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How to Embrace the Writer Within

How to Embrace the Writer Within


    Back in the days of old, writing was something that few people did. The richest people didn’t know how to write, thus the reasons for scribes. But the simple fact is that we’re not living in those times anymore. Today’s society is much different than that in many ways, but I believe writing is a core competency we all must have.

    With that said, I don’t believe we need to be so concerned about proper form and using words like “ye” and “thus” (like I did above). And I’m sure there are many English teachers that will hate when I say this, but you no longer have to understand all the little nuances of writing proper English either.

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    So don’t be scared.

    You Think You’re Not A Writer?

    Text. Facebook. Twitter. Your blog. Commenting on blogs. Emailing. These are things most of us do without giving it a second thought. The funny thing is, we don’t consider ourselves writers. But I have to tell you something that Jeff Goins told me.

    You ARE a writer.

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    Our world today revolves around communication and writing is an essential part of that. Some of the best writers in the world will tell you that less is more. Twitter is the perfect example of that. Think of how many times you’ll rewrite a tweet so you can limit the characters to 140 and have it still make sense. That’s awesome writing! Facebook often causes us to do the same thing. Or sending that email to your boss where you tweak it for 15 minutes before hitting “send”.

    We are all writers.

    Why Don’t We Think We Are?

    I’d say it’s pretty simple, really. We tend to think of writers as people that write books.

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    Back before social media, that was really all there was. Texting is fairly new. Blogs are fairly new. Facebook and Twitter are very new. And the plethora of other sites in the Web 2.0 era are all new products.

    But we can’t let the past define who we are today. Today, we are all writers.

    Writing is an incredible blessing to our world today. It allows us to communicate thoughts, feelings, actions and so much more just by writing the words that come to our mind. It allows us to evoke emotion in people and build a tribe of people sharing the same mindset. Writing releases new ideas into the world that have never been outside of our skull before. It does numerous things, many of which are essential to helping the world change.

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    Yes, writing is more than just words. It’s life. It takes on a meaning of its own when paired with the passion for something. Whoever made up the “sticks and stones” saying was totally lying about words not hurting. They can hurt. They can also encourage, tear down, build up, make you cry, make you laugh, humble you, teach you, empower you…they can do almost anything.

    This is a call.

    A call to ask you to understand the power of words. To ask you to understand that a writer isn’t just for novelist or scribes anymore. It’s time to wake up and realize how often we write and how meaningful it is and can be. Pair it with your passion in life, don’t wait. Maybe you’re not a book writer or a blog writer…but I tell you, you ARE a writer.

    (Photo credit: tnarik)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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