While a wonderful public spirited energy is manifesting in our nation, what is missing is a clear message. No one wants our school children to be at risk of being gunned-down at school, I think we can all agree on that. But when people take to the streets to get this message across, it is essential the message includes a clear definition of what can be done.
Lacking a focus message
Even when I write these blogs I have to insure what I want to convey is right up front. People have very short attention spans and really only respond if the message is clear, concise and quickly understood. Broad concepts like “Safe Schools”, while laudable, fail to identify any definitive solution. If the intent behind safe schools is eliminating automatic weapons from our society, speak the intention clearly. Yes, you risk alienating those who feel the solution is placing armed guards on campus, but the question is; what do you really want? It is not possible to be all things to all people.
The message gets hijacked
Lacking a clear message means anyone with a slightly different idea than yours can hijack your efforts. I could join-up with the people promoting a heart-felt message of school safety and twist it to mean body cavity searches. Both concepts address school safety, but body cavity searches only address an effect, not the cause. My example is far-fetched admittedly, but do you see how it fits within the generic concept of school safety?
Standing your ground
In any effort to change our society there will be those with a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. They will fight tooth and nail to preserve their position. Resist the temptation to soften your stand in order to curry favor. Any effective public speaker knows a clear message is the key to making an impact. The news media is filled with examples of those whose goal is to anger people into action. College campus’s across the nation have to bring in extra security when these people speak because their message is clear and angers many others. As abhorrent as some of these speakers are, they are most of all effective because they stand their ground.
If you truly believe in something, stand your ground. Read It’s All About Me for more ideas about selecting your words. Click on the cover below for a free sample.