I’d like to think my communication skills are better than average, considering I write a blog. However, an outing with the family recently left me wondering. Here’s how…
The family and me went to a nationwide steakhouse chain to celebrate my wife’s birthday (notice I didn’t say which, birthday )
My grand-kids excused themselves from the table to make their customary trip to the restroom. You know, the one kids take shortly after everyone has just been seated? Yeah, that one…
Anyway, no sooner than they left they returned stating that they couldn’t find the restrooms. I gave them instructions of how to get there and what to look for and sent them on their way.
A few minutes later, two frustrated looking kids returned stating that they still could not find the restrooms.
“Are my communication skills that bad”, I thought, or did they just not understand I wondered? Okay, time to get involved…
With children in tow we round the corner to the restrooms, and just as I thought, there they stood at the end of the hallway (Just as I knew they would be…)
I pointed the two puzzled looking children to the doors at the end of the hall, then told them to get about their business so we could get back to our table and eat.
They didn’t budge…
Instead, they demanded that I go with them. To which I obviously relented, but not fully understanding why.
A few steps later we are at the doors and this is what we see… BLOKES (Men) and SHEILAS (Women) mounted on the restroom doors.
Now imagine how this looks through the eyes of two small children, ages eleven and seven? Confusing to say the least, right? Sure it is!
If we don’t “speak the language” of our reader – in this case, children who simply need to know which door to enter, than how can you expect them to be anything but confused? You can’t?
My communication skills were fine in that they were telling two young people where something was located, but they were lacking in that they didn’t “speak the language” they needed to know in order to get in the right doors.
Are Your Communication Skills Confusing Your Reader?
Are your communication skills telling your reader one thing, but mean something totally different? Or, are you writing in a style that utilizes too much jargon and meaningless phrases? If you are, then this is no different than if you were writing in a language that is unfamiliar to your reader.
There is a way to improve your communication skills between you and your reader, and it may even be easier than you think. Here’s how…
First, realize that there is no “fixed subject” that your blog must have; which means, you can write about whatever it is that interests you.
However, the difference between a blog that communicates effectively and one that doesn’t is the way the blog is written. For instance, would you rather read a repair manual or the latest mystery novel by your favorite author?
Most likely, unless you are actually in need of a repair manual, you’d probably prefer to read the novel. Why? Because it appeals more to your interest. However, most importantly people prefer to read things that they enjoy.
Obviously, the bathroom signs at the steakhouse did not bring pleasure to two small children who simply wanted to go to the restroom. Seeing language they were unfamiliar with caused them confusion, and in this case, even a little discomfort
When people read your blog they’re not just looking for information, they’re searching for something they can read, trust & use. Click to Tweet This
In order to minimize reader confusion and discomfort, it is important to communicate in a manner they understand and relate to. This is easily achieved by the following:
- Write as if you are talking to a friend about a mutual interest – People prefer to read information as if it were written to them personally.
- Use personal pronouns, such as “you, your, yours, yourself” – Doing so helps set your reader at ease, it also helps make them feel as if you are talking to them directly.
- Reveal your personality to your readers through your words – Human beings are curious by nature, it is only natural that your visitors would want to know as much about you as the information itself.
Great communication skills are, by far, the most important skill you can develop. When communicating with your audience through your blog, simply write as if you’re talking to an individual person. Doing so will minimize reader confusion and discomfort, therefore increasing first-time site visitors and even return visitors…
Which is a good thing!