Today's guest post is by Brian Walter, founder of Extreme Meetings. He provides customized infotainment to make meetings memorable.
Last month Brian stopped into our office and our team agreed his humor made his visit one of our most memorable meetings this year!
Viral is now a good thing. And something you want to spread throughout your company, starting at your next large meeting.
Express key concepts in a way that makes them go verbally viral throughout your organization.
Thanks to the Internet, we have re-defined the rapid infection rates of a pestilence going viral to actually represent the rapid and people-generated dissemination of a YouTube video. That’s good.
Because as internal business communicators you want the same effect after a meeting.
It used to be referred to as creating a “buzz.” That meant attendees were talking in the hallways about a topic presented at your meeting. But that’s no longer enough. A buzz is a positive, yet undirected and unfocused discussion. For communication impact, your aim is for a key idea or initiative to go verbally viral.
A meeting concept goes verbally viral in your company if a meeting participant can hear it one time, get it, and then instantly share it verbally with someone else at the company using the same word or words. Then they do the same. It rapidly replicates in a decidedly positive way.
So why DON’T key concepts go verbally viral automatically? Too often leaders have an important initiative or concept that they want everyone thinking about and implementing. But that initiative or concept is never expressed via a snappy and memorable catch phrase.
Sure, employees can understand the idea when a leader spends 20 minutes explaining it. But they cannot RE-EXPRESS it verbally and informally.
"Trickle Up" is an
example of a phrase/concept that has gone Verbally Viral within a company.
A banking client had a specific messaging plan for a leadership conference. What the CEO wanted was to give managers a specific challenge.
The concept was that the managers should stop looking for all the great new ideas to improve the organization to come from the top. The CEO wanted the managers to accept the responsibility to create and drive change from their level. Now, conceptually, could they “get” that? Sure. But would it spread? Unlikely.
But then he made a phrasing adjustment. He expressed the behavior he was after in a way that could go verbally viral. The solution: it was called “Trickle Up.”
Everyone knows what trickle down means. Trickle Up is therefore an instantly memorable and repeatable phrase to express the new concept. And after the meeting, everyone could, and did, start talking about Trickle Up. Ultimately, Trickle Up became a true call to action in their company. It eventually made its way onto t-shirts and even company bottled water!
For your next meeting, intentionally craft the key message into a verbally viral phrase. And then watch as employees turn it into a positive pandemic in your organization.