inCredible Messages Blog

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Overcome the Top Communication Mistake

As you know, researchers are continually discovering new things about how human brains work. In his book, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, Dr. John Medina focuses only on those findings scientists can reliably replicate.

Medina’s book is well worth reading. His points regarding attention and communication are especially relevant to leadership communication. Consider the following quote (italics mine):

“The most common communication mistakes? Relating too much information with not enough time devoted to connecting the dots. Lots of force feeding, very little digestion.”

I encounter this force-feeding mistake when I work with coaching clients who are preparing to speak at conferences or in boardrooms. In virtually every case, these clients begin with an overwhelming number of points. They have so much to say, and they struggle to say it all. The internal urge to get all our data out is strong, no matter the time parameters or audience members’ attention spans.

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Multipurpose Content.

Power of Writing a Nonfiction Book: Case Study

Fresh Views for Resilient Living by Sharon Eakes

Fresh Views for Resilient Living by Sharon Eakes

Writing a nonfiction book has unparalleled power to brand you as a thought leader, attract clients, and multiply your message. Sometimes the results are nearly magical. If you don’t believe it, consider what happened to Sharon Eakes.

Sharon Eakes is a vibrant individual and professional in her mid-70s. An executive coach, Sharon lives on her own terms, coaching part-time, travelling internationally, and spending precious time with family. As a coach to leaders who face complicated struggles; a survivor of a rare and aggressive cancer; and a deeply spiritual person, Sharon is passionate about living with intention.

For over 15 years, Sharon has written a column for a local community magazine called The Green Tree Times. Her monthly columns reflect on tapping the power of the mind, creating relationships that work, and seeing the connections between all things. Sharon reposts her monthly columns, complete with coaching questions, in her own online newsletter for clients and friends.

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing, Creating Content to Build Your Business.

Use a Marketing Formula to Write Your Nonfiction Book to Build Your Business

If you want your brand, content, or nonfiction business book to get noticed, it’s time to get NUDE. At least that’s what Andrew Szabo, known as The Marketing Chef, says.

In a 2015 interview on Voices of Experience, the National Speakers Association audio magazine, Szabo explained his acronym in terms of developing your brand. His points make as much sense when you are developing a nonfiction book as they do when you are developing a brand. Here’s how it works:

N Stands for Novelty. In order to capture attention amid the thousands of advertising messages your target readers experience each day, your message and nonfiction book must be fresh in some way. Don’t, however, let this intimidate you. Your message might be novel with a fresh angle, methodology, or delivery.

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Write a Non-Fiction Book that Builds Your Business, How to Write Content to Attract Clients, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing, Creating Content to Build Your Business.

Improve Your Nonfiction Writing in 10 Minutes!

Here is a great article by Writer’s Digest to improve your writing in 10 minutes or less:  http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/brush-up-on-your-style-in-10-minutes-or-less.

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them.

Expert Advice on Avoiding Communication Overload

John Medina, accomplished scientist and author of Brain Rules (2008), reports that the most common communication mistake is “[r]elating too much information with not enough time to connect the dots.”

Medina is not alone in suggesting we refrain from overloading our readers and listeners with information.  Gar Reynolds, in Presentation Zen, demonstrates that less is more in both words and graphics.  It makes sense for us as communicators to make fewer points people will remember than to bombard audiences with everything we know.

Knowing what to cut is both a skill and a discipline.  It begins with knowledge of your goals and your audience.  It ends with a certain amount of humility.  Just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to say it.

Also, just because you say something doesn’t mean your audience knows what to do with it.  Making the assumption that readers and listeners easily make the jump–from theory to their own situation–is dangerous. 

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them, How to Write Content to Attract Clients, Business Writing Techniques, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing.

How to Create Content by Throwing Writing Away

In their quest to write a book or create content for their businesses, people often ask me how many words they should write each day. They also want to know what time of day is most productive for writers.  Should they write 500 words each morning or 1000 words each afternoon?  Should they lock themselves in an empty room or write in a busy coffee shop?

Unfortunately, successful authors don’t have a universal answer to these questions.  That said, there is a surprising practice they all share. Here’s one thing virtually all top writers have in common:  they expect to throw writing away.

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Write a Non-Fiction Book that Builds Your Business, How to Write Content to Attract Clients, Multipurpose Content, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing, Creating Content to Build Your Business.

Write Clear Concise and Compelling

Want your writing to be clear, concise, and compelling?  Do you in fact, get the opposite:  muddy, laborious, and bland?  It might be because you are trying too hard too early.

Composer Aaron Copeland said, “Inspiration may be a form of the super-conscious or the subconscious, I wouldn’t know.  But I am positive it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.”

Do you second guess every word you write, correcting for grammar, looking for the right word, rewriting each sentence or paragraph before you move to the next one? If so, you are the enemy of your own writing.  Your self-consciousness is hindering your writing.  Chances are it’s giving you a headache too.

Whether you are writing an email or a book, make a rough plan for your message.  Then just write.  Write according to the plan, but don’t be rigid.  Turn off your spelling and grammar check and just write.  Get the piece out on your screen. 

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them, Multipurpose Content, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing, Creating Content to Build Your Business.

Tips to Design a Powerful Presentation

Looking to design a powerful presentation that will capture attention and sell your ideas?  Follow these steps:

  • Anticipate any resistance you might encounter.  Use informal and formal channels to learn as much as you can about individual audience members’ perspectives.  Think through the reasons behind any resistance.  For example, resistance might be due lack of information, bias from a past experience, a low priority issue, etc.
  • Create a storyline for your presentation before you sit down in front of a PowerPoint template.  Consider various types of support in addition to PowerPoint slides.  These might include case studies, analogies, illustrations, and props.
  • In structuring your content, provide context (connecting your message with strategic priorities and profitability), rather than background.  The chronology of a project is rarely interesting or needed. For example, “The late tomato harvest means we will have to adjust our schedule and lay off workers for two weeks.”

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in How to Persuade & Gain Commitment.

Got Leaky Communication?

Do ever wonder why two seemingly cooperative people can walk away from a conversation knowing they haven’t connected?   Why two people addressing the same problem can’t hear each other’s point of view?  Why communication can be so frustrating and inefficient?

Authors of Difficult Conversations (researchers at the Harvard Negotiation Project*) claim every conversation involves three levels.  When one party is addressing one level and the other is addressing a different level, misunderstanding is inevitable.  When the misunderstanding occurs, we often assume the other person is being deliberately difficult or obtuse.

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in How to Persuade & Gain Commitment, Influence, Leadership.

Three Step to Unstuck

We all get stuck. Yet somehow, we think of this as a deficit. Whether we are on a plateau with a fitness goal, a business/career path, a relationship, an artistic product, or a sales goal, we think we shouldn’t be stuck. We think we should never be stuck.
Part of the problem is that we spend our time and energy beating ourselves up when we might use that energy to get unstuck. Seasoned professional coach, Brenda Vester, shares a three-step approach to get us out of that trap. Here is a quick paraphrase:

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Multipurpose Content, Leadership, Overcome Procrastination.