July 11, 2012#

Captivating your Online Audience

Learning how to speak is a relatively simple idea which brings to mind standing behind a podium or next to a PowerPoint. However, in today’s world speaking to an audience has come to mean much more than physically talking, it means being able to translate ideas, goals, products or even your vision through the internet. In our generation, ideas must be translated through more forums and channels than ever before. We not only need great face-to-face communication skills, we need to be able to tweet, post on Facebook, blog about, and even pin our ideas in a way that will captivate audiences.

While considering this blog topic, my dad shared with me a great book he was reading. The book he discovered was Platform: Get Noticed In a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. It speaks brilliantly to the topic of finding and developing your online voice. Building an online platform is one key to success in today’s social market.

Building a successful platform is a journey and will not be developed overnight. Don’t get overwhelmed – simply getting started is a huge step! Take pride in beginning your journey.

Once you are ready to embark, here are three important steps:

1)    Prepare your Message
Does your message resonate? Will it provide clarity? Does it fulfill a need? If your message will not enhance lives or meet needs- quit while you are ahead.

2)    Target your audience
Who are you trying to reach with your message? Brainstorm the needs and wants of your ideal audience. If you’re reaching out to men, Pinterest is not the best forum for your message. Twitter is a great channel for almost every message or product because it provides an opportunity to connect with professionals, community leaders and other people you may not normally connect with in a conversational atmosphere.

3)    Focus on Vocabulary
Your delivery is every bit as important as the message itself. Pay attention to the tone of your writing. Is your language indicative of gratitude and graciousness, or will you be caught complaining through your platform? In Erik Qualman’s book Digital Leader, a whole chapter is dedicated to eradicating complaints from all forms of communication. Qualman presents us with a reminder to monitor online language.

As he writes, “Complaining undermines your ability to lead in the here and now… If you habitually complain you will either a) have your followers leave you since people like to follow individuals that inspire hope, or b) have a legion of chronic complainers.”

My favorite tip from Qualman: When in doubt, post like your mom is watching. And of course, always proofread for grammatical and spelling errors.

Congratulations on beginning to build your platform! Stay tuned for more insights into captivating audiences everywhere.

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