Do you want to get your message across in a compelling, concise, and credible manner?

Then grab a piece of paper and a pen. Before you begin the exercise, let me introduce the key tool. The Message Triangle is designed to help you succinctly frame your message and successfully speak to your audience. It is based on the principle that it is easier to visualize an image than it is to memorize a lot of words. A user writes their main objective in the center of the triangle, then writes three corresponding keywords, one on each side, where all sides are equally important.

So, let’s get started with the following steps. Download this tip sheet to follow along:

1. Draw a triangle with an inverted one inside

On your sheet of paper draw a triangle, with the flat side on the bottom, large enough to write inside, and along the three sides.

2. Define your target audience

Who’s your audience? It could be one person or your team. Write your target audience above the triangle. For this example, I’ll focus on landing a dream job, so the target audience would be a recruiter or hiring manager.

3. Document your overall objective

Now write your main objective in the middle of the triangle. What would you want the recruiter or hiring manager to know? For example, it could be: “Indicate why I’m a terrific fit for the role.”

4. Develop your supporting messages

Each side of the triangle represents one overarching, equally important message. Depending on your objective, you would choose three keywords to help you remember your messages. For example, building on the objective to “indicate why you’re a terrific fit for the role” could include messages such as expertise, experience, successes.

5. Add supporting proof points

With your three keywords chosen, you will then want to prepare sentences that include proof points. These can be facts, statistics, quotes, testimonials, case studies, analogies, and references. In the example above, I would suggest focusing on case studies showcasing your expertise, how you’ve done something similar in a previous role, highlighting endorsements from your manager or colleagues, and including program and/or deliverable metrics.

The Message Triangle is a practical tool that can help you develop your own personal brand – differentiate who you are, what you do, and how you do it – to stand out from the crowd.