We can navigate our way quickly and effortlessly through many of the bigger challenges of life, but may agonize over how to best style our writing and speaking depending on the topic and audience. Because many of us have far too little practise in the latter as we’re growing up, we never really hone these skills to then feel confident. The thought of having others evaluate our presentation skills can be really nerve wracking!
Consequently many people feel overwhelmed and decline when asked to write or speak, even when they may be the best qualified person to do so – whether professionally or personally such as at a friend’s wedding. A familiar audience is easier to prepare for and they’re far more forgiving if your phrasing is clumsy, your word choice poor or your conclusion sounds weak and unsure. However small and familiar the audience, it can still be far too intimidating an experience.
As a blogger, when your audience is not made up of prospective work clients or guests at an event, but an invisible global online audience, everything changes. Any nervousness get puts aside; we don’t have eyes directly upon us, hear people chatting up the back or worry that the applause sounded too brief. We can veto comments and silence our critics.
Social media allows us to be in control – we get choose our topic, our angle, our writing style and publish it. We can continually rehearse and edit a video clip until we’re happy, or delete it later. When writing, there can be continual review and editing before uploading it without any time constraints. We can be nameless or craft a clever nom de plume, be as creative as we like, promote it or keep it very low key.
Delivery of our message is then without pressure, but without feedback how do we know if our message been delivered to anyone?
Unless you have a large number of followers, there probably won’t be the immediate and resounding feedback from an in-person audience or any feedback perhaps since in cyberspace your musings may not be seen by anybody. Ever! Your blog post could go viral perhaps, but there is simply SO much content – more than anyone could read in a lifetime.
So despite the enormity of the global online audience it can be very elusive and quiet. For some bloggers, that is a much scarier outcome than presenting in person. As blogging can also used as a form of social media, in order for it to be social, it needs interaction between writers and readers.
Engage, just like in the real world!
As you trawl through various blogs and invariably like what you’ve read, hit that “LIKE” button. Add a comment. Liking costs nothing, is fast, easy, doesn’t commit you to anything but encourages the continued sharing of thoughts and knowledge.
As with any form of social media, don’t save your “likes” for that one-in-a-million post, or you may find that those had inspired you may close their accounts. Just as we want people to respond favorably to our Instagram, Facebook or blog uploads, we have to be prepared to do the same for others. Reciprocating is obviously good manners, and promotes the confidence in others to keep going.
Putting your thoughts out there online may be less nerve wracking than in the real world, but without feedback, we really don’t know if we’re talking to anyone. Feedback is essential to nurture confidence and keep the dialogue flowing.