There is SO MUCH NOISE in the online world these days, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming – how do you know whether anyone is actually hearing what you’ve got to say?
Do you wonder whether all the time and effort you put into creating blog posts, creating awesome little nuggets of training, all those hours spent obsessing over your powerpoint slides is really worth it? How do you know whether the message is really getting through to those who can benefit from it?
Or is your message just being ignored?
Really getting through to people, really changing lives, isn’t just about throwing good information together, having a superstar personality or being able to whip up an off the cuff awe-inspiring speech. (Wouldn’t it be nice if it WAS that simple!)
I was speaking with Kris Emery and we realised that a lot of our clients have the same issue – awesome content that can really change lives, but a problem with actually getting the message across.
Kris is a copy-editor with a heart of gold, an author and the facilitator of online programs that help you be the best writer you can be, so she’s all over it when it comes to writing messages that really speak to people – messages that really do get heard.
So we decided to get together and do a webinar for you.
The webinar available at the links below, but first I thought I’d summarise for you what we discuss – so many juicy nuggets of practical, actionable gold!
While we were talking about our clients and what we were doing to help them with that problem, we came to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to inspire, inform, educate or entertain, if your mission is to get YOUR message heard, and to really change lives, then these top 4 tips apply to YOU and your message.
1. Have a clear purpose
Why is this important? Well it’s a bit like being asked to sit down and LISTEN by a lecturer who rambles for 1.5 hours and at the end you’re STILL wondering what the point of turning up was. Do that once to people, and there’s a fair chance they won’t be coming back for another slice of your pie. Whether it’s writing or speaking, your audience needs to know why they’re there, more importantly why YOU’re there, and why they’re spending their time listening or reading about what you’ve got to say. It’s not just about about prefacing the article or presentation with ‘Hi I’m Maria. I’m passionate about helping other passionate professionals create quality learning experiences and today we’re going to talk about X, Y and Z.’.
Purpose, true purpose, goes a lot deeper than that and can be the magical ingredient that really helps you connect with your audience, so that they are inspired to listen and motivated to take action. Kris and I really dived deep into this one as it’s of such core importance when it comes to writing, speaking or delivering training that really makes an impact.
2. Use engaging delivery techniques
Oh SURE. Just BE ENGAGING they say. PFFT! As much as you’d like to believe that it’s as simple as having an amazing personality or razor sharp wit, it’s not all about that. Obviously it’s important because if you’re boring and quiet and generally being drier than the chalk board, no one’s going to rave about how excited you made them feel but how do you do that exactly? Especially if writing or speaking isn’t something you’re very practiced at, or very confident doing, it’s not just as simple as ‘be engaging’, now is it?
There are a number of techniques you can use whether you’re writing or speaking, to ensure that your audience is engaged, on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next piece of information. Fancy knowing what these tips are? I’ll bet you do… you can find out more about them at the end of this blog post (hint… I just used one of them…)
3. Speak in your authentic voice
If I hear the instruction ‘just be authentic’ one more time… ya ya ya ya I know being authentic is the new black. Right? It shouldn’t be that hard to do, but it IS easy to get it wrong – just take Michelle Bridges‘ latest attempt at being authentic. Not even going there. Except to share this response.
Be authentic. Just don’t offend half the world while you’re at it, and if you ARE going to be a fire starter, at least make sure you have the facts to back yourself up! Ahem. Rant over. Moving right along….
Being authentic, allowing your true self, thoughts and feelings out into the world is such a vital step towards truly being heard. Really connecting with your audience in a way that helps them HEAR your message, is less about the content, and more about the style, tone and context. This is Kris’ area of expertise and she gave us some really practical, actionable tips to making this happen every time you pick up that pen (or tap on that keyboard!).
4. Create a structure that engages and inspires.
There is NOTHING WORSE than that feeling of getting to the end of a book or long presentation and realising that you’ve completely wasted your time because you either KNEW all the content already, or it was WAY more in-depth than you really needed, or was completely off topic for what you really needed to learn.
Much like the first point, regarding purpose, having a solid, clear structure that allows your audience to know whether they need to be there and with good grace invites them to leave when they know they’re not going to benefit gives YOU kudos as the writer, speaker or facilitator, who simply doesn’t waste people’s time.
Kids may need formal instruction on when to sit and listen, but adults want, and need that choice. Give it to them. If they need to be there, and you point out why, they’ll stay if it resonates with them. If not, they won’t. That’s just one of the tips that we went through but the webinar covered so many ways on how to structure your message so that your audience is engaged, motivated and inspired to walk away and make real change in their lives.
Like the sound of what was in this webinar? Want access immediately?
Join us, for an open, honest, practical webinar that will take you through HOW TO APPLY these top 4 tips when writing your script, copy or content.
The lesson is available here.
Click on the above link to be taken directly to the Lesson. If you’re already a member of the Small Business Wisdom course, make sure you’re logged in! If you’re not, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can become a member.