I was speaking at a conference a short while ago and a couple of the delegates commented on how well I connected with the audience – how it seemed I was speaking only to them. They asked me how I did it and I shared a few of the tips I give people when I coach them on public speaking.
They then asked me how they could replicate that online in their social media and digital marketing and I thought I would share my answers with you – as you may also have faced that challenge. Have you ever tried to write a blog and really not known how to start, what to write about and how to get people reading, and sharing your content?
Because it is much harder on paper / online – to create a connection isn’t it? However, it can be done.
Some of the skills are the same whether you are speaking from stage or writing to your audience, and some are specific to each ‘channel’.
The key things when you are writing are as follows:-
Always speak to one person. You will notice – if you are a frequent reader of my blogs and online content, or you receive my weekly Magnetic Business tips – that I never speak to many. You won’t hear me saying from stage or in writing, things like, “put your hands up”, “how many of you”, “ladies and gentlemen”, or “some of you”.
You see, the reader, or listener is not a ‘many’ are they? You are just you, and YOU are reading this blog. The fact is hundreds of people read this blog, in reality it is now in the thousands, but that is not important because there is only you sitting there – reading it on your device. So as the writer – or speaker, you need to always speak to ONE person. That creates connection.
Address the issues of your audience. Whenever I am on stage and before I speak to any audience I try to consider what their issues might be and whether I can help to solve their problems. If you can identify an issue your reader has or may have, then you can build rapport without even being there. We all want to feel understood right? And the things that worry us, cause us to lose sleep or just annoy us, well they are important aren’t they? So if you can determine what they are and address those issues in your writing, then you are adding value. Then your audience will want to read what you have to say – because you have their best interests at heart, and you are not selling them anything – you are giving away valuable information for free. That creates connection.
Ask questions. In a normal conversation with a colleague or a family member you would ask questions right? You want their opinion, you want to know they are following you, or you just want someone to agree with you. In any case – listen to some conversations over the next few days and listen out for ‘don’t you agree?’, ‘what do you think?’ ‘you know what I mean right?
Most conversations are not monologues – they are two way. Now you can’t entirely replicate that in a piece of written content but asking questions makes it feel more like a real conversation and questions are embedded commands. So if you ask a question, your reader will be thinking of their answer, and in this way it replicates a conversation.
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