- On January 18, 2022
I was recently at an art opening where the artist talked about her work. “If you look at it,” she said, “and you feel a sense of calm, I’ve accomplished what I wanted.”
That, I thought, is one great example of how to put your audience first. She didn’t say, “When I paint, I try to convey a sense of calm” or even “My goal is to give the viewer a sense of calm,” but rather she led with what she wants the audience to get out of her work. And in doing that, she definitely got our attention.
So, when you’re writing an email, a key message, a spokesperson quote—whatever it is—frame your sentences in terms of the benefit to your readers. I like to think about it as focusing less on myself and what I want to say and more about my audience and what I want them to take away.