Internet Marketers love audio. You can't blame them. They used to have to spend weeks, or even months, writing an ebook to have something to sell. Now, they just pick a hot topic, interview an expert for a couple of hours with the recorder turned on, and Bam! They've got a hot new information product.
The audience for these products seem to love audio too. It's certainly quicker than reading a book. Because it can be produced more quickly, information can be more timely. One late summer day in 2005, Google changed how it ranked AdWords. That same night a teleseminar on the subject drew thousands of listeners.
Audio is Great Except for One Problem
Audio looks to be a perfect medium for online learning and communication except for one thing. A lot of folks don't know how to listen very well. Not the kind of listening you need to do if you're going to learn something.
Check with participants right after a teleseminar ends and they say they learned a lot. Ask them about it a few days later and most report they've forgotten exactly what it was they learned. That's true whether it's a seminar, a podcast, or even an audio download. Even when they have the file, most people don't listen more than once.
Listening to learn and to retain is actually a skill that has to be developed. It's not hard. You just have to know a few tricks. Once you do you'll be able to hang on to the key parts of what you hear. You'll remember new knowledge so you can apply it to your own marketing and business efforts. You'll start listening to learn and earn more.
5 Tips For Honing Your Listening Skills So You Can Learn More
Prepare. Give some thought in advance to what the speaker will talk about. Try to determine what you know and don't know about the subject. That way, when the presentation starts, you'll be ready to pick up on those areas you don't know as much about. Download and review any material provided in advance. If you have time, search for related material online and scan to get more background on the subject.
Focus. Once the speaker starts, concentrate. That's actually not as easy as it sounds. Our minds think 4 times faster than a presenter speaks. That's why it's so easy to find your mind wandering while listening. Three quarters of the time your mind is twiddling it's virtual thumbs! You've just got to keep bringing your attention back to the subject. Also, make sure you eliminate distractions. Instead of gripping a phone handset, use a speakerphone or headset. If you're attending a seminar, make sure to sit where you can see and hear clearly.
Find Your Purpose. Determine both before and during the presentation what makes it important TO YOU. It needs to have a purpose ? a concrete, vivid reason. You won't have much motivation to listen without one. If it turns out you can't find a purpose, stop listening. Go on to something that uses your time more effectively.
Look for Patterns. Visualize the patterns of organization in what's being said. It will help you remember key points. Patterns are easier to recall than isolated facts. For example, how does the speaker begin and end each topic? With a brief summary of the main idea? What about details or examples? Are they used to make certain points? Can you easily see the relationship between the points presented? It's likely you'll find more organization in prepared speeches and seminar presentations than teleconferences, particularly interviews. But presenters almost always start with some idea of structure even if they drift off course. Do your best to find it.
Take Notes. It's true what they told you back in school. Taking notes enhances listening and recall. When you take notes, though, don't go overboard with detail or they just become another distraction. Tie them to the patterns and structure you find. Not everything is equally important. Be selective. Think of your notes in terms of review. The one thing that really helps recall is what almost no one does: review notes after the presentation and in the future.
Listen Well and You'll Learn and Earn More
Listening to learn is a skill you have to develop. You've just seen five tips that will help. Once you do you'll be able to more easily remember what you hear in teleseminars, podcasts and audios. You'll remember new knowledge so you can apply it to your own marketing and business efforts. You'll start actively listening and you'll learn and earn more.
Ronald A Murphy is a Copywriter and Graphic Designer specializing in Direct Response and Internet Marketing. Murphy writes and designs sales letters, direct mail packages, inserts, web sales pages, direct email, newsletters for marketing, Internet articles, white papers, and other sales focused materials. He provides expertise to clients serving financial, business, technology, health, opportunity and fundraising markets.
For more information on copywriting and marketing, visit his site at RAMurphy.com. There you can subscribe to his newsletter, R A Murphy's Copywriting and Design Tips. You can also read Murphy's Blog on Copywriting and Design for Internet and Direct marketing at RonaldAMurphy.com.
Copyright 2005 Ronald A Murphy. Permission to reproduce this article in any form is freely given so long as the text and this credit box stays as is without modifications.