Obama on opportunity. Romney on principles.

Presidential Candidates smiling post-debate
The two candidates all smiles post-debate. Photo credit: CNN

Listening to the first Presidential debate last night, the words the candidates used said a lot about the essence of their campaigns and the conversation they wanted the country to have.

Romney wants us talking about principles.

Obama wants us talking about opportunity.

If you read the transcript, you’ll see how often each came back to Their Word again and again and again.

Two lessons:

  1. Simplify your message to your essence. If they can do it, so can you.
  2. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

If you were running for President, what would your word be?

4 questions, 3 words, 1 message

At the NDOA Spring Conference, I gave a presentation on Using Messaging to Engage your Community.

I challenged the group to pick three words that define and differentiate their organization. And then weave those into their messaging across all platforms–elevator pitch, social media, brochures, case for support. You name it. Those three words should come through. Concise, consistent, compelling. That’s what this approach gets you. That’s why it’s effective.

Here are the four questions to ask to get you to the three words:

  1. Why do you exist?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Why you?
  4. Why now?

What are your answers? What are your three words?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?