain types with a model.
A model is geometric in nature and consists of squares, lines, circles, triangles, pentagons, graphs and every variation and combination of the same.

4. Back up your ideas with aligned content.
Once you get engagement on the big picture, you can begin to present your stuff so it supports the established framework. Start broad and then go to detail.

I hope I’ve given you something more to think about than flowers on this Valentines Day!


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