Three Essential Words

Pet cat, Fluffy, sits on public bench next to the sea

How does a cat called Fluffy relate to our article today? Answer: absolutely nothing, but she's really cute, likes people, purrs constantly, and seems to love hearing stories about super-hero cats in space. So hopefully, you too can sense that low-pitched "purry" rumble. Yet ...

If Fluffy could speak in our human tongue, in response to the article title question, perhaps she might say something like: "Know your cat" or "Milk and cream always helps" or "Fresh Skye haddock on Wednesday is the best fish ever!"

While Fluffy has her own important priorities, we have ours too. So let's move on to our key topic.

Aren't words just great? You can mold them like clay, turn, twist, and spin them around, and a whole lot more. Yet words without the vital component below are just symbols on a page, patterns, squiggles, glyphs, amusing little drawings.

That's why whenever you're tasked with writing an important document, drafting website content or creating any kind of presentation, before writing or speaking even a single word, here's one guideline you may want to consider.

Our tip here is part of the essential research you may need to perform before even "putting pen to paper." A crucial component is self-honesty.

So what are we really talking about?

What is so important that we need to thoroughly appreciate and understand the implications before we can ever hope to make headway?

Answer: memorize the three most important words for any writer or communicator who seeks to create stellar performance or build astonishing results:

  • Know.
  • Your.
  • Readers.

How to Really Get to Know Your Readers:

Consider the following 3 guidelines:

  • Establish and understand what really matters to your target audience.
  • Empathize. Feel their pain. Get to understand their experiences.
  • Discover the hopes, dreams, and fears of your readers, listeners or website visitors. As Shakespeare's Prospero from The Tempest reminds us: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on …"

Also, make sure you write or speak in such a way that your target readers understand what you're saying, and are likely to agree with, or at least be open to persuasion with your message or the viewpoint you seek to share.

Of course, you can never be sure of such outcomes. However, you can present a compelling, persuasive argument or case. To do that requires knowledge of both the topic in hand and those people that you want to use and sample your products or services.

As writers, we cannot expect readers, listeners or website visitors to remain interested in what doesn't make sense to them or what is simply not relevant, or what is not sufficiently focused on their problem.

  • Sometimes, we need to be clear and direct.
  • At other times, subtlety or poetic engagement, with energetic impact can transform an otherwise dull rendition into an engaging exchange that keeps your reader enthralled or on the edge of their seat! When that happens, you have their attention: relish, be grateful, certainly don't waste such opportunities, and I suggest, treat those remarkable moments with gratitude, responsibility, and honesty.

Really get to intuitively know your readers, listeners or website visitors. Not only can they become your best advertisers, they have the potential to become the best friends that you don't know you have — yet.

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