You’ve probably never heard of Toby Fournier, Canada’s teenage basketball sensation. Or, as The Globe and Mail, our most popular national newspaper puts it, she’s “a fourteen-year old who can dunk.” But not only can she dunk, she dunks so well that U.S. colleges are courting her for scholarships, ever since she started posting videos like this on Instagram.

One coach describes her as “relentless.” Another points out that she’s extremely eager to learn, takes constructive criticism well, and isn’t afraid to ask questions. But Fournier herself seems to have the most insight into her own success. She says that even when she’s playing basketball with boys she knows she has to “demand the ball,” because if she doesn’t the boys won’t pass to her.

In other words, the young athlete knows she has to make herself stand out to be successful on the court. I believe the same is true in business. To get people to take notice and to want to work with you, you really do have to stand out from the crowd. So, here are my three tips to help you do that.

Three Tips to Make Your Business Communication Stand Out

1. Clarity
Be clear about your key message. This means taking time to plan and craft that message, always keeping in mind what your goals are, and how your key message is linked to those goals.

2. Connection
It’s easy to take for granted you know who your audience is. So, think beyond the obvious and make sure you have accurately assessed whom it is you want to connect with. Only then can you anticipate your audience’s needs and adapt your communication accordingly.

3. Creativity

The “same old same old” won’t make you stand out. So, brainstorm new ways to inspire and motivate your audience. In other words, be creative! For example, study success stories outside the world of business communication and apply them to your work. (For instance, by watching Instagram videos of a wildly successful fourteen-year-old basketball sensation!)

Ultimately, communication is like telling a story. You need to make it human, you need to be personal, and you should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. That’s how your communication will stand out. And remember, you need to stand out, if you want anyone to “pass to you.”

Looking for help making your business communication stand out from the crowd? Contact me at the Language Lab. We’ll gladly help you achieve your goal.

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