Nobody likes it when someone talks down to them. They love it when they’re made to feel special. Your audience comprises (mostly) real people who love it when they feel they are the content’s focus. That’s not hard to do when you turn your language inside out using powerful words with an external focus.

Here’s a short tutorial from our YouTube Channel, followed by a written version if you prefer to read it.

An External Focus

Phrasing and word choice have a profound impact, but a simple tweak in selecting how your message is delivered can make a difference.

There are several ways to adjust your language for a more powerful delivery.

For example, phrases like these are a barrier to making a personal connection:

“Hey, everybody”

“All of you out there”

“You guys”

“All you wonderful folks”

It’s almost like we’re talking down to the audience by talking to a large group rather than making each person feel a unique bond to the storyteller. Though you may address thousands of people at once, each hears you individually. Speak to them so each feels a personal connection.

The Most Powerful Word Is…

Public speakers, podcasters, radio personalities, and video streamers are regularly guilty of a crime against communication. Self-absorbed language can be avoided simply by overcoming the use of personal pronouns like I, Me, We, and Us. Eliminating these words automatically adjusts your language from internal to external while multiplying the message’s impact. A natural result is greater use of the most powerful word in communication: YOU.

For example, changing your focus from “I’m giving you” to “You’re getting” changes how the message is received. Channel each word and phrase through this filter and you’ll be amazed at how much more relatable you will become.

Here is a simple example to demonstrate:

Instead of,

We’re giving away a chance to win $1,000 in the Thousand Dollar Minute coming up at 7:40 and then I will reveal how…

Try this:

What would you do with an extra $1,000 in your pocket? It could happen in the Thousand Dollar minute at 7:40. Then, discover the….

Replacing personal pronouns with externally-focused language is much more relatable.

“You” Is Not Literal

This is more of a concept than literally using the word “you” more often. Many communicators use “you” gratuitously. That lacks impact, too.

For example:

You’re going to feel great about this story…

This doesn’t feel personal. How would you know what will make ME feel better? A better solution is to imply “you” without saying it:

Here’s a story to feel better about the world today…

Another example of a gratuitous use of “you” that has little impact:

If you took the ice-bucket challenge, you know that first shock when the water hits you.

This invites all those who did not take the challenge to tune out because the speaker has indicated, “This is not for you.” Here’s how to phrase it to be both personal and inclusive:

The worst part of the ice-bucket challenge is the first moment of impact. Ice-cold water in the face is a wakeup call.

Another tactic is to use the word “you” to represent an opinion:

There you are…driving down the street and see a group of ridiculous 13-year old boys wearing shorts to school on a day like this, and you just know there’s a mom somewhere saying, ‘come on, Jason…just put on some pants. It’s 14 degrees.

Conclusion

There’s a thin line between being relatable and self-absorbed. Your goal is to deliver audience-focused content that can only be performed through your unique performance.

Focusing on the most powerful word in communication appeals to the most powerful emotion: greed. Greed is making the audience feel great about themselves.

Apply this external focus in your personal life. It’s not that hard. It just takes discipline. Practice it regularly until you’ve mastered it.

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