Confident Personal Communications
My clients tell me that my ‘Speaking a Message’ structure, is one of the most memorable techniques that I share with them. Here is a chart of the structure.
Very simply the structure has an Open, Middle and a Close, with pauses. You can use the basic structure template for any type of speaking.
Speaking a message Structure
- Open eg.”Let me tell you about . . .”
- Middle eg. “Number one . . ., number two . . ., number three . . .
- Close eg. “ . . . and that’s my view on . . .”
Here’s how you could use the structure in practice. If someone asked you for a status report on your work, you could respond as follows.
‘Michael please tell us what your clients like about you most ’
Sure, Let me tell you what they like about me most.
They like my honest feedback that’s couched in sensitivity
They like my long term follow-up.
And they like my continual research to help them improve quicker.
Regarding the long term follow-up, I’ll keep in touch with people for years after I’ve worked with and ask them how they are going on their Action Areas
So that’s what they like, my honest feedback, long term follow-up and continual research.
Now as appropriate to the situation you can use all three parts of the structure, or two parts which would be just the open and middle, or one part which is just the middle. For example, if the question was asked again I could have said with the Middle.
That is: They like my honest feedback, couched in sensitivity, my long term follow-up and my continual research to help them improve quicker.
The litmus test for providing the close is this. If the audience is unsure if you have finished speaking or not, you need to provide a closing remark.
In effect, the speaking a message structure is rambling prevention insurance – it helps you avoid rambling on and on. In addition before you start to speak it is good to already have in your mind a closing point.
Use the Speaking a message structure to order your thoughts and prevent rambling.
To do right now, or to complete within the next 30 minutes:
Think of a short message you need to deliver to someone. Plan the message with the Open, Middle, Close structure in mind. Reflect on whether you’ll need the three parts of the Structure, or just two, or just one.
For example, you could plan to use only the Open and Middle parts of the structure like this:
Approach someone and say, ‘(Open) (their name) got a moment, (Middle) I’ll send you an email about the PQR matter.
Reflect on how you felt after doing these tasks.
What else could you do to put into practice ideas from this Module? Take 13 seconds to see if an idea pops up. Maybe watch the Module again if you have time.