How to Make Your Words POP
You may not know this about me but: I’m an academic, researcher, scholar, educator, and all-around teaching fairy.
I’ve taught countless students, many of whom, initially, didn’t want to be in my classes or didn’t think they’d be interested in what I had to say. I am aware of this (I was a rebellious student, too!), so when the semester starts I always make it my #1 priority to communicate in as clear and compelling a way as possible. My goal is to make even the most defiant students turn around and fall in love with my classes (*note: this is not for my ego, but because I know my content will change how they think about themselves & the world.)
Over the years, I’ve become very successful at this, so much so that I have now a 99,9% conversion rate. By the end of the semester, even the most difficult students have fallen in love with my classes. #proudteacher
Is it magic? No. I have a very clear methodology that I use and follow, and that I absolutely recommend. Read on.
STEP 1: Decide what’s important.
Once you have amazing content written, break it down paragraph by paragraph, and even sentence by sentence. For each piece of content, ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I wish to communicate in this sentence/paragraph/section?”
This question is based on one of the pillars of what I teach, i.e. the understanding that words alone are not enough to drive meaning. YOU decide the meaning you wish to convey and arrange your contact in the best way to convey that meaning.
STEP 2: Highlight what’s important.
Once you’ve settled on what matters most for each sentence/paragraph/section, highlight it. I mean, literally highlight the words you’ve decided are the most important in your sentence(s).
If you have a written script, you can highlight them in yellow, make them bold, or underline them. This is done after your script has been written and before you start rehearsal.
STEP 3: Say it a little louder.
Once you’ve highlighted the meaning-driving words, it’s time to speak them out loud. In other words, it’s time for rehearsal! To make them POP, say them a little bit louder.
Remember: it’s your job to make your content as easy to understand as possible. By saying your key words a bit louder, you’ll make sure they stick in the mind of the audience.
The best part? You can easily practice this 3-step process in everyday communication, too. Instead of writing it out, though, you have to go through the 3 steps quickly in your mind. It looks something like this: before you start speaking, decide what’s important, mentally highlight it, and say the important parts a little louder.
Once you’re done, high-five yourself for being such a brilliant communicator :)
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And now, I’d love to hear from you:
What have you learned?
And how are you going to use this process in your next talk, presentation, or in everyday life?
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