Communicate Effectively – Keep It Simple, Make It Clear. By Zig Ziglar
Several years ago while jogging in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I passed a beautiful home which had been restored and then boarded up. A sign on the front stated, “Trespassers will be shot – Survivors will be shot again.” The message was clear.
The Canadian government found a clear way to communicate the dangers of smoking to their young people. They put on a package of cigarettes, “Smoking can kill you,” and it was so effective that 83% of the 2,471 students polled, ranging from twelve to seventeen years in age, remembered that message. In America, the wording on cigarette packages is bland, quoting the Surgeon General’s warning that “Smoking can be hazardous to your health.” Only six percent of American students polled remembered even a couple of those words.
Sometimes we communicate without saying even one word. When Benjamin Franklin lived in Philadelphia, he recognized the need for street lights, but things were different in those days and city governments did not have budgets to light streets. Franklin took action and erected a beautiful post in front of his home with a lantern on top. At dusk he lit the lantern but said nothing to anyone about it. After three or four nights, a neighbor followed suit, then another. Soon the whole street was lighted and it spread across town. Franklin’s example sent a simple but effective message and demonstrated again that example is the best teacher.
In today’s high-tech world we communicate via our smartphones, email, Twitter, television, satellite and every electronic gadget imaginable. But the most effective communication still takes place face to face with the spoken word, provided we “practice what we preach,” because people might not believe everything you say, but they will believe everything you do. Give it a try and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!