See how I did that? Drew you right into my conversation didn’t I? That’s one way you begin a conversation with your intended audience.
No, I’m not giving away confidential secrets of the government. I’m not about ready to divulge the ancient secrets of a sacred society that lives among us as quiet and beneficial members. I don’t want to let you know the meaning of life just yet. It is merely a suggestion for the way you communicate a message to your intended audience. But nonetheless, I drew you into my conversation when I wrapped up Part I of Beginning a Conversation with Your Intended Audience published December 5, 2007.
When you read that blog entry published earlier, you instantly thought, “Shucks, I have to wait to get the beat.” You may not have said it quite that way, but I’m paraphrasing your thoughts for you. Yes, you resumed with the rest of your day. You haven’t been sitting still waiting patiently for Part II. It didn’t ruin your day or anything like that at all. But, it did make you curious.
You returned today to get the secret. And even though I told you that I have no secret to tell you, it still subconsciously nagged at you because it aroused your curiosity. If there’s no secret, then you want to know what is it that you haven’t learned yet or may have forgotten a long time ago. And if you haven’t been paying attention, you missed it once again.
When you stir up someone’s curiosity, you draw them into your conversation. You know something your readers don’t. Even if they do know what you are about to tell them, you know the answer to the question and the answer is nagging at them. That implies that you raised a question.
Raising a question is definitely a great way to begin a conversation. But, and this brings you back to a very important point I made in Part I, you have to know your intended audience. You have to be able to strike a chord with them. You have to raise a concern that would get them interested in what you have to say.
If your intended audience is an artist, then raise a question that would really get the attention of artists. But, keep it real! An artist will not join the conversation if you raise a question about something base and unchallenging. Some questions just don’t stir enough interest. But if you can tap into the heartbeat of the artist community, you can turn a question into a group activity.
In order to really raise a good question, stir up some controversy. The artistic world is full of controversy, so that’s a bit easy. But if you want to communicate a message in a rather non-controversial field, you have to create the controversy for yourself. So, are you making things up for yourself? Not really.
What you are doing is looking at the issues, finding an angle and giving your readers something to really chew on so that they get your message entirely. In fact, this is so easy that I don’t think there is a field in which someone wants to write that they can’t find some controversial topic.
Let’s give this theory a try! Let me give you some examples to start. In the field of carpentry, is there a best hammer? Could that issue raise some controversy? In the field of bubble gum, is there any that won’t rot your teeth? Could that issue raise some controversy?
Task: Find the most boring or non-controversial topic and explore any angle that can raise controversy. In other words, you are trying to find a field that has no controversy whatsoever. I’m sure someone if not I will come up with a controversial topic in any field.
Method: Blog comments.