The Pen – Is it Mightier Than the Microphone?

When communicating your message to the world, whether it’s social media posting or standing up at networking events, there are now so many ways to tell your story it can seem almost impossible to know the right approach.

How do you know the right way to communicate?

Once, a long time ago, people could only speak to those in earshot and anyone further away would need a letter.

As soon as phones became commonplace, it was now possible to call a distant contact, and the criteria for choosing to write rather than speak might be for formality or longevity. You might like something in writing for business purposes, or perhaps if you intended for someone to keep your words for the future.

But now, email or messaging can be immediate, and a phone call or video message can be kept and returned to.

We often use communication media interchangeably, following up a phone call by emailing or messaging with added content or final thoughts.

But which is more effective, verbal communication or written?

Whether we use written or spoken communication will depend on the situation.

It will depend on the message, the audience and on the communicator.
No doubt you already knew this.

Why would you write a note to someone in the same room? In this situation, it must be easier to talk. But, maybe the message is private, or there’s a need for the recipient to keep it. There are many considerations.

So, when choosing how to get your message across, what criteria do you need to inform your decision?

There is a great deal of research to help businesses direct their message for the greatest impact.

  • e-mail marketing is booming
  • a broad social media presence is necessary
  • videos online get more interest than simple text posts

However, in some scenarios, the method of communication will be dictated to you. You may not have a choice about how to present the company report, or if your client wants a chat over coffee.

In all these situations, the import thing is to ensure that whatever you say, you say it well.

Let’s ask another question…

– What is the common point of any communication?

It’s getting a message across to an audience.

Whatever needs saying, you need to ensure it comes across clearly and unambiguously–because if you don’t achieve that, you’ve failed.

Make your words mighty

You might talk to someone one to one, lead a discussion, or present your networking pitch.

You might email a client, write a departmental report or publish your blog.

In each of these situations, you need to make your words work for you.

  • Being clear on the purpose of your communication
  • Identifying and relating to your audience
  • Focusing on the benefit of your message for them

These are the things which will ensure there is power in your words.

If you feel you need more help with this… see my tips blog.

  • Presentation is the last step in this process, but it is still one which makes a real difference.

Whether you are presenting your words on paper or through speech, it’s important to do it confidently.

Maybe the method for your communication is one which you don’t find comfortable. Like me, you might dread standing up and presenting to a group, or maybe you feel inadequate when putting pen to paper. In these cases, preparation and practice can make all the difference.

The words have the power

We’ve all heard great speeches which history has remembered. People have remembered them because they fulfil the above criteria.

Whether it’s Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, The Queen or Deadpool, the words are recalled because:

  • the message is relevant
  • the language resonates with the audience
  • the speaker conveys their words confidently

Similarly, there are novels, articles, and even letters, which readers continue to quote long after the author created them. This is because they speak to an audience with meaning, honesty and power.

Choosing the most effective method to tell your story is important, but more important is choosing the right words.

How would you tell your story, using a microphone or an article?

And, how do you ensure you get the right words for the job?