- Have or develop a command of the content or topic about which you're discussing. In order to meet this goal, in many instances, you'll most likely need to carry out some background research if you seek to communicate with conviction, credibility and understanding. Do take the time and effort to learn about your topic.
- Carry out your background research in considerably more detail than your final article, document or speech requires. If you're researching correctly, you'll end up with many more notes than what you'll actually use in your final draft. Why: so you'll have lots of material from which to chose or use. Your finished end product might only use a quarter or even a tenth of your research, but your pre-work is crucial.
- The objective is to write, speak or present on topics that you know about. Why: it shows in your finished work.
- Focus on topics that genuinely interest and energize you in some way. Why? If we attempt to write on a topic that doesn't particularly enthuse us, or about which we haven't researched adequately, sure, we can attempt to bluff our way though. However, readers, listeners and website visitors can be more perceptive than we may think. As a result, weeks, months, even years of hard-won credibility can be ruined in seconds through the delivery of one wrong, forced piece.
- Curiously however, for a theme or content idea to interest us, we don't necessarily have to like everything about the topic in which we're currently engaged. Nevertheless, we do need to cultivate the development of a receptive frame of mind.
- Don't be put off writing about a topic which, if viewed from a conventional perspective you are seen to have failed or with which you may have had a negative experience. For example, imagine a person who has started a business that subsequently crashed. Conventional wisdom might suggest that this individual does not have "the right knowledge or skills" to communicate on topics about how to achieve business success.
Yet much is learned through apparent failure and failures can also be stepping stones to later successes. Someone who has experienced the "baptism of fire" that the collapse of a business can involve possesses hard won value that can help others avoid making the same mistakes.
Indeed often, successful business people can display a colorful and varied business history of failure, which subsequently allowed them to achieve the kind of success they sought.
Key tip: the experience of failure combined with uncommon persistence can be a potent force. Communicating about such topics can also turn what may originally have been perceived as a flop, into a win-win. The success of your book, article, speech, presentation or website itself can clearly demonstrate how apparent failure in one area, at a later stage, form the crucial component in the success of another.
- Keep your document focus sufficiently tight. Even though you can learn the details and become an expert in your field, when you're ready to start writing your document, speech, presentation or web page, concentrate only on the topic. That means, write, speak or present only what is relevant to the topic in hand.
- Consider the level of detail you want to explore. Especially if you become expert in field about which you're communicating, restrict the urge to write, speak or present the topic in excruciating detail. This is the art of learning when to stop.
Key tip: once you have covered each topic sufficiently, you'll feel the urge to add some more. Often, that is a good indicator from your subconscious mind to cease writing. Get to know your own signals.