Last week we talked about entry points and beginnings, about the need to understand your audience and how to bring them into your writing. This week’s topic is related: you might need to modulate how you say what you have to say, but say it.
Don’t insult your audience
Put consideration into how you say what you say. Language that’s too salty, too uppity, too complicated, or too simple will put barriers between you and your audience. You need to understand how to say what you want to say in a way that’s palatable to the reader.
There are social morays and ways of saying and doing things that need to be considered. Maybe you need to say ‘different’ instead of ‘no’. maybe you need to call before the kids go to bed (or after). Maybe you need to find an indirect way to say what you need to say. And, it’s hard to get any of that right if you don’t know your audience.
The point is, you need to understand how to say what you need to say; that doesn’t mean don’t say it.
Say what you have to say
Something I’ve noticed, something I can show empirically, is that when you (appropriately) come out and say what you intend to say, you get a better response.
Choking, shying away, or writing/speaking in half measures is something your audience can detect. And, when they detect it they will A) draw conclusions about you and what you want, B) recognize you are uncomfortable or lacking confidence, or C) both of the above.
No matter which way it goes, when your audience recognizes this kind of behavior, your position just got weaker; you made it harder for yourself to say what you intend to and get the response you want.
The idea of vaccinations is that you give the recipient a weakened version of something so they can build up a resistance to it. If you’re half stepping in what you say/write you’re doing the same thing to your own words and goals.
If you want to write, or just talk to folks, you need to have the courage to say what you intend, and the knowledge and wisdom to know how to say it. Sometimes you can just lay it out there, and sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you may need to build a case. Sometimes you may need to apply a little patient progress and prepare your reader for what you will say. But, you need to say it.
Say it. If you don’t, it’s your own fault.
That’s it for this one dear reader. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but figure out how to do so in the right way for your audience. And, I’ll see you next post.