Advertising
Advertising

Why Everyone Should Write a Manifesto

Why Everyone Should Write a Manifesto


    Does the word “manifesto” bring to mind fanatical writings of communist dictators? Or do you remember some of these awesome manifestos that Lifehack posted a few months ago? Or these ones?

    Advertising

    Although some manifestos are a bit extreme, the definition of manifesto from the Oxford American Dictionary is simply this:

    Man•i•fes•to (noun) – A public declaration of policy and aims, esp. one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.

    While you may never go into politics or try to take over the world, writing a manifesto is a great way to

    • Clarify your beliefs
    • Examine your motivations
    • Create personal “policies”
    • Describe what kind of world you’d like to live in
    • Write down your goals

    Distilling these “policies and aims” down on paper helps you think about what you truly want out of life, which in turn helps you:

    Advertising

    • Make good decisions
    • Evaluate opportunities
    • Stick to your priorities when conflicts arise in your schedule or otherwise
    • Reach your goals

    Your manifesto doesn’t have to be extreme or written in stone; you can review it annually and make changes as you grow personally. In fact, it might be neat to keep the old versions and see how your beliefs evolve over time. It doesn’t have to be a long document or take ten months to write. If you’re stumped on how to start, try the outline below.

    • I believe that everyone _______ (has these qualities and rights).
    • I believe it is important to _______ (do certain things).
    • In my world, people treat each other _______ (in these ways).
    • In my world, _______ (describe the environment, economy, etc).
    • My personal policy is _______ (to behave a certain way).
    • I believe that I am uniquely equipped to _______ (do something).
    • My overarching personal goal is _______ (add sub-goals if desired).
    • My overall business/career goal is _______ (add sub-goals if desired).

    You don’t have to share your manifesto with anyone; it is for you alone. If you are single, it may help you attract the right mate, and you may enjoy talking about the topics you’ve covered with potential mates to see how compatible they are. Or share it with a few close friends and see what their reactions are. It’s a great way to start one hell of a conversation.

    Advertising

    Write your manifesto with an open mind and a desire to clarify things for yourself — it’s not a soap box from which to preach. Nobody likes a know-it-all or an opinion-pusher. Since writing a manifesto requires you to really think about your reasons for your beliefs and opinions, you can unintentionally come across as arrogant (or annoying) if you start ranting and reciting your manifesto to those who are less “put together.” Everyone has their own personal viewpoint, and I think we all agree that each one deserves our respect.

    (Photo credit: Fountain Pen via Shutterstock)

    Advertising

    More by this author

    Top 20 Time Wasters and the Top 5 Worthwhile Activities How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow Ultimate Hacks For The Best Christmas Ever 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Making Decisions How to Deal with Annoying People

    Trending in Communication

    1 How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life 2 7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 3 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding 4 The Real Causes of Lack of Energy That Go Beyond Your Physical Health 5 If You Think You’re in an Unhappy Marriage, Remember These 5 Things

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    Read Next