Every writer needs to figure out how to reach an audience–through writing and speaking. It’s imperative to know how to get your message across, to communicate in a manner that allows you to actually be heard by your audience. Whether you put words on paper or out in the air or across the airwaves, you have to know what true communication entails. That’s why I’ve brought my media coach, Michael Ray Dresser, host of the radio talk show Dresser After Dark, back once again. I continue to do coaching with Michael Ray, and I’m always amazed at how he can hone in on my message and pull from me stories that help solidify the points I want to get across to an audience on paper or with a speech or during a radio show. So, listen up!
Communication Is About Audience Recognition
By Michael Ray Dresser
We are bombarded with so much information on a daily basis that we have developed a short attention span. The daily clutter of marketing messages alone numbs us. You have to keep focusing your audience’s attention on what you are saying. Unless your audience recognizes themselves in what you say, you have lost them. Your biggest and single most reoccurring challenge lies in overcoming in your listener’s limited attention span within a limited time frame.
The average audience has an attention span of about seven minutes and at best 15 minutes when you deliver a speech. Research has confirmed over and over that after 15 to 20 minutes our attention drops dramatically. John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech was scripted for 15 minutes and Ronald Reagan gave strict instructions to his speech writers to avoid talks longer than 15 minutes in length.
Your audience wants to be informed. They listen to be persuaded. Frankly, they are there to be entertained. If you don’t entertain them you end up speaking to an empty room!
You have to capture and keep your audience. You can’t persuade anyone to do anything if they are not paying attention to you. It is easier to lose their attention than it is to keep it! You have to be instantly memorable and authentic, and you have to give them something to look forward to. Facts and figures – data – will not accomplish this.
The secret to keeping your audience’s attention and finding success with your presentation is simple: Frame your talk in such a way that they see themselves in what you say. Let them hear you beneath your words! You must have a well-defined message, and your audience must understand what the message means to them.
How do you make sure your audience understands you? Tell a story. You want impact, you want to be stimulating and, most significantly, you want to connect with, engage, and entertain your audience. You do so by telling stories.
Communication is more about someone using the information your provide than just hearing about it. The story or the illustration following what you say will emotionally anchor the experience for your audience. Each time you make a key point, follow it with a story. When you do that, there isn’t any question about what you meant by what you said. Stories lock in your meaning and allow your audience to recognize themselves in a familiar scenario.
You are now tying your message to an unconscious image that works like an emotional book mark. By doing so you are underscoring your key themes and ideas. These are called Neuro-Word Strategies. It is the combination of adding stories to your talking points. It’s not just a story. It is the content and delivery strategy that will get the response you want.
About the Author
Michael Ray Dresser, host at Dresser After Dark, is a talk show host with passion, skill and talent for coaxing outstanding content from guests whose messages shine with confidence, clarity, and relevance. His engaging interview style sets the stage for authors, experts, and trainers worldwide to captivate, inform, and inspire action.
His 27-year career in radio and media skills training got its start when he sat down behind a microphone at a radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska in January of 1983. Since then, he has interviewed thousands of radio guests from all over the world.
Dresser is a sought-after media skills trainer serving clients around the globe with his proprietary media skills training system, Michael Dresser’s Communication Training; interested individuals can take advantage of a free consultation. His forthcoming book, “Why Do They Listen? Creating a Compelling Connection with Your Audience Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere,” will guide experts the world over to achieve winning results through the power of engaging conversation.
The Consultation is free…but the information is invaluable!