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Have you ever been talking to someone and notice they’re not really listening so much as waiting for their turn to talk? It’s pretty frustrating and it can make you feel unimportant.
There’s a difference between listening and waiting to talk.
Some people just want someone to be their sounding board and they feign interest only in as much as it gives them an audience.
It’s easy to spot in real life, but what we don’t realize is that we’re often doing this with our content. We’re just talking about whatever we want to talk about and hoping people care. Sometimes they do and we’re happy. Other times they don’t and we’re sad.
But there’s a more intentional way to go about it. I call it reading minds. Of course it’s not really reading minds, but that’s what people will tell you. They’ll say things like, “This is perfect timing!” or “I feel like you’re reading my mind here!”
When you learn how to make content that resonates, people feel like you’re reading their minds. This is extremely powerful because people want to feel heard. They want to feel like someone is listening to them and they’re being understood.
Feed Back What People Are Saying
One of the best ways to do this in a conversation is to feed what the other person is saying right back to them. In our earlier example, the wait-to-talker stares at your mouth until it stops moving so they can immediately say what they want to say. But if you want to make someone feel cared for and understood and heard, you’d repeat back what they said.
It sounds like you’re feeling this, or I’m hearing you say you struggle with that. They’ll immediately say, “Yes! That’s exactly it!” This is the moment that you have their peak attention. When someone feels heard, you better believe they are going to be very invested in the conversation and willing to also hear you out.
Deliver What They Need in A Package of What They Want
When it comes to creating content, your goal is always to tap into what your audience wants to hear. What are they struggling with? What are their challenges? What topics interest them? The great thing is, this doesn’t mean you have to actually limit what you want say. It simply means that in order to be heard, you must deliver the message people need to hear in a package of what they want.
Let me give you an example. Something people very commonly say is, “I don’t have enough time.” What do they want here? They want more time! What does that require? Well, it requires making sacrifices. But if you made a video titled “Make Sacrifices” that’s not going to do very well because it’s not what people want.
The last episode of seanwes tv was called How to Say No and Why It’s the Key to Creating Time. Making sacrifices is what it takes and that means saying no to things. But the whole reason we’re doing that is the create more time.
Some people feel paralyzed when it comes to saying no. They don’t want to offend people and they don’t want people to not like them. So they’re interested in getting more time and they know that they have to say no to things, but they don’t know where to start. That’s where my title comes in: How to Say No and Why It’s the Key to Creating Time.
I’m speaking to their struggles and their desires which is why I have their attention.
No One Paying Attention?
Some of you may feel like you don’t have people’s attention. You feel like no one is paying attention to you and no one wants to hear what you have to say.
If you’re not being heard, that means you’re not being a good listener.
Being a good listener often means listening to less. You need to actually curate what you listen to if you want to really tune into an audience and get to know them intimately. What are you listening to? What are you not listening to? What are you consuming?
- Are you invested in the people you’re trying to reach?
- Are you getting to know them?
- Are you getting to know their problems?.
- Are you getting to know what matters to them?
- Are you getting to know what’s important to them?
You have to fall in love with the problem, not your solution to the problem.
Before people are open to hearing a solution, they need to hear you demonstrate your understanding of the problem. Attention is the key. It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking perfectly and delivering flawlessly if it falls on deaf ears. You need that attention first.
Speaking of attention, just a couple days ago I subscribed to an email list and the next day I got a personal response from someone. Not an automatic response, a personal response. He actually recognized who I was because he’d followed my work for a few years and was also from San Antonio, TX. How cool is that? That’s an example of someone doing it right.
Engage with people in your audience. Ask them questions. Listen to them, and make content in response to them.
You’re going to be blown away at the response.