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Dennis Welch, author of So What Are You Saying?

Dennis Welch, author of So What Are You Saying?

“If you want someone to have an epiphany, you need to start a gracious conversation first.”

I’ve paraphrased a little here, but those are words to consider if you want to connect, influence, or persuade others, whether it’s with your writing, speaking, marketing messages, or even when you’re simply talking to people. This is according to author, poet, songwriter, speaker, and marketing / PR genius Dennis Welch.  He was our featured speaker today at the National Speakers Association (NSA) chapter meeting in Austin, TX.

Welch is author of the recently released book So What Are You Saying?  He shared so many timely tidbits about communication, conversation, and connection today I thought I’d share a few of them here.

The right words matter more than ever.  We are assaulted with hundreds of messages and distractions every day, every hour, every minute.  We are interrupted every 11 minutes with emails, pop up messages, text messages, ads, billboards, you name it. Plus, we add at least two of our own self-inflicted interruptions to the mix during those 11 minutes.  That statistic is getting more insane by the day.  If you want to get anyone’s attention, you have to find a way to stand out and be clear, unique and memorable

More on epiphanies.  If you want anyone to have any sort of “aha moment” with you – to really impact them –  it will require time, trust, and the right information.   “Right” equals pertinent, relevant, timely — or interesting. intriguing, and memorable.

The power of grace and thoughtfulness. You can win people’s attention, capture their hearts, get them to pay attention, and even change their minds if you care about them enough to be gracious and provide them with the information that pertains to them and is valuable to them.  (Along these lines Welch says his two favorite words are “love” and “forgiveness.”)

Three keys to finding the right words and messages: If you use the right words, anything is possible.  How to determine what’s “right”?

  1. What’s THE message?  The ONE most relevant point.
  2. Who’s the messenger?
  3. Why should they care? What makes it relevant?

Proximity alone is not enough. You won’t get to know people simply by hanging out with them. Ask thoughtful questions to foster engagement, learn about them, and build a rapport.

It’s about quality not quantity. Sending out 500 resumes (or 3000 mass emails) to a list will not get you results.  It will make you feel busy and you’ll think you’ve accomplished a lot. (Hah! Guess again.) One customized, timely, well-crafted, impactful message may take hours to pen, but it has a far better chance of getting through the clutter and creating results.

Focus on them. You won’t make a lasting impression or impact on anyone if you are only concerned about you and what you want. Think of the other person’s (or your readers’ or audience’s) needs first.

Apply these lessons to your emails, your branding and messaging, you marketing efforts, your networking and everyday conversations and relationships. See what happens.  And for more information on Welch click here.