By Dr. Gary S. Goodman

If there’s one benefit from writing best-selling books it is hearing from your readers.

If you have left little bread crumbs along the path, they’ll write and call you and let you know what they thought of your efforts.

I’ve been lucky to have had hundreds, if not thousands of people communicate with me, and many have been kind enough to lavish praise upon me.

One memorable reader left an anonymous message on my voice mail saying: “You have no idea how many MILLIONS of dollars your ideas have made me!”

That was very cool, but the best one is when somebody exclaims: “I feel I know you!”

I love this because it tells me I revealed enough about myself and showed enough concern for readers that they were comfortable.

I’ve had teachers like this, over the years. I felt they were really there for me.

Here are five things that can help any writer or speaker to create intimacy with his audience:

(1) Instead of following the edict a Journalism professor told us, to “Never say ‘I’ in your writing,” that the STORY or the FACTS are the main things people are after, I violate that principle as much as I can. I happen to believe all writing is subjective, and this includes that which is done in the name of Science. Why hide your biases? Bring them out into the open!

(2) Disclose information about yourself. Don’t be timid about telling people you’re a key lime pie freak, or that you cry at the end of movies. These things make you real, and people can identify with them.

(3) Don’t come across as infallible. You may want to assert your expertise in a given field, and you can. But try to do it with some degree of modesty. Tell people when you have failed, and why!

(4) Show emotion! I’ve blasted other writers who I thought were charlatans, by rebutting their dumb ideas. (I never mention names, unless it’s favorable.)

(5) Reread your stuff, and if there isn’t a heart beating between the lines, put one there with stories and examples from your experience. Communicating isn’t always about sharing 5 tips for improvement, this article notwithstanding!

Well, I have to go to the kitchen to cook myself some eggs. Writing always makes me hungry. I wonder if there’s any key lime pie left…

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 950 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered “The Gold Standard”–the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at:

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