How to Initiate and Participate in Conversation… Effectively

One of the main tenets of web marketing is that of the “most wanted response.” The basic idea is that for each web page, you should have exactly one goal. No more, no less. One goal for what you want the user to do.

It can be anything from clicking to the next page, signing up for an offer, buying something, or just watching a video. It doesn’t matter what it is such that each page has its own goal that fits into some larger picture.

And it turns out that understanding this will make you much better at starting or participating in contested, heated, and/or emotional discussions, especially when in print.

Let me explain.

When you are introducing a topic you KNOW will be hotly debated, it is tempting to cover every single base, explain every little facet around the issue, and include seemingly useful, auxiliary nuggets of wisdom. Some might call this “making a strong initial argument.”

But doing so could doom the conversation before it even begins. In covering all that territory and making all those points, you very well could dilute the focus and shift it away from the main point.

Different aspects of your multi-faceted argument will trigger different readers’ to respond, creating a diverging down pour of emotion and not necessarily productive, cumulatively progressive conversation. In face to face conversation, a controlling comment or 2 can usually get things back on track, but this isn’t always as easy in print.

To alleviate this, keep it short and concise or conclude your diatribe with a summary of your main, foundational points , perhaps ending with a question that jump starts the conversation in your desired direction.

What are your best methods for keeping a conversation focused and progressive?


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