Are you in the weeds?

weeds4We’ve all been there – caught up in the shrinking world of tunnel vision.  But when communicating with others, being in the weeds can lose your audience.

Last week I coached two executives, neither of whom had used video feedback before.  In both of these sessions, we addressed the need to “get out of the weeds.”  Most often, when we’re in the weeds, we don’t realize it.  Having an outside perspective (such as coaching and video feedback) is important for this very reason.  When we are passionate and invested in a message, it’s our natural tendency to share as much as we can in as much detail as we can.  The material is so important, so brilliant and so valuable that we inadvertently create information overload in our fervor.

When you present your communications experience, are you in the weeds?  Consider these indicators:

  • The verbal content of your message is cluttered with verbosity, technical jargon, industry lingo, and too much detail.
  • The visuals presented are overkill (too many slides, too much text, little or no graphics).
  • Your presentation lacks stories, anecdotes, and humor.
  • Your intensity for the material blinds you from the need to connect with and engage your audience.

The answer?  Focus on two things and two things only.

  1. Your point of view:  What is the core message you want to convey?
  2. Your audience:  What’s in it for them?  What are they looking for in your message?  How can you focus on the aspects of your message that they’ll care about?

Simplify your material.  Divorce the details that excite you but alienate your listeners.  Become a master of exclusion and a facilitator of a memorable message.  Take “you” out of the message.  Focus on your listeners, learn them and create an experience that leaves an impact on them.

Want to connect your message with your audience?  Get out your weed whacker!

Photo credit: gracieshoots

One comment on “Are you in the weeds?

  1. Ben – this is an excellent analogy for all areas of business (and probably life). All too often we are stuck in the detail, the monotony, and not able to look at the big picture of what we want to accomplish. Occasionally the minutiae (the weeds) is important, but most often its the the end goal that really steers the ship.

    Thanks for the insight.

    Nick