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HomeRants > Talk like a human being. > Probe your audiences--gently.                           

 

 

Listen before you talk

What info consumers want from your text

Do you know who you are talking to?

Analyze their tasks

Lump people together into small groups

Create personas!

Probe your audiences--gently

We used to write for a mass audience--one big, amorphous, floating cloud of people out there somewhere, just beyond the TV set.

Now we write for small groups--niche markets, segments, special interest groups.

And within those groups, we often talk directly to one person at a time.  We have returned to writing for an audience of one.  Like a poet writing to a beloved, or a traveler writing to a spouse, we create text designed to move, amuse, entertain, persuade that one person

Customizing text for a group, and then personalizing what we say for individuals, we take advantage of the fancy software on our web sites, but we go back to a way of writing that's more like a conversation.

The question is: can we stop sounding like corporations, and begin to talk like human beings?

Resource

Who am I writing for, and, incidentally, who am I? (Full chapter from Hot Text, in PDF, 566K, or about 10 minutes at 56k)

Exploring audiences (PDF 82K, or about 2 minutes at 56K)

 

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