Increase Your Impact by Getting Specific Sooner

by Kare Anderson

The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry,” Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif told CNN host Christiane Amanpour. He then described a Taliban massacre in which over 145 adults and children were killed.

Do people stop listening before you stop talking? Without being specific right upfront, you may be caring and smart but you’ll have less impact than someone who paints a more compelling, relevant picture. So get specific sooner.

Harness these four powers of specificity…

Self-Clarity: Be crystal clear about your core main point and what you want to motivate others to feel, believe, and do. This enables you to then identify the best example that supports your point.

Memorability: A specific phrase, word, picture, or story is the best way to boost interest and the capacity of others to recall your message. Remember, listeners and readers can only tell others what you said if they remember what you said.

Credibility: Follow up by offering supportive points, but be careful not to bury your core point in the “underbrush” of generalizations. The better your examples and sources, the more convincing you will be.

Connectivity: Being specific increases your odds of being properly understood, making it more likely that others will support you and perhaps even lend you access to their networks.

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