Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speaking Lesson from Wal-Mart

One of my favorite books is Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath.

According to the Heaths, “If you attempt to say three things, you end up saying nothing.” In other words, have one message and stick to it.

Apparently, Wal-Mart learned this lesson the hard way. According to Steve Inskeep on NPR's Morning Edition this week:

Wal-Mart has given up on the upscale end of the downscale market.

The retailer suffered a two-year slide in sales. This may be part of the reason: It was trying to promote the style of its products. It was competing with Target, which features famous clothing designers.

But Wal-Mart says it lost customer confidence in having the lowest price, so it's returning to its roots, positioning itself as the place where you can buy lots of stuff really cheap.

From the Green Room: Before you write your presentation, determine the one thing you want people to know. Let the rest of your content flow from that core message.

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