In this ten-part series we offer winning techniques to help you shine on stage.

Think of it as free presentation coaching.  Sound good? Raise your hand if you’re game.

Excellent! Here we go:

The first letter is the letter M: Misaligned Messaging!

Yes, we’re starting with the letter M because…alphabet soup.

Tomato? Tomahto…does it really matter? When it comes to your audience – yes! Here’s a recent example:

A Product Manager came to us saying,

“I don’t get it. I had a great meeting with our sales team and one of the issues we agreed on was that engineering needs to prioritize new product feature updates. Clients are clamoring for this! I shared this proposal with our management team, and I could instantly feel their negative reaction. How could they be against a great idea?”

Let’s deconstruct this. The operative phrase, “engineering needs to prioritize specific new product features” is the source of the tension. The “tomato/tomahto” issue isn’t that management doesn’t want to hear about customer needs. The issue is who decides how, why, and when to prioritize new product features.

On the one hand, the PM’s job is to influence the growth of a product in the market. Naturally, sales want products that make their customers happy, which makes selling easier.

On the other hand, a PM who prepared for the meeting might have recognized that every department is competing for resources, especially from the engineering team, and that senior leaders are always grappling with money and strategy decisions. Clearly lacking this point of view, the PM’s message fell flat, and they quickly lost the clout needed to impact decision-making.

Here’s how to make sure you find the “flex” in your messaging to achieve your goals. Run your idea by someone you trust (preferably in a different role than you) and ask them to play the part of the audience. Trust us, they will spot any issues with your messaging much better than you can.

Consider the needs, perspective, and pain points of your audience BEFORE you communicate and you will avoid the pit of Misaligned Messaging.

Want to learn how to effectively flex your message for better results?

Join us for CLOUT: Communication Skills for Go-Getters in Boston on Oct 13.