AMP UP YOUR COMMUNICATION: Bezos Blueprint for Communication
Nobody ever said it was easy getting attention in today’s world. But, what if you can find a way to make it easy to capture their attention?
The Bezos Blueprint for Communication is your go to guide for sure. It is an excellent, very well researched and super practical book by Carmine Gallo. Used along with the workbook either alone or with a coach, this book is sure to help you amplify your communication impact.
In the course of my consulting practice, one of the most common anxieties is on how to cross the final line and create a compelling, winning pitch. The book resonated with me because the findings corroborated with my own insights in working with C-Suite leaders and I highly recommend it. Communication skills underpin success to a very large extent and this is affirmed by reports from McKinsey, LinkedIn Learning and World Economic Forum.
1. Simple is the New Superpower: Brevity cannot be over emphasized. Hack your sentences to make them shorter. Gallos shares several examples of how great leaders are able to connect with audiences impactfully because of simple language. One of his hacks is something that I often recommend: “Picture the person in the audience who might take the most time to understand.” Could be anyone really. For most corporate communication, use words apt for an 8th grader. Use more words of 1-2 syllables and only a few multi-syllable words. E.g. from the 2015 investor speech at Amazon:
“This year, Amazon became the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales.”
15 words; only 3 multi-syllable words
Vs a hypothetical sentence
“Before I review the year and get into the details, I’d guess I should mention that Amazon reached $100 billion in annual sales. What’s really impressive about that accomplishment is that we reached that number at a faster pace than any other company has been able to achieve.”
2. Make Your Words Dance: Your writing or speech must evoke emotion and a call for action.
Don’t shy away from using metaphors or visual language (e.g. we need to plan the best route to design a quality product or the top 5 points to work on are 1.. or let’s get up to speed on the developments).
Try to talk in the active voice vs passive (Joe kicked the ball vs The ball was kicked by Joe).
Avoid using weasel words which are more long winded (e.g. replace according to our detailed research with our findings)
Use parallel structures i.e. using similar pattern of words such as single words with single words, phrases with phrases. e.g. Stay Connected, Finding Focus. Replace “I like to jog, read books and watching movies” with “I like to job, read books and watch movies,” or “I like jogging, reading books and watching movies.”
3. Get Your Story Right: Storytelling is all about getting the right narrative, which can be a true communication force multiplier. Gallos recommends that you break down the pitch into 3 acts.
Act 1 is “Set Up” i.e. setting up the context.
Act 2 is “Challenge” i.e. complications or conflicts sought to resolve.
Act 3 is “Resolution” i.e. your solution.
Picture Steve Jobs pitching the iPhone as a brilliant phone. The setup is all about how Apple has always been at the forefront of innovation. The challenge is how to revolutionize clunky mobile phones. The resolution is of course the brilliant iPhone with a touch screen. The book is full of gems on how to amplify your narrative, whether it is working backward from what the customer wants, building essential beats in your story, identifying the catalyst moment or the all is lost moment and so on.
4. Master the Communication Delivery: There is no substitute to practice. Gallos is very firm in his opinion that the best of communication scripts can fall flat if not practiced. Maybe if you are an A class communicator and know your audience, your communication practice may need to be only 20% of the total effort you put in. But if you are not confident or need practice, be prepared to budget for practice to take up 50% of the effort. Becoming a master communicator is not about having the natural communication strength, but about being mindful of the nuances and not being afraid to put in the hard work.
All in all, this is one book that I would really recommend to use alone or with the help of a coach to AMP up your COMMUNICATION SUCCESS.