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Let’s just say that, if you’re planning to create content designed to help you grow your artistic career at any level, there are certain tropes to avoid, because they inspire little to no sense of connection in your audience. And these phrases are so prevalent these days that they have been repeatedly reinforced through the content you watch, without you even knowing it.
Here’s what to look out for…
1. “Hey Guys…”
“Hey guys” and all its permutations like “hey everybody,” “hey everyone,” “what’s up y’all,” inspire zero sense of confidence and connection in others who see themselves as individuals, and not as a nondescript, amorphous collective.
Think of it this way. Your name is not “guys.” My name is not “everyone.” Who are you talking to anyway?
I recognize that some men were blessed with the name Guy, good for them. But even they are not “guys.”
Wonderful that you’ve gone to all the trouble to greet your audience, unfortunate that this type of greeting doesn’t leave people touched, moved, or inspired.
Last year, I heard a speaker who repeatedly used the word “guys” as a filler word in her presentation, and however impactful her speech, it was clear the audience wasn’t lit up by it. She would have done well to observe this bit of media training.
“Because the internet is different” is not a valid excuse.
It’s fine to address a group as “guys”, work the term into everyday conversation, even drop the occasional “guys” in your content. No problem! We just don’t want to make a habit of it.
Talk as though you’re talking to an audience of one. No need for “hey guys” when a simple “hello” or “what’s up” would do.
And watch out, because that “guys” wants to keep cropping up, even when you make this seemingly simple correction in diction. It usually shows up like this:
Hello, and welcome to my channel GUYS…
Get it out of your vocabulary if you can, because if you talk to your audience as though they are a group or a collective, they will rarely if ever connect with you personally.
Treat them as though they are valuable, unique individuals, and you will create a deeper sense of connection with them.Treat your audience as though they are valuable, unique individuals, and you will create a deeper sense of connection with them. Click To Tweet
2. “Welcome to My Channel…”
This phrase has also so seeped itself into the cultural landscape that people don’t even hear it when it’s being said anymore.
But let’s address the concrete facts here.
When people are watching a video, they are watching a video. They are not watching a channel.
Let’s get this sorted once and for all…
This is a video:
And this is a channel:
And anything short of that doesn’t constitute a channel.
Not to mention, it is all owned by YouTube (or any other platform you happen to be using), and in no way, shape, or form belongs to you.
Big tech has made it abundantly clear in the last couple of years that anything that goes against mainstream narrative is dangerous (terroristic even), and the anti-human Davos catchphrase “You Will Own Nothing And Be Happy” couldn’t be as clear in this situation than in the most blinding of daylights.
You don’t own YouTube (or any other platform). You will never own YouTube. And that is the dark side of living your life as though YouTube will be here forever, using it as your platform, when it’s clearly the furthest thing from. But I’ve already flogged that horse.
“Welcome” is a great thing to say to start off a piece of content. But chop off the end and you’d be hitting a little closer to the bull’s eye, both in terms of the reality of the situation, and better media training overall…
3. “Welcome BACK to My Channel…”
It would seem we’ve made another colossal misstep in the development of humanity, because for some reason we think everyone and their flea-riddled dog is coming back to watch our videos, when it’s far more likely that viewers hearing this phrase are watching your video for the first time. And how confusing do you think this is for them?
“Oh, was I watching another video from this creator a moment ago? I don’t think so. I don’t even recognize them.”
What I learned in my media training is that “welcome back” is never an appropriate thing to say unless you’re returning from a commercial break. Then, it’s fair game to assume whoever just tuned in was watching a commercial or flipping through channels.
But that’s not how we consume video is it? It’s available on demand now. We generally watch from top to bottom (linearly), and barring that, we skip around to the parts we want to watch before clicking on another clickbait thumbnail.
Again, why make things more complicated than they need to be when a simple “hello” would do?
I’m not saying you need to re-establish who you are every single time. People are smart enough to dive into your archives if they want to learn more about you. What I’m saying is “welcome back to my channel” is factually erroneous, AND it doesn’t inspire any sense of connection. Be forewarned.