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Good writing is a key managerial skill which can be learnt. Effective communication is dependent not so much on language but on the ability to frame the matter appropriately. Even good communicators can sometimes get stuck when they have to write unfamiliar material – a circular or a proposal. At such times, words fail especially if they involve legalities, or unfamiliar technical details.
Engr. Om Mehta of Avant Consulting has a sure-fire formula to help managers cross this hurdle: the AIDAS formula traditionally used in advertising communications. AIDAS is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, and Satisfaction.
Here is the formula rewritten for communicating effectively:
Starting the communication with a dynamic opening statement grabs the reader’s attention. If your words are ones which touch the heart, the eye or the head, you have made a good beginning. A stereotyped beginning cannot hold the reader’s interest long enough for you to make your point. Sustain their interest by describing a word picture of the problem which is the subject matter of your writing. Use industry lingo or facts and figures here to make it easy for the reader to understand.
Next, follow it up by detailing the solution, making sure that it is the reader’s desire that you fulfill, highlighting features of the solution which directly link with the problem described above. The temptation here will be to give features you think are cool. Resist! Remember, it is the reader who is the customer of the communication.
Finally, action is what you want the reader to take; therefore, state what you want, in clear terms, preferably in bullet points. Close your communication by giving information or fallback options which put the reader’s fears at rest.
Remember, the AIDAS formula will help you overcome writing fears!
• Grab readers’ attention with a dynamic opening statement
• Use industry lingo, or facts and figures for easy understanding
• State what you want in clear terms preferably in bullet points
Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers