If you want to grab your audience’s attention, and influence your readers, you’d better be fast! The beginning of your presentation or article (the hook) is your only chance to make people want to stay engaged until the end. And, if they do so, you are a step closer to achieving your goal – earning more money. There are a number of techniques to instantly engage your audience.
1. Share a shocking fact or statistic
What if I tell you that, in the next 18 minutes, 4 people are going to die from food they ate? What if this is the start of my article, or even the title? Would you want to read the article? The chances are much higher you would. You are shocked and you want to know why this is happening. Every shocking fact, no matter how positive or negative, makes people curious. It might be a heartbreaking statement, or just the funniest thing you’ve ever heard, but you are subconsciously tempted to know more about it. If you have managed to make your audience feel moved enough to want to continue reading, you have achieved your goal.
People are more influenced by numbers than plain text. Any kind of statistic or specific data will give you a greater chance of engaging your audience.
2. Ask a question
Provoke and personally engage your audience by asking a question right up front. If your readers are curious about the answer, think they already know it, or can contribute their own knowledge to the discussion via “comments” under your article, they’re far more likely to click. Open questions are usually preferable, as they make people engage their brains, and get personally involved in the discussion.
Think about the daily, weekly, or even monthly horoscopes. Why do people read them? Well, many of those readers probably believe what’s written is true, and usually find something that “accurately” describes them or their lives in those short “descriptions” and “predictions.” Despite what your horoscope beliefs are, the fact is the writers of horoscopes personalize that information.
Personalization engages an audience. Use your writing talents to personalize your “hook” so your readers will instantly become engaged.
3. “Everything starts with a story.” – Joseph Campbell
Storytelling is the core of engaging your audience or readers. When you’re striving to build a rapport with them, sharing a story can quickly bridge the gap. Intriguing or shocking true stories are far more powerful than any other tool in engaging and influencing your readers.
Have you ever watch TED Talks? They are inspiring and motivational, aren’t they? That’s because they all share a personal story, and create empathy in the minds of those viewing the presentations. They “engage” the viewers.
Each personal story you share with your audience or readers might be the encouragement a reader needs in order to change their life, or to help make a change in others’ lives. You have engaged your reader, thus encouraging them to take action.
Using one or all of these “hooks” in your articles can increase your visibility, thus increasing your future income, whether through additional presentations, freelance writing, or book sales.
Katerina Nikolaeva is a professional Business Trainer and a freelance writer.
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