What is said, when the listeners do not understand, what they are hearing? “As a producer of traditional food made from ground grains, H2O, storing of gases and a few extras, kneaded to dough and then baked in an oven you achieve a real sales growth, when you focus on motivating the so far not present, complementary consumer segments in directly investing in your products.” Thoughtless, abstract descriptions rarely lead to the target. The best example remains the practical example.
The examples will become practical by considering the following aspects.
- Target group-oriented examples
The most important thing by far is the consideration of the target group. What makes a target group? The first question to ask is about the factors that differentiate them. This can be professional, functional, cultural, application-oriented or other things – the industry sector, the functional area in the company, the Asian culture, the IT solution or cost aspects, etc. The examples should be chosen according to the interests of the target group.
- Easy to apply
Examples need to relate to the reality of the audience. Only then, they can be transferred. Describe the cases deviating magnitudes from the target group, strange problem areas or other cultural realities, the stories may be good, but unfortunately not realizable. For appropriate examples, it is necessary to understand the use cases of the target group, in order to provide appropriate templates.
Regardless of the target group, the examples should not exceed the processing capacity of people. Investigations have shown that all people can handle 7plusminus2 chunks. A chunk is one of up to nine elements, which can be kept in the short-term memory. This means for the examples that they use as few chunks as possible in a statement, e.g. various influence factors. This ensures that the listener is not overwhelmed by too much information and eventually can not remember anything.
- Free of abstract terms
Even rocket scientists do not understand everything. On the one hand there are the terms of a subject area, which are continuously extended. On the other hand these are the abstract terms, e.g. complexity, strategy, model, effectiveness, efficiency, etc., which trigger different ideas in everybody’s mind. Since an example should show reliably a situation, at best avoid abstract terms.
It is not always possible to personally assess the concrete circumstances. Nevertheless the target group should be imagined in advance. This can be done by visualizing it in front of its inner eye, sometimes by listening to its inner ear, or by feeling sensibly into the situation. Articles and contributions on the Internet provide a lot of information concerning the respective topic. With these impressions, you will almost automatically be closer to the target group than if you do not anticipate it in advance.
Bottom line: The statement in the beginning will be incomprehensible to most people, although it is written in plain English. The sentence could also be formulated as follows: In order to win new customers for your baked goods, you, as a baker, can go out of your shop to the streets for exciting passers-by with fresh bread samples out of your assortment. Only few of us are bakers and yet we can understand this message. Whenever we want to communicate something to others, it is helpful to use examples that are target-group oriented, easy applicable, contain 7plusminus2 messages, and are free of abstract terms. The best example remains the practical example.