In 1984, Max Atkinson trained a woman with no previous speaking experience to get a standing applause after a 3-minute talk. He used very simple techniques.
1) Big, bold, imagery
3) 3-point lists.
This was accompanied by dramatic pauses, repetition of key messages, alliteration, and good vs. evil narrative.
Every community manager job description demands the applicant is a good communicator. This usually means they can speak and write without making mistakes. That's not a good communicator, it's an average communicator. A good communicator can sustain the audience's attention, get their e-mails opened, read, and links clicked.
Most importantly, they can persuade and motivate the audience to take action.
We spend a lot of time asking members to do something yet ignore the very techniques that will cause them to take action. Listen or watch the talks from any of your favourite speakers (you have one right?). You'll notice they use the same techniques in both written and spoken communication.
Being accurate and free of mistakes simply isn't good enough. The delivery of the message matters. Shorter sentences have bigger impact than long ones. Shorter paragraphs too.
Scan your own newsletters and e-mails today. Do they sound persuasive or merely accurate?
We can get really, really, good at this by mastering a few basic techniques. It's a good investment of our time.