“Wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “What’s that mean?” That’s a normal reaction, given that all of us spend hours each day talking with and writing to people. Of course, people care about what we are saying. WRONG!
With today’s limited attention spans and the barrage of messages we all receive, I have some bad news. Most of what’s said or written is tuned out. People will listen for certain keywords – nestled within what is communicated – to stay in the loop. But they’ll ignore much of the remainder.
In terms of conversation, rather than listening, many people really are waiting for the chance to speak. And we’ve become quite good at seizing the opportunity to do so. Remember that most people prefer to talk rather than listen.
Is this always the case? There’s a select number of people that are the exception and for whom the masses will hang on every word. Examples are:
- The Dalai Lama
- Kim Kardashian
- Donald Trump
- Barack Obama
- The Queen of England
- Your Boss or your Company CEO
But unless you’re among this select group, you should presume that much of what you are saying is likely to be ignored by your intended audience. And that causes endless frustration when you are trying to market or sell something.
However, there’s a way to turn the tables. How can you get people to welcome your efforts to speak with them or to read your messages?
1) Be succinct.
2) Convey clearly why they should listen.
3) Know your audience and ensure your communication is attuned to that knowledge.
4) Offer value.
5) Communicate in the mode that your audience prefers.
6) Stand in the shoes of the people you are addressing.
7) Surround yourself with influencers who are listened to and ‘model’ them.
Wondering why you don’t have the influence you want or the response to your communications that is deserved? It’s because most of the time, people are not paying any attention.
It’s up to you to change that.