A profound statement made by Dr. Frank Luntz has continued to stick with me through the years. He said, “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.”
What a concept! I personally know this to be true based on another favorite saying of mine (origin: no clue) – which is, “your perception is your reality.” I know many people take the things I write differently than expected, whether with their own takeaways and opinions, or in their own (sometimes completely wrong) perceptions.
Often when we write content for our social sites or blogs, we hardly give a second thought to how other people will perceive what we’re saying. We’re in a hurry to get it out and published. Instead, we should to slow down and do a better job of focusing on saying what people want to hear – rather than just blabbing about what we want to talk about.
When writing, our goals should include using language that inspires people to take action while still making the message feel personal; we must humanize our brand for emotional connections. We must solve pain points to remain trusted and relevant.
Following those simple guidelines is how your blog, social sites, website and other content will stand out from all of the others competing in your space. So choose your words wisely; make your words work for you.
If the individuals reading your content can “see” the individual behind the brand and make a personal connection, then they should see value behind your words.
Your diction or choice of words is critical. Think about how language makes us… YOU…feel. And if you don’t think words are powerful, just take a look at how language has changed based on our feelings:
- Used car is now pre-owned vehicle
- Housewife is now stay-at-home mom
- Stewardess is now flight attendant
- Gay marriage is now same-sex marriage
Think about how the “old” way of saying the words above makes you FEEL. A little icky, huh?
Now take a closer look at the words you use. Are you expecting your readers to live in your reality? Or are you writing to meet their expectations and perceptions?