Take a moment to check out this video. Agreed, it doesn’t have much to do with the outdoors per se…but it still sends a very powerful message. Watch the video and I think you’ll agree.
Indeed, this video expertly demonstrates how changing a few words can make a world of difference in your desired outcome. In the video the blind man was doing a poor job of marketing his plight. Oh, sure, occasionally a few people would toss some coins his way because he was blind and asking for money, but look how things drastically improved when the sign’s message changed.
When the sign stopped asking directly for money and instead tugged at people’s heartstrings by highlighting a result of a handicapped condition, the mood of passerbys changed completely.
Okay, I certainly don’t want to condone street begging nor do I like the notion of seeing less fortunate taking it to the street seeking assistance in life, but the message of this video goes way beyond the obvious.
This video talks about the use of words and how powerful the right combination of words can be. As a blogger, I strive to use the best words that are appropriate for a given situation. Yet, I think we all sometimes forget how there are many different ways to arrive at a particular outcome (or message) and it is up to each of us to determine how best to get there.
Yesterday a friend asked me to critique a cover letter he was using to seek a new job. From the very first sentence I found it to be rather boring, cumbersome and, quite frankly, not very inspiring. I immediately put on my marketing cap and started using some of those power words in the English language. You know the words, such as: NEW, YOU, BECAUSE, FREE, INSTANTLY. I completely rewrote his letter so that anyone who now read it could quickly see he was the only logical candidate for the open position.
To a great extent we all must market ourselves to achieve our goals and the choice of our words helps determine that success.
Another prime example is a friend who just purchased a new business. He should be standing on the highest hilltop and shouting out the fact his new business exists. Nope. In fact, even in casual conversation he fails to mention to folks what is new and going on in his life. He needs to change his ways quickly or he will fail. It’s one thing to not use the best words, but it’s a totally different mistake to not use any words at all when you should be expertly promoting your objective.
As outdoors communicators we must also carefully choose our words. While one reader might feel your passion and deep caring about a particular outdoors topic, another reader might instead be astonished by a lack of compassion having read the very same words. Therein lies the big challenge many writers face.
Words can stir up and evoke many feelings for the readers. Words can be extremely powerful if used correctly and with a focused purpose. The proper choice of words have the ability to change people’s lives.
As bloggers, we have many challenges in our choice of words. Yet, we also understand how we have a tool that when used properly can change the world…or at least how the world perceives certain important topics dear to our hearts.
©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.