Sitting in the driveway yesterday monitoring the bike and scooter races… Up walks two predictably dressed men (boys? They look younger all the time) who have made their stops at each house along the street. I resist the urge to go inside to avoid them. Their dialog goes pretty much like this (blandly, I might add):Hi, we’re missionaries (as it I didn’t know that already). We’ve got some literature here about ____ and ____. Is that something you think you’d be interested in?“I can only presume that ____ and _____ are their calling card (I live in the South, where it’s usually OK to talk religion in the street, and if I didn’t have a pretty decent idea on the twist that would have come, I’d have been thrilled to talk about _____ and _____). They must get some response. But as a form of communications, I have to give pretty low marks for the call to action in their message, and unless they were offering something I absolutely knew I wanted and came with no strings attached, I don’t know many folks who would jump out of their chair at such a drab “altar call”. They really never gave their message (which I presume they’d say is the Truth and could be the difference between Life and Death) a chance. Actually, my neighbor’s response was a rather glib “No thanks, I get all the preachin’ I need on Sunday” to which they nodded in resignation, turned and left, and they never even made eye contact or addressed me (I was seated, he was standing). They looked about as excited to be there as a three-year-old asked to come downstairs and explain the loud noise daddy just heard (hypothetical situation only, of course).I resisted the urge to ask them how many people asked for one of their books or responded. I know they had a full backpack.If your message requires (or desires) action from your audience, make sure you have made it an attractive message to them and make a request of their action. If it’s a group action, treat people or subgroups with individual attention and focus them on their response.

Give your audience value (make them want it) and have a clear call to action to your audience.

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