Saturday, May 10, 2014

Message Mapping is a tool for planning your speech

This week I was skimming through Carmine Gallo’s recent book, Talk Like TED; The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds. On pages 197 to 200 he discusses how to structure a speech. He says to build a Message Map in three easy steps using a template like the one shown above. Those steps are:

1. Create a Twitter-Friendly Headline.

2. Support the Headline with Three Key Messages.

3. Reinforce the Three Messages with Stories, Statistics, and Examples.

Where did this really come from? He only refers back to his July 2012 Forbes column, How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds.

Message Mapping actually is a very serious crisis communication tool. You can read about it in a 124-page World Health Organization book from 2005 by Randall H. Hyer and Vincent T. Covello called Effective Media Communication during Public Health Emergencies that you can download for free. Section 4.2, Prepare Clear and Concise Messages describes message maps. It is also discussed by Ivy Lin and Dan D. Petersen in a 51-page free EPA publication from 2007, Risk Communication in Action: The Tools of Message Mapping.

An example message map on what people can do to prevent West Nile Virus from the EPA publication is shown above. It is one of seven message maps they use to cover that topic.

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