21StoryMarketing StoryBrand Guide UK
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How to Communicate So That People Listen

Noise. eMails. Twitter. Insta. FaceBook. TV. Radio. Spotify. I forgot Zoom, Teams, Work emails. This article is all about how you communicate so that people listen

We’re handling so much noise at an ever increasing pace. Keeping up with what’s going on every day can be exhausting. And with a fear of missing out we’re reluctant to let go of content. 

The easier the message, the easier we process 

The world is ‘noisier’ than ever. We’re feeling overloaded struggling to process so many messages. Our brains naturally try to filter based on our propensity to stay alive and thrive. It’s a basic human need. Will that message keep us alive and thriving? The easier the message, the easier we process.

If the message doesn’t keep us alive or thriving, we’re wasting calories. 

We consume calories processing messages. The more complex the message, the more calories we consume.


We naturally conserve calories ready for when we need energy to keep us alive and thriving. If the message doesn’t keep us alive or thriving, we’re wasting calories. 

[BTW, this concept looks back to our ancestors’ fight for survival, in a way we’ll never truly realise] 

So how do we communicate in a way that keeps us alive & thriving and people listening?

It’s simple. Consider a recent conversation you had: 

  • Was the conversation balanced or did the other person simply transmit? 
  • Did the conversation provide you with ‘value’?
  • Was the conversation easy to process or did you find it hard to follow?

The final point, “was the conversation easy to process?” is crucial whether we continue listening to the source. If we struggle to process what is being said it’s unlikely we’ll re-visit. If the message was easy to process and valuable to use, we mentally log the source as ‘trusted’. 

How 7% non-verbal communication makes clarifying your message, even harder

We have Professor Albert Mehrabian to thank for suggesting 93% of communication is reliant on tone and body language alone formulating the 7-38-55% communication rule. For the record Mehrabian suggested behaviour was: 7% verbal + 38% vocal + 55% facial communication. Even if the digital era has changed the 7-38-55% ratio, non-verbal behaviour accounts for +70% of how we communicate.

So if we’re reliant on non-verbal communication most of the time, what is the best way to create a message which will be clearly received and appreciated? 

Communicating in a non-verbal method requires a different skill. The challenge for effective communication is making it simple, understandable and memorable. Just like a brand message.

A brand story can be your elevator pitch. Your sales presentation. Your marketing message. Your business proposal. 

For this very reason your brand message needs to be delivered in a way that is easy to understand and helps your customer to stay alive and thrive. 

As a StoryBrand guide, I’ve learned how to communicate effectively by creating your brand story. A brand story clearly communicates what you do and how you help the people you’re communicating with.  It’s a clear way how to communicate so that people listen

A brand story can be your elevator pitch. Your sales presentation. Your marketing message. Your business proposal. 

Your brand story improves how you communicate, making those around you quick to get what you do and how you help others. You’ll stand out and be valued. 

In it’s most basic form, here’s how we do it:

  1. Start with the challenge
  2. Imagine the aspiration
  3. Plan the solution how we achieve

There’s far more to it than 3-steps above, however keep it simple.

Don’t let irrelevant complex messages consume too many calories. Make sure you are the one giving value: 

Be the person we value…

As a reminder:

“This is the challenge

This is my aspiration

Plan the solution”

If you have a product or service not getting through to your customers, get in touch and I’ll guide you how to clarify your brand story. 

To avoid people struggling to understand what you do, be the person we enjoy communicating with and be valued and let’s create your brand story.

Thank you for reading, hope this has been valuable and hasn’t consumed too many calories 🙂

James Pogson is a StoryBrand Certified Guide

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