7 Tips to Avoid Misperception in Articles

How to prevent having the messages in your articles get lost in translation.

Even the best writers can lose control over how their audience perceives their messages when they write for a global audience. It’s important to remember that every potential reader carries a unique set of life experiences into how they read and perceive your content. Just as you are bringing a particular amount of expertise to your writing, your readers have their own knowledge set they’ll use to interpret your message.

As a result, what you write in an article may be different from what your audience understands from your message. Despite your best efforts, misperceptions can still occur.

In this video, I’m going to share 7 tips that’ll help you say what you mean to say and avoid having your words misperceived by your audience.

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Here’s a quick summary of the tips:

  1. Write with a Global Audience in Mind – Imagine someone from a different culture is reading your article. Think about things like regionalisms, figures of speech, cultural/spiritual differences and how these things may confuse a reader.
     
  2. Don’t Assume Everybody Knows All That You Know – You’ll know things in your area of expertise that the common reader might not understand. Explain any industry lingo and verbiage before using it in context.
     
  3. Readers May Not Understand Your Writing Style – Most of your readers don’t know the real you and how you communicate. Create your own voice, but also be sure it is an ideal way to communicate your message.
     
  4. Humor is Relative – Humor can be a successful technique in articles, but it also might come off as insulting or degrading, so be very careful when integrating humor into your writing.
     
  5. Readers May Have Emotional Baggage – Be sensitive to the fact that your readers are bringing their own life experiences to the reading.
     
  6. Keep Negative Perceptions to Yourself – Anything you write can develop the readers’ opinions of you. A negative opinion can be transferred to the company or product you are promoting.
     
  7. Choose Your Words Carefully – Think about both the literal and inferred meaning of words as you write.

Keep these things in mind to avoid misperceptions when writing your next set of high-quality, original articles. And leave a comment to tell us your stories of being misunderstood.

8 Comments »


1
MCatherine writes:

So far, so good for not offending anyone, but these 7 tips are great to keep in mind. THANK YOU!

Comment provided August 13, 2010 at 4:22 PM

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2
Lance Winslow writes:

I hear what you are saying there Marc, but indeed, perhaps an individual isn’t writing for a global audience, perhaps they have a specific niche, thus, they are writing for a certain type of buyer in that niche, who might have the same level of industry savvy. Or, perhaps there are specific customers you may not want, for instance if you are a professional, coach, or consultant, there will be certain personality types you have no interest in as clients.

Finally, the entire “perception” argument often borders on the unique perspective that “political correctness” is the best way to play it. But consider if you will that part of the real problems in society and online is too much sweeping under the carpet of view points.

Luckily, most writers by a percentage are indeed, socialist, liberal leaning, and fully into this notion of perspective and perception. But, just because someone has come from a different culture, set of experiences, does not necessarily mean they are correct in their assumptions, or that they need to be tricked, or lied to, or even pandered with overt polite’ness, and showered with understanding, caring, and compliments.

Also there are a good many folks who are looking for a higher reading level than the normal dribble online, they are not looking for a dummied down version and perhaps, don’t want their intelligence insulted by dancing around an issue. Sometimes you need to tell it to them straight or even shock them into learning something new. They say that sarcasm drives people away, but perhaps, you are also bonding with your desired readers, while simultaneously jabbing at the shallow arguments of those who might disagree, or who would never be your targeted clients, as they would end up wasting your time and energy if they did click thru.

See those points?

Now then, that was a nice video and something to always consider, and probably wise for a site like this. Still, there are times when those 7-tips will not apply. And isn’t it totally fitting that the Phrase I am to enter for this posted response is indeed; “Targeted Audience!”

Comment provided August 14, 2010 at 1:38 AM

[Reply]

Lance, you are correct, the best thing to do is to always, always, always keep your targeted audience in mind and write to their sensibilities.

However, many Expert Authors, especially when they are first starting out, are unclear of their targeted audience or prefer to take a more shotgun approach. Many are also unaware of the ‘dangers’ of writing for a global audience. It’s our job to raise awareness of emotional considerations and point out those potential dangers.

You’ll notice that the vast majority of our videos and Blog posts are written to establish core skills and base knowledge. In this case, we’re attempting to build a foundation of sensible considerations for the author to bear in mind as they write. In time, they will come to know and trust not only their target audience, but also their own voice as an author. That’s when they typically feel ready to explore the issues you’re discussing.

As always, thanks for sharing your vast knowledge of article writing and marketing with EzineArticles community! :-)

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3
Sue Leonard writes:

Excellent article, and each point you made is something to be watchful for when composing an article. Thanks for sharing this.

Comment provided August 14, 2010 at 9:38 AM

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4
Brad writes:

I am sure it will help me and i will remember it while writing articles

Comment provided August 16, 2010 at 1:53 AM

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5

Finally, the entire “perception” argument often borders on the unique perspective that “political correctness” is the best way to play it. But consider if you will that part of the real problems in society and online is too much sweeping under the carpet of view points.

have a nice day.

Comment provided August 18, 2010 at 4:08 AM

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6
Marc Andefur writes:

@Lance Winslow – Hear, hear!

Comment provided August 20, 2010 at 7:29 PM

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7
Veronica writes:

Hi
I find writing the actual article comes naturally, my problem is getting views for my articles. I don’t know if it’s my keyword selection or poor headlines that don’t appeal to readers?
Regards

Comment provided August 21, 2010 at 1:19 AM

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