I used to host a radio show several years ago.
Alongside a couple of friends/co-hosts I’d present a 2-3 hour program every week.
It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, and I still miss it today.
In real life I talk a little fast sometimes, and when I first started talking on air I was a little hard to understand.
But soon there was no stopping me – same with my co-hosts.
Presenting became easy for us, we didn’t even need to think about it – we just automatically began to adapt our speech so the listeners could follow.
We often used to have guests – musicians, local people of interest and even students who wanted some work experience.
After a while I began to notice that some of them struggled to talk to the mic. They’d stare at it intently and change the pitch of their voice as they tried to imagine this invisible audience that they were talking to.
Sometimes talking too slow, other times talking too fast.
It didn’t make for good radio.
So, after a few shows, I began to think to myself – how did I first overcome this problem?
Part of it was through practice, but the other part of it was due to me looking across at my co-host as I spoke.
So, rather than talking blindly into a mic, I was focusing and talking in a conversational tone to someone opposite me.
For me that was the key. Simply visualising someone and talking to them.
So I began to tell the guests to look at me as they spoke, rather than talking into the microphone.
Nerves ebbed away and confidence skyrocketed.
It’s the same with writing.
If you’re writing for purpose don’t just blindly write – visualise the person you’re writing for.
Wrap and direct your words at them.
Seems obvious, but time after time I read posts and articles that just don’t connect or flow.
Maybe even print off a picture of someone who looks like your audience demographic and blu-tac it to the wall in front of you.
I promise you tone and flow becomes easier when you’re looking at who you want to talk to.
(that’s me in the middle of the featured image in case you were wondering)
by Ashley Brown age 27 and 3/4 2018