How important is your message?

This morning I watched an unexpected video that reinforced the importance of being able to iterate your message clearly but also adapt it based on your audience.

You see, most charities are pretty good at explaining their mission and conveying what they do or who they help to anyone that asks. If you can’t do that – you should start practising your pitch.
But, ironically (being a charity and all), the message is usually only about them – What WE do, who WE help, why WE do it (WE= The charity) – When in fact they need to speak directly to their audience – What THEY should do, who THEY should help, why THEY should do it (THEY = Your audience).

Now in order for you to properly connect with your audience, you must know exactly who they are, what their problems are and what motivates them to take action. Knowing their lingo will help a lot as well as tackling their potential objections head-on, instead of shy away from them.

Watch this in action as a group of Black Lives Matter activists showed up at a Trump rally this weekend. This is not about the politics or about who may be right. Watch the whole thing to see the result.

So what happened here?

The activists came in expecting the worst, getting their “militant faces on” as the leader of the group described – Probably the most hostile audience they could be facing.

You can hear the PA in the background urging their audience “Don’t give them the spotlight  -They don’t exist”
But then something amazing happened, the leader of the rally – regardless of politics, regardless of whatever others in the rally would think of him, brought the group on stage and gave them a few minutes to say what they have to say, the activists’ leader was shocked but seized the opportunity.

It is very clear that this wasn’t his first rally and that he knows who is his audience is as they, most likely, spent the past couple of years shouting slogans at each other.
Now he finally was able to state his message calmly and to an audience who is listening, may be reluctant to and full of bias, but still listening.

Here’s how his speech went:

  • Find common grounds “I am an American”.
  • Use a relatable analogy “Beuty about America is that if you see it broken, you can fix it”.
  • State your issue “Why is there Black Lives Matter” – Didn’t go down well – but it’s part of the game – you must strike a nerve to get full attention.
  • Tackling biasses head on “We are not anti cops – We are anti BAD cop”.
  • Give simple examples that anyone can agree on “If you had a bad plumber you’d fire him so why not a cop” – This is interesting as people think based on patterns so by displaying a pattern they can relate to personally, they can also relate to your analogy.
  • What do you want “We want our god given rights”.
  • Address common misconceptions and don’t ignore your audience “You are right, all lives matter, but the reason we say black lives matter is…”
  • What do you want from them using their own lingo “If we really want to make America great again, we need to do it together”
  • Finish on a high note – Psychologists found that people remember 2 things from any film, event or lecture: The highest engagement peak and how it ended.

While you can’t please everyone, especially on the internet – It’s fine, not all people are ready to change and open their minds to other possibilities in life, but you should focus on the ones that CAN change, the ones that were moved by your message and call to action and that could relate to your story the most. This is where you find your best donors.

How can YOU evolve your message to speak DIRECTLY to your audience?

Please let me know how this exercise worked for you in the comments section below and if you this post resonated with you, let’s talk – I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I can do to help you scale your charity and increase your impact on your cause. Schedule your free strategy session with me here