Think that sending a more powerful message is the best way to get a rise out of your audience? It isn’t. Power focuses on the message, while the most effective communication focuses on the audience.

What people call “powerful” is often a form of communication by intimidation — and typically offers little more than puffery that people see right through. So much so-called “powerful” language has actually become trite, meaningless, and just plain weak through overuse.

If you really want to connect with any audience, make your message meaningful. Don’t stand on a mountain and shout powerful words at them; stand among them and discern what they see as important. Understand their concerns and desires. Then frame your message around that.

Write with your audience in mind, sharing factual, benefit-oriented messages that relate to their needs. You’ll connect like never before, because meaningful is far more powerful than “powerful” will ever be.