5 Ways to Make Sure Your Audience Tunes In

Who’s feeling overloaded and bombarded with information these days?

Well, probably many of us. (I know I am.) I just searched Google for “Information Overload” and it told me:

    • About 7,590,000 results  (0.16 seconds)


We’re in cross-matrixed, cross-functional teams at work. We multi-task. We are bombarded by email from friends and spammers. YouTube videos abound. Blogs and opinions are everywhere.

(No, the irony is not lost on me that as I blog about this topic, I’m putting more information out into the universe.)


So what do we do? Swear off Google searches, close our Facebook accounts, cease and desist tweeting? Throw our smart phones, iPads, laptops in the nearest body of water? Move to Montana and live in a cabin without wifi? Begin immediate training to become a Zen Yogi Master to calm our minds? Take a bath and have a ‘Calgon, take me away’ moment?

Feel free (if that helps you in the short-term) but this Pandora’s box of information is not closing. Let this serve as your notice that it’s up to you to become more discerning in what you ‘tune in’ to.

And if you are responsible for a change management or change readiness program at work, what does this teach you? …or if you are trying to get your local PTA, neighbors, etc. to change and do something different, or if you are trying to build an online community – whatever your goal.

Well, you need, more than ever, to go the extra mile to help the user group or audience that you need to reach to ‘tune in’ to you. Make sure you are doing these five things:

  1. Be VERY clear about your change message. Call out specific points of what is or is not changing. Do not leave it up to your ‘changee’ to connect the dots themselves.
  2. Customize the change communication by role. Tell Group X that they have to do items 1 through 4. Tell Group Y they are impacted by items 2, 5 and 10. Why? Refer back to the previous point – people need help connecting the dots. Don’t list everything that is changing and expect your audience to put in the work to determine what they need to do something about. They usually won’t.
  3. Establish credibility. Why should anyone listen to you? Do you have years of experience to back up what you’re saying? Are you the Program Leader making the decisions? Are you their Boss? Know which one of those things will get your audience’s attention.
  4. Use other people’s credibility. Borrow the coat tails of already established sources by getting them to deliver your message.  Use already established newsletters, staff meetings, calendars, blogs – any that align or are impacted by what you are trying to do. Get the CEO or celebrity spokesperson to sponsor your message.
  5. Brand your Communications. Once you’ve got their attention and gotten them to listen to what you’re saying, make sure all your communications are branded with a logo / tag line / etc so that you are not re-establishing your credibility all over again with each new communication.

Since people are being conditioned to turn into magpies – flitting from one piece of shiny info to the next – you gotta work these tips above to get their attention.

Until next time … wishing you business readiness success!

Kirsten Jordan is a Partner at PeopleResults. She can be reached on Twitter @Kirstenkbdb. Sign up to receive her and her colleagues’ blog at Current.