Nothing quite tries my patience as much as having to repeat myself. Whether it’s someone who’s not happy with the first answer I gave them, or they didn’t actually read the answer they were given, I find myself repeating and rephrasing answers so much so that I almost used all caps today! That’s what really gave me pause to consider – what is it about my communications that people aren’t understanding?
One of my favorite quotes is “I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you.”
So my challenge of the week is to ask myself a few questions that will hopefully lesson the amount that I have to repeat myself:
- What is the real question they are asking? (it’s often not as clear as it appears at first glance)
- How can I communicate the answer succinctly and clearly?
- How can I answer the question in such a way that indicates ‘end of discussion’ ?
- How can I explain it to them in a way that they understand it, since I cannot understand it for them?
So I’ll close with yet another of my favorite quotes, this one from good ole Albert Einstein himself: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
But then, that’s a whole other Challenge of the Week…
Whether you’re launching a movie, a game, or just an update, how soon is too soon to start talking about it?
If you announce too early, by the time you release people are asking themselves “wait, didn’t that come out already?” or “jeez that’s old”, or worse “yeah I’m not playing that game anymore”. There are so many ooh shiny things out there that unless you catch us now and make us yell “Shut up and take my money!” we’ve forgotten you before you even got to beta.
Funcom’s Secret World is one example of a game that was talked about way too early. At first it was interesting, they got us with the mysterious viral route, like putting up a black website with a few words on it, then a little lore and faction choosing, then showing a little teaser…but please people you can only string us along for so long before we lose interest. It’s like watching a turtle cross a beach, you just want to pick it up and carry it the rest of the way to get it over with.
Same even goes for updates too: “Hey we’ve got this really great feature being added to the game in September!” Wait…what? Why are you telling us in February? Is it arrogance? Are you assuming that we’re going to be so absolutely enamored with your sneak peek trailer that we’ll salivate for breadcrumbs for whatever time it takes you to figure out what the heck you’re doing?
It’s like that doctor’s appointment they make you book a year in advance – seriously I”m never going to remember that when it comes around. I’m sarcastically flattered you think my life will not have changed at all in that time, so just call me ok, chances are I’ll just cancel it…
Now in their 6th year, Digital Kids Conference (formerly Engage!) 2012 takes place April 25-26, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Digital Kids provides companies the critical information they need to reach digital kids and connected youth through online and mobile technologies. Coverage will include social games, mobile and tablet apps, virtual worlds, social media and marketing and more.