The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State is definitely BIG. (photo by M.C. Lester)

We're all encouraged to THINK BIG. To have big dreams, big ideas. But the only way to move from thinking big to doing big is to get specific about the what we want to happen. It's easy enough for us to make to-do lists for ourselves or even our team. But when we're presenting big ideas to bigger groups, it can be hard to get anything started. Someone I was talking to last month described it this way:

"I want to make my writing more actionable. My tendency is to be macro. Should I become more micro?"

Well, the devil is in the details. That's why we need to make sure we have a clear purpose to our writing, whether it's an article or report, a slide presentation or webinar, or a pod/broadcast. Knowing what you want your audience to think and/or do is key. And if you can't define it, you can bet they can't either.

So before you even start writing, be sure you can identify your purpose. Sometimes, I use this little chart (from our Content-Purpose-Audience Strategy©) to help me organize my thoughts:

copyright TTMS, Inc. 2011

With the thoughts and actions you want from your audience quantified, you can make sure you mention it somewhere in your piece (the beginning and/or end are always effective). Being specific about the purpose enables you to "go macro" and then bring the big idea back down to earth where we can start working on it.

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  • Download step-by-step directions for using the C-P-A here.
  • Read up on other ways to use the C-P-A, click here.

Content-Purpose-Audience Strategy © 1995-2012, Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc.