Write Slowly to Connect With Your Audience

I’m preparing a talk that I’ll be giving at my church on Father’s Day. Being a writer, I’m obviously more comfortable with the proverbial pen and paper than I am with public speaking. In fact, it kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.

A classic over-preparer for things that are new to me or intimidate me, I’ve been on a tear, reading a number of public speaking books. I’m currently reading a book by Andy Stanley entitled, Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication. While the book is geared towards preachers, it offers valuable insights for anyone who communicates for a living.

The heart of Stanley’s message is this: There are two types of communicators—those who are concerned with their information and those who are concerned with their audience.

This morning I came across a great tidbit:

When a communicator rushes through material it sends a very specific message: I am more concerned about covering my material than I am about communicating with my audience.

Wow. That is dead on, and a great indictment of much that passes for communication in our Internet-influenced world. Every writer should ask his or her self this questions, “Am I more concerned about getting this information out, or am I more concerned with this information changing someone’s mindset—and possibly life?”

This is especially poignant for us as ghostwriters because we’re often dealing with someone else’s ideas for our own profit. As such, we can easily fall into the trap of rushing through the material to just get it down and move on. It’s important we resist this urge. If we truly believe that our client’s material is important, we should take the time to make sure it connects with the audience as if it were our own material—and the audience were our own family and friends.

So what does it mean to write slow? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Writing slow is not writing long. It’s taking the time to fully develop your thoughts.
  • Writing slow is not writing detailed. It’s taking the time to communicate the right details.
  • Writing slow is not writing slowly. It’s taking the time to edit carefully.
  • And finally, to break the phonetic pattern, writing slow is thinking with your audience in mind, not your information.

I welcome your thoughts on this topic. Have an awesome day!

[Photo by daveknapik]