The Impact of Our Messages
When we sit down to write a speech, a post, a book, or even think about what we want to say to someone, we typically focus on just that – what we want to say. However, there is another aspect to consider. What impact will this have on those I am conveying it to? This simple yet powerful question can help us truly hone our message to ensure it resonates with the audience we are trying to reach.
Kristy Lenuzza, of Sow to Speak, first introduced me to what’s known as the HAT Trick. This mnemonic is what I want to share with you today. Using it while we write or prepare what we are going to say will help us hone our message to hit home the way we want it to! The three (3) components of the HAT Trick are listed below.
- H: How Do I Want Them to Feel? – Words are polarizing, empowering, and elicit strong emotional reactions within us. Simply put, our messages trigger feelings within others. When we focus solely on what it is we want to say, we can overlook what impact and emotional responses may come from our wording. It can result in “missing the mark,” “turning off a customer,” or come across in a way that was unintended. On the other hand, when we know what feelings we want to elicit and how those connect with our audience, we can write/speak to them, creating the kind of reaction we wish to have from our message. Writing to elicit specific emotional responses within our audience (ones they relate to) will create a stronger bond between us and them. Honing in on feelings we want someone to have while reading our message or listening to it WILL help us create the impact we want our message to have.
How do you want your audience to feel when you write/speak to them? Pro tip: Writing out the feelings you wish to elicit ahead of time is a great help in actually writing/speaking to them.
- A: What Actions Do I Want Them to Take? – From joining our mailing list to enrolling in a program we offer, the messages we write/speak to our audience can be geared towards having them take an action. For instance, have you ever walked away from listening to someone on the radio, a tv interview, or a speaker and felt compelled to take an action? It could have been to buy something, join a club, start exercising and eating heating, or start advocating for change. Regardless of what it was, the message compelled us to do something. Messages can be a powerful tool for creating movements, bringing about change, and building resonance and loyalty with your audience. Knowing the actions we want someone to take from reading our message or listening to it WILL help us create the impact we want our message to have.
What actions do you want your audience to take when you write/speak to them? Pro tip: Writing out the actions you want your audience to take ahead of time is a great help in actually writing/speaking to them.
- T: How Do I Want Them to Think? – Our thoughts play a significant role in forming our beliefs and ultimately the behavior we engage in. One of the first steps in exploring how to create new habits, bring about change, and build confidence is to dive into the way we think. Our messages to others are a great opportunity to spur this exploration and have our audience think about something differently or consider a new perspective. They can also bring an awareness which perhaps was unknown by our audience to create specific reactions designed to spur those thoughts, i.e., “I had no idea that was happening, I want to do something about it” or “I didn’t know they felt that way, I need to change the way I talk to them.” Building our messages around specific thoughts we want our audience to have can move mountains! Understanding the thoughts we want someone to have while reading our message or listening to it WILL help us create the impact we want our message to have.
What do you want your audience to ponder or think about differently? Pro tip: Writing out the thoughts or considerations you want your audience to have ahead of time is a great help in actually writing/speaking to them.
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