1. He’s direct
Despite limited vocabulary, my just-turned-two-year-old is the master of direct communication. There’s no fluff and nonsense. He gets straight down to business; pointing, pulling or shouting “Ma!” (that’s me) to get what he wants. And surprisingly it works. Why? Because his message is clear – and it’s almost impossible to ignore him!
2. He’s uncomplicated
When this little man’s thirsty, he gives me our secret hand signal for milk. When he wants a cuddle, he reaches out for one. He makes his message loud and clear, with no attempt to disguise anything (except tiredness – he’d watch TV until his eyes fell out, given half the chance!). He knows that simple can be effective.
3. He’s persuasive
It didn’t take him long to realise that blatant flirting was an easy way to get what he wanted. One flash of that heart-melting smile and you’re putty in his hands. By making us (his audience) feel good about ourselves, we happily come round to his way of thinking. Already he’s aware of the incredible power of emotion.
4. He’s bold
Fearless and naturally resourceful, little comes between this toddler and the telly programme/ book/biscuit he wants! His courage and conviction know no bounds. His outright cheekiness is admirable – as is his persistence. He’s convincing to the core and all that bravado can be rather endearing.
5. He’s perceptive
My seemingly innocent toddler knows exactly who or what he’s dealing with and responds accordingly. Mummy = feeding and reading. Daddy = adrenalin. When I appear, he wants to eat (unless it’s a mealtime. These are for throwing food not consuming it!). When daddy appears it’s time to scoot or cycle. Understanding his audience means he gets the desired result, every time.
While all of these things are quite obvious, they can easily be overlooked when we’re trying to relay an important message in an engaging way. Knowing how effective my toddler’s methods of communication are, I try to bear the following in mind when I’m writing for our clients:
Know your audience. If that means getting into role, do it! Use the sort of language they use (within reason, obviously!), give examples they can relate to, make them feel you really know them – without having to tell them how well you know them!
Keep it short and sweet. Most people have busy lifestyles, so sitting down to read an epic email is either out of the question or a luxury. Being direct doesn’t have to mean being abrupt, bolshy or cold. Getting to the point can be a blessing for your time-poor reader.
Deepen your relationship. Get to know them better. Avoid any faux pas by keeping up-to-date with their circumstances. Give them easy and appropriate ways to contact you or leave feedback – be it good or bad – sometimes their input can be really helpful.
If my two year old can do it, so can we adults. So let’s be direct, uncomplicated, persuasive, bold and perceptive – easy, right?