Don’t Barf Your Message

Why do tech companies insist on barfing out their message. It’s like they have to spew out absolutely every competitive threat, differentiator, techo-wizardry, benefit, target customer in one single breath. No wonder nobody understands what they do and what value they provide. Just stop it!

I’ve run into so many tech companies that have great intentions, but eventually end up with something that’s barfed out. They start with a short, crisp, well-articulated message and then they start adding in the prepositions (by, with, including, etc.). Each crisp message, when delivered, should lead the listener to the next sentence. They should want to hear the next sentence. Each sentence should build on the next – eventually revealing the story. If fact the person you’re speaking to will guide what your next sentence needs to be; e.g. ” what do you mean by such-and-such”. I’ve been following the writings of Jill Konrath; especially her views on value propositions. Keep your messages short and crisp and your audience will understand what you’re about … remember that your audience needs to understand your message, if they don’t then you’ve wasted your breath.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Barf Your Message

  1. April

    I’ll tell you exactly why companies barf out their messages – because writing crisp, clear messaging is really, really, hard!
    Great post,

    1. Peter Post author

      Thanks for the comment April. You are so right – it is very hard. I also think that there is a lack of confidence that comes in to play here. My sense, having sat in these sessions, is that if they don’t add everything into one breath, their audience may not appreciate or understand what they are saying and move on.

  2. mose

    I had a client, they told me the following and had it posted on their site

    We provide end-to-end solutions for CLEC Server environments.

    First, I tried to find out what a damn CLEC was and after finding that out attempted to define what end-to-end meant as well as define the solutions.

    Took me three weeks. So, yep I agree it is not easy!

    We ended up with something like – We build custom software for small telephone companies that will allow their customers to manage their accounts online.

    Stock price took off.

    Speak english folks. It is a terrific start!

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