Distilling Technical Communication For CEOs

Author: J.M.

What it is: Imagine receiving well over 500 emails everyday. Even if you have a personal assistant who helps you to prioritize them, there is no escaping the task of figuring out which emails need your immediate attention, and how to rank the priority of information within the email. Many CEOs and Federal leaders are faced with this daily challenge, and the more technical the content of your email is, the less likely they are to properly digest it and quickly act on it. Information design techniques can be used to format your technical communication in a way that increases the chances of it being understood and acted on.

Why you make like it: It is very disappointing when your hard work and important message are ignored; the good news is, you can decrease the occurrence of that by simply formatting your communication in an information design-inspired layout.

How you can benefit from it: This email layout is easy to use and will increase the likelihood that the recipient will grasp your main message, regardless of how technical the topic may be.

Why I like it: After trying a wide variety of traditional paragraph formats, I developed this format based on lessons from my information design class. I used it when communicating with hundreds of leaders, and saw significant increases in audience response.

Recommended resource:  This is the basic format:

CRITICAL INFORMATION

  • Point 1
  • Point 2

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3
  • Point 4
  • Point 5
  • Point 6
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