Communicating a vision is problematic because it has to be easy to grasp by others, yet it has to have a depth to it. A vision expressed in fifty words should have, in its background, a full-blown vision of however many words it takes to express it. A vision is both an abstract and a full-length paper.
I think people struggle to communicate their visions because they become enmeshed in the details of the “paper.” They become so excited about their vision that they share every single detail, many of which are of no interest to their listeners. Their listeners then stop listening because they have been given too much information.
The secret to communicating a vision? I think it comes to seven steps.
- Write the full-length version of your vision. Try to cover every facet, tangent, and angle possible.
- Organize your vision. The organization is up to you, but you can think in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You also may organize your vision by action items and time lines.
- Write a summary of each area included in your vision. The length of a summary varies, but it’s usually at least a paragraph but no more than half to three-quarters of a page.
- Turn each summary into an outline.
- Examine each point in the outlines and choose the most important points from each.
- Use the most important points to create a new outline. These points will become your primary speaking and talking points when you share your vision with others.
- Remember that your points will differ from audience to audience. You may need to alter your outline depending on who is in your audience.
You can begin with the outline and work the other direction. It depends on how you like to organize your thoughts. The goal, however, is to help you see your vision in its entirety and to understand what points are necessary to sharing your vision with others.
How do you communicate your vision?