In this generation it seems that the amount of information overload has reached the highest it has ever been. With the ongoing advancement of technology, and continuing availability of different mediums, information is constantly being thrown at people. The question is, how do we communicate what we are trying to say in a way that people will remember? To be a good communicator, it is important to understand the purpose of communication. It’s not necessarily the message you are putting out, but how the recipient is responding. It is very dangerous to assume the person who is hearing your message will process it in the way you expect. When we get to that point, we begin to think that what we are saying is more important than what people are hearing. There are a few things that are important to remember when communicating.
Be clear and concise
The worst thing you can possibly do when communicating to your congregation, in any capacity, is to use too many “insider” words. Not only does this lose peoples’ attention, but it also leads new guests to believe that they are not welcome, because they don’t understand your lingo. A church communicator must be able to facilitate a message in a way that allows everyone to understand it. If you are not able to clearly and concisely explain something, then you don’t know it well enough.
The shorter, the better
If you want to promote an event in your bulletin, make sure you only include the essential information. Tell people when it is, where it is, and what it’s about. If you have a promotion piece that is over five lines long, you have too much information. The more you give that is unnecessary, the more likely people will lose interest, or wonder if the event is even for them. Exposure becomes irrelevant when your content is longwinded.
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” –Walt Disney
When communicating a message, you should never be afraid of using visuals. People will remember something more easily if it is accompanied by picture or video. I am reminded of sitting in classes with professors who used the same PowerPoint format everyday, accompanied by only text. The information never stuck with me because it was only text. When I had professors that used visuals, I was able to recall information more easily. Someone may remember an event you have coming up at your church because they saw the promotional video during service, or a picture in the bulletin.
If it doesn’t fit, don’t use it
It is important to be careful of how we are using a picture or video. There is a fine line between something complimenting the information going out, and overpowering it. Don’t use something just because it looks cool if it has the potential to create confusion. Our goal is to be clear and concise above everything else, if a visual will hinder that, don’t use it.
As a church communicator, there is a high level of importance on what we are communicating. The simpler we can keep our message, the better.