Every health education session should carry a message (Figure 15.1). A message is a piece of information, a set of ideas, or a course of action that you want to convey to individuals, or to the whole community. One of the frequent mistakes made by health workers is that they do not prepare beforehand the message they want to convey during the health education session. It is too late when you are in the session to have to decide what message should be delivered, and in what format.
In message development, there are two components that you should consider — the content of the message, and the process by which you plan to convey the message. You will have to think about the content of the session, the topics that you want to cover during the session, and if there are any specific facts that you want to deal with. You should also think about the process you will use. You should think about whether there are any activities that will help you deliver your message, and you should be organised and prepared if there are any forms or other materials that need to be handed out during the session.