Tuning Into Your Listeners – So You Can Fascinate Them with Focused Content

I'm excited because I found a book called Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible

and even though I'm only 29% of the way through the book I am “Santa Clause is coming tonight” excited about reading the rest of it. I'm also going to talk about focus. This is from the book Secrets of Dynamic Communications: Prepare with Focus, Deliver with Clarity, Speak with Power by Ken Davis.

Is Your Audience Asking the Wrong Question

So many times I see people say things like this:

I have a ____ microphone, I'm thinking of replacing it. What's the best microphone?
The better question here is why are you thinking of replacing it?
Do you not like the sound of your voice? If so, what is wrong with it?

How do I find guests for my show?
Who has the information my audience needs and is willing to share it?

I've been podcasting for seven months – how do I get advertising?
Advertisers don't seek out podcasters who have been producing shows for X amount of years. If so, I'd be a millionaire (celebrating 17 years in April). A better question might be, “How many downloads do I need to approach a sponsor?”

I've got X Amount of downloads is that good? 
The better question is, “Why are you podcasting and what will it take to keep you podcasting?

Attracting Your Audience

So we may need to answer the questions our audience is asking (even if it is not the question they should be asking) so we can develop that relationship and then point them toward the question they should be asking.

Sharpening Your Content Using Focus Sentences

This is from Secrets of Dynamic Communications: Prepare with Focus, Deliver with Clarity, Speak with Power by Ken Davis.

What is it you're trying to say in this segment, episode, interview? Ken states, “The central theme must be brief and crystal clear. The purpose for choosing a central theme is to narrow the content of the talk to a manageable amount of specific information. This keeps the speaker from covering too much and keeps the audience from going into a coma.

He states that when you hear a podcaster going all of the places (the dreaded tangent) it may be, “because they had not disciplined themselves to decide on their focus by choosing a single aspect of their subject as a central theme.”

For me having a common theme/focus sentence makes editing easier as you have a clear outcome in sight. You can see what boosts the listener's understanding and what doesn't. In this episode, I took a tangent on how many movies are all “icing and now cake.” While it's true, I didn't feel it was helping the current discussion.

There is an article on Transom.org about focus sentences. He mentions using the phrase, “Someone does something because, but….”

The BUT in that framework creates tension for the audience and they want to know what happens.

Planet Money uses, “I’m doing a story on X and it’s interesting because of Y.”

According to the book Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, NPR may use this framework. “This happened _____, then this _____, then this_____, and then you wouldn’t f—ing believe it but _____ . And the reason that is interesting to every single person walking on the face of the earth is _________.

Question of the Month

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Mentioned In This Episode

Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible

Secrets of Dynamic Communications: Prepare with Focus, Deliver with Clarity, Speak with Power by Ken Davis.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio

Transom.org

School of Podcasting

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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