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Notes from Kem Meyer’s Breakout Session at Echo

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Aug 04 2010
Here are the thoughts I managed to scribble down during Kem Meyer’s breakout session. I’m 2 or 3 chapters into her book—I can’t wait to read and apply the rest!
Less Clutter, Less Noise
Kem Meyer – Echo Conference 2010
  • We are trying to persuade people to change.
  • Don’t push your agenda, personalize it.
  • It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear
  • Our job is not to send a message, it’s to release a response.
1. Check your ego.
  • We overestimate what we have to say; we underestimate how it will affect the hearer.
  • People aren’t open to my change prescription (“You’re not the boss of me!”)  and are offended by insider language.
  • Think less about what you have to say, and more about how it impacts others.
2. Get an image consultant.
  • Have someone else (co-worker, spouse, friend, etc.) look at your work for context.
  • Have someone test your assumptions.
  • Draw on the perspective of others.
  • You can’t assume others will respond the same way you do. Learn about your audience. (Don’t make your audience do the hard work of trying to figure out what you’re saying.)
  • Think about influence, not control. (Kem told a personal story about her daughter. Her daughter had been behaving rebelliously. Kem realized that when she stopped telling her what to do, and started having a conversation with her, things began to change. She successfully applied this same principle to all of her communication.)
3. Keep it simple.
  • If you want to maximize response, you need to minimize options.
  • Think progressive dinner, not potluck! (Don’t give immediately give your audience every bit of info they might possibly need.  What do they need to know first–the MOST important thing? Then what do they need next? Then next…?)
  • Which is more effective–the food pyramid or “3 months or 3,000 miles”? (Which do you think about and actually use more often in daily life? It’s the simple one.)
  • We don’t need more content, we need to fix the flow–make information easier to find.
  • Let people sort themselves. When you need size 8 running pants, you don’t look for the Size 8 Running Pants Store. You go to a store that has clothes, then you look for the women’s clothes, then you look for athletic wear, then you look for pants, then you look for size 8! People can find the information they need if you make it easy for them to self-categorize.
  • “A generation ago, the question was, ‘What is truth?‘ Today, it’s ‘What’s the point?‘” -Billy Graham
  • Output should decrease, conversation should increase.