What is your key message?

You have to know what you want to communicate in order to do it effectively

Before you start preparing any form of communication make sure you know what you are trying to convey. What is the one key message that you want the audience to take away?

Key messages can come in many different forms:

  • A specific fact or figure
  • A finding from a piece or body of research
  • A general overview of why a topic is important, and how to learn more about it
  • An impression of your credibility and skills and the fact that you are smart and in command of the subject

What is it important to specific your key message?

If you provide too much detail your audience will either just stop paying attention or they will leave with an incorrect impression of what you said. Below we provide some suggestions on how to identify and stay focused on your key message.

Start with a storyboard, ideally with pen and paper. If you sit down at the computer and start writing or putting together slides you will likely end up with something unfocused.

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Help identifying your key message


Why start with a storyboard?

Learn how storyboards can help you focus on your key message

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Person writing using pen and paper

Why start with pen and paper?

Research suggest pen and paper aids comprehension, find out why here.

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Advice to young economists from Nobel Laureates

Communication economics at the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences

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Why economists need to lead the conversation – not follow

Marianna Koli outlines steps towards improving economic communication

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