How do you get your message heard by more people? Even 10x more people?
Lysa TerKeurst shares the method she developed for writing that has helped her sell millions of books and build a deeply loyal audience. She also shares the three voices every communicator uses and why some are better than others.
Welcome to Episode 327 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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3 Insights from Lysa
1. Readers aren’t looking to be educated, they’re looking to be known
As a New York Times bestselling author, reaching 50,000 people, Lysa TerKeurst knows a thing or two about writing. But it’s more than just writing to sell books, Lysa says you should tackle a felt need that helps create a solution for people. And most often, we find most of those felt needs come from our own personal experiences. She says that the struggle you don’t want to write about is probably the very one that you would write the best about.
When we write about our own struggles, just as I did in Didn’t See It Coming, we connect with people right where they are and help them become known. Lysa says, “A reader, when they open up a book, they aren’t looking to be educated as much as they are looking to be known. As an author, if right from the beginning pages of a book, if you can help someone feel known, then they’ll feel safe enough for you to educate them. Because if the reader doesn’t think that you understand the depth of their struggle, they’re never ever going to trust your advice.”
2. Three tones of voice
When we deliver a message, Lysa says there are four tones of voice that we need to determine our audience will best receive the information they’re hearing. Which one do you use?
- The Tower Voice
The person giving the message is really delivering the message from an elevated position. So they are not sharing any past struggle or any present struggle with issues. They’re just addressing the issues and telling you, “This is right and this is wrong.”
- The Teacher Voice
The teacher’s not up in the tower, they’re more at the front door and the directive is not, “You should,” but rather, “You could.” The teacher will share past struggles of what they’ve gone through and then not really though, they won’t share any present-day struggles with it.
- In the Field Voice
We’re not in the tower, we’re not at the front door. We’ve walked out into the field amongst the people that are there looking for the information and instead of pointing our finger down at people or even pointing our finger out at people, instead, we just sort of take our arms and wrap them around people. The directive is not, “You should,” and not, “You could,” but rather, “Together we can.”
3. Fight for the reader
Recipients of your messages want to know, “What’s in it for me? How are you going to solve my problem? How are you going to answer my question?” The solution, Lysa says, is called fighting for the reader. She says it’s knowing what they’re after. For Lysa, as a writer, fighting for the reader means fighting for sentences that really matter. If she said it well in 50 words, she could say it even better in 15. Make it simple so that that reader can share the message in conversation with others.
Lysa also says that fighting for the reader means providing applicable resources from the information you just provided—practical application tools that will help your reader better apply the message, a list of all the best quotes from the book, the best Bible verses from the book, a flowchart, or even a quiz, test or an assessment. Don’t just write a book, but write a book that truly will equip people to make life change.
Quotes from Episode 327
So really taking time to unearth the felt need around this message on forgiveness helped me understand that there were a lot of questions around forgiveness that I had, and I knew I wasn't alone. @LysaTerKeurst Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll has been in ministry over half his life. In this interview, he talks about how he became a Christian, his call to ministry, what the last five years of his life have been like, and the impact of the opposition he faced leading Mars Hill. Plus, we talk about spiritual warfare and why it matters.
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