Speaking to 2,000 people

What is the largest crowd you’ve ever spoken to? The largest audience I’ve ever spoken to in person was around 500 at a Little League opening day.

Whenever I speak to a group of any size, I like to pick someone out in the audience and talk to them for a few seconds. Then I go to another person. And another. This way, I keep eye contact with the audience. People think I’m talking to them personally, and the connection gives me energy. This is why I find public speaking a thrill.

This brings me to Twitter.

On Friday, March 15, 2019, I passed the 2,000-follower mark. It’s not Katy Perry numbers, but it is an accomplishment. What does it mean to have 2,000 people listening to you?

First, it is a responsibility. People want quality content to keep them informed and entertained. I take the time to decide what I’m going to tweet. The THINK rule comes to mind. (Is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind?)

I have the responsibility to be brief. I fit whatever I need to say in a single tweet. If I need to write something longer or more detailed, I’ll write a blog post instead. My tweets often contain links to my posts that provide more information.

I also have the responsibility to be honest. I tell people how I feel and what I believe. You don’t have to agree with me, but I hope you will listen.

Second, it is an opportunity. Sure, it’s a way to promote my writing, to network, and to get the rare like from someone who’s somewhat famous. But I want to help elevate the dialogue on social media. You will find vitriol everywhere (including things I’ve tweeted). When we have the opportunity to provide support, clarity, and encouragement, we should do it.

This is especially important in the writing community where so many have times of frustration and discouragement. Nothing is harder than spending years on a book and can’t find anyone to publish it and anyone to read it. A kind word is enough to keep someone going, and it encourages someone to support you when you need it.

Finally, it is a thrill. There is something addictive about seeing the red notification icon, getting a like, or better, a positive reply. Even a troll or bot can show that you’ve made a point. Social media offers  engagement and connection. And like speaking to an audience, we can connect to individuals as we spread our thoughts to the Twitterverse.

Reaching one milestone encourages us to go to the next. So, if you haven’t followed me on Twitter, I invite you to do so. I will do my best to make it worth your while.