Editor’s Note: Tailor the message

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it—bearing in mind the audience you’re trying to reach.

Lafe Low

To truly get your point across, you have to be speaking the right language and saying the right things. If you go into a board meeting to get a project approved and start speaking about data transfer rates, clustered storage and Active Directory, you’re not likely to get anywhere. You’re speaking the language of IT. You need to also speak the language of business.

It’s essential to both understand the audience and tailor your presentation, whether you’re speaking to your network managers at a weekly staff meeting or making a quarterly boardroom presentation to get project approval. If you must present something of a technical nature, be sure to explain it thoroughly, not just what it is and what it does, but what it means for the business. Will it expedite payment processing? Will it save money and time? Will it help salespeople connect with more leads? That’s what the CEO and CFO want to hear.

Tailoring the message is not just an issue for internal communications. You must also ensure your public-facing message meets your audience in the best way possible. This is where you find the intersection of technology and process. By using some of the tools in SharePoint, you can craft your message to suit a particular audience or multiple audiences, and have content custom-delivered to those you know are seeking a particular message.

In designing SharePoint sites, as Steve Wright and Corey Erkes point out in “Effective information delivery,” [[Production note, please add link when available]] you can use tools like Microsoft Visio to develop your site map. Then you can fine-tune the content delivery using as a criteria membership in Active Directory or SharePoint groups. You can further define your delivery schemes using components such as Web Parts, navigation links and Content Query Web Parts.

So it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. And with platforms like SharePoint and the manner in which it integrates with other Microsoft tools and technologies, you can tailor your message just the way you want.

Speak up

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Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.