As a speaker, you know the magic you bring to the stage. Your audience falls a little bit in love with you when they see you on stage.
You can see you’re connecting with people when they lean in, eager to know what comes next. When you’re engaged with an audience, your message moves them. You bring everything you’ve got, from your personal presence to your expression to your voice, tone and inflection. When you’re really in the flow, it can feel like time stops.
It feels the same way to your listeners. They are in the moment, fully present with you and your story. Nothing else is going on for them in that moment as they experience your presence.
So how can you possibly bring the same impact to your writing?
You may not think it’s possible to bring the power of the spoken word to your writing. Maybe you have assumed that magical experience of connection is only possible person to person.
As a speaker and a writer, I want to share a big secret with you. It is possible to invite your readers into that timeless experience. The magical moment you create for them onstage is the flow of the present moment. If you are familiar with meditation or mindfulness, you have probably experienced “present time.” Readers get into this state when they are pulled in by a story well told, unable to stop turning the page and tuning out everything else. (This is why you don’t hear someone talking to you when you’re deep into a book!)
Here are five steps to take your stage presence to the pages of your book (and any writing you do):
1. Tailor your writing to the audience you know so well.
It’s probably made up of the same people who connect with you from the stage.
- Who are your ideal readers? They are those folks who stand in line to talk to you after your presentations. They’re your biggest fans! Why do they stand in line to talk with you? Because something you said touched them, and now they want to know more and connect with you on a personal level. Your book is the next step, where they can learn more about you, and ultimately, about themselves.
- What does your audience know about you and your message? What questions do people ask you? You understand what they resonate with, what they’re interested in, and what makes them laugh or cry. When you write, answer their questions and address their pains and their biggest dreams. Write in the style they already know and love, the style that’s natural for you when you speak. When they read your writing, it should feel to them (and to you) like an extension of you on the stage.
- Your presence is familiar to your readers. They already love you! So just keep doing what you do and being who you are.
- (How do you do all this? See the Bonus section below.)
2. Develop a personal, vulnerable relationship with your readers.
You have a much longer time to be with your readers in the pages of your book than you do on stage, so relax and settle in.
- Your fans have purchased your book, which means they have made a fairly long-term commitment to you. Make the same commitment to them by sharing stories that go into more depth and detail than you have time for on stage. Share the personal backstories behind the stories they already know. That’s where you bring your readers into the magic of possibility. They get to see exactly how you experienced transformation in your life and how they can, too.
- In a book, your fans expect you to dive deeper into your message. This more personal, more vulnerable place is where they really fall in love with how you make them feel and what you help them see about themselves.
3. Show your energy and emotions!
On stage, you know how to show your enthusiasm through your expression, body language, pacing, tone, and volume.
- Your powerful presence can come through in your writing, too. If you’re excited about what you’re writing, your readers will be excited too.
- Transformation often comes through difficult experiences. Take your readers through your lived experiences, even when they are not easy. To really illustrate how you made a change in your life, they need to feel the circumstances and the decisions that got you to where you are today. (While you don’t need to share every detail, trust your readers enough to take them through the hard times and positive outcomes.)
- Humor can be a great way to lighten your story, add some energy, and engage your audience. It also makes writing more fun for you and more enjoyable to read. Of course, be careful about using humor that is appropriate for your audience, respectful to others, and doesn’t negate the difficulty that was necessary for your journey.
- The book format offers something else to your reader, something you can’t give them from the stage. That is, the space to digest and assimilate information at their own pace.
4. Use the same vivid language you do when you’re speaking.
Your language paints a picture in your readers’ minds.
- Here’s what you might not realize: people who enjoy reading love to use their imaginations to picture the stories you tell. They are visual people who bring your story to life in their minds’ eyes through your language. You might think that imagination is only for fiction writing. As humans, we can’t help but vividly picture everything we read.
- So use strong verbs, descriptive adjectives, and sensory details to help your readers out. For example, instead of saying, “I was angry,” you could say, “My face was burning red. I could feel the sweat starting at my temples.”
5. Illustrate your message through stories.
We humans have developed relationships through stories since we could communicate.
- The emotions and pictures you paint through stories are what people will connect with and remember later when they tell other people about your book.
- When you’re telling a story, be sure to include enough detail about yourself and other people to make the characters come to life. Include emotions and sensory information like how things looked, tasted, smelled, felt, or sounded.
- Clearly show a turning point that led to some kind of transformation. For example, explain the moment that you realized something or decided to make a significant change. Readers want to visualize exactly what it felt like so they can make a similar shift in themselves.
6. Bonus! Speak It Into Existence.
- Speakers love to speak, right? You process ideas verbally, with the help of an attentive and interested audience (even if it’s just one person, like your book coach). It’s how you create and express your thoughts and ideas, and how you connect the dots.
- Recording your words and transcribing them creates written content that captures your onstage magic.
Pro tip: Take advantage of transcription technology. Otter.ai provides inexpensive transcription that is done by AI. It is good but not super accurate. Rev.com is more expensive, but much more accurate.
Of course, there’s so much more to writing a powerful and transformative book than I could put into these tips. But by following these strategies, you can bring the power of your speaking to any kind of writing you need to create. Your readers will be more engaged and more likely to remember what you have to say.
If you are at all intrigued by the idea of writing a book, I encourage you to ask yourself some questions. And here’s where I can help: I am offering you a complimentary session to review your answers, with the goal of discovering whether it makes sense for you to turn your talk (s) into a book for your audience.
- What does your audience want more of?
- What resonates with them or interests them most?
- What are their greatest challenges?
- Do you want to reach more people with your message?
- What are the main topics you would want to expand on in your book?
- What holds you back from becoming an author?
Schedule your free session today to find out how it might be possible to take your presence from the stage to the pages of your book. Intrigued? Me too. Helping you make an impact is how I make an impact. Let’s find out how to take your magic from the Stage to the Page.