When I first went back to college to pursue my MBA, I had a great class that we called the "touchy-feely" class. In it, we did all kinds of relational exercises culminating in the "touchy-feely weekend." We even had a motto for that weekend. It was, "Veni, vidi, feely." I came, I saw, I felt.
Another fun part of that class was a pubic speaking part. Of course, after speaking publicly for nearly 20 years at that time, I loved it. My fellow students cried foul though because I didn't struggle, sweat bullets or ramble along while saying, "A, a, a, a, a." Ironically, I had taught a class on homiletics for a few years prior. So, I had been teaching students in the art of public speakers. Which brings me to the point of this blog.
Blogging is a lot like public speaking. There are a few simple speaking principles that might help you find a nice flow to your blog. If you struggle with keeping things on course while you blog, try this:
- A good speech has a few simple components, such as, an introduction. Basically in the introduction, you want your listeners to know what you're about to talk about. The same is true in a blog. It doesn't have to be long. I tend to ramble too much in my intro. I guess that's a side effect of too many years behind a lectern.
- Lay out your points, I, II, III, or A, B, C. There should be a nice progression from one to the other. It's like you're building something. You lay the foundation and then build upon it. Oh, and you don't necessarily need to insert the point numbers or the letters.
- Sum up what you've just said in a few short sentences. It's as simple as, "Tell them what you're going to tell them. Tell them, and then tell them what you told them." When you finished your points, sum things up and put a bow on it. My wife can still repeat the main points of many of my sermons from the early 1980s.
- Form a conclusion, and call for some kind of commitment. You want your listeners, or readers, to make some kind of decision. "Yes, I agree with you, and I will do that. No, I don't agree with you, and I won't do that. I might even throw a tomato at you."
I would also encourage you to read your work over a few times to make sure you have a nice flow. Be sure to spell check, and you might even run your blog through a grammar check.
There is an old editing tip I picked up from a publisher I've written for in the past. Read your material from the last word to the first. When you read it from front to back, your brain auto-corrects your mistakes just like my IPhone does when I'm texting. Reading your text backwards makes those mistakes stand out like a flashing sign.
So, don't be afraid to speak or blog. Put your best foot forward, and try as much as possible to keep it out of your mouth. Happy blogging!