MESSAGE PREPARATION – BUILDING YOUR SANDCASTLE
1. THE DREAM STAGE
The earlier you start dreaming about the thing you’re going to build, the better it’s going to be. Make sure to pursue outside opinion and collaboration during this stage so you don’t succumb to any blind spots.
2. THE COLLECTION STAGE
This is where you pull all of your tools (studies, research, readings, etc.) together begin to get a clear understanding on what is about to take shape. This is where you gain a clear understand from the text and start to gather the “materials” you will need that the text provides.
3. THE PILE-IT-UP STAGE
This is where you start with the rough floor plan on what things are going to look like, but you almost always have gathered more sand than what you’re going to ultimately need. This is where you’ll develop your rough draft. That can take many different forms whether it’s a bulleted list with pieces thrown in, or a whole manuscript.
4. THE CARVING STAGE
This is where your castle, or message, starts to take shape, You’re mainly taking things away here. This is where you start to trim off the pieces that don’t lead us to the Big Idea, which can be up to about 25% of what you have in your rough draft.
5. THE DECORATION STAGE
You start to make your message, points, key takeaways, portable and bite-sized. You want your message to be memorable and this is the point in the message development where you start to add your own flair, idiosyncrasies and touches to the message to really own it.
6. THE REHEARSAL STAGE
This is where the sandcastle analogy breaks down a little bit because you can’t necessarily rehearse a sandcastle. But you HAVE to rehearse your message. The first time you give it should not be in front of an audience. You want to be comfortable and confident with what you’ve prepared and that comes through rehearsal.