255: How to Captivate Any Audience for Essays, Speeches, Courses and Social Media

255: How to Captivate Any Audience for Essays, Speeches, Courses and Social Media

In this episode, I cover the topic of how to captivate any audience by discussing the importance of creating compelling hooks in various forms of communication, including essays, speeches, social media, and course creation. I discuss what hooks are as well as how and why they help you engage audiences and captivate their attention in impactful ways.

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255: How to Captivate Any Audience for Essays, Speeches, Courses and Social Media


Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:00:00] Welcome to the top global ranked and award nominated grad school femtoring podcast. The place for first gen BIPOCs to listen in on conversations about grad school, and growth. In this podcast, you'll learn about all things higher education, personal development, and sustainable productivity. This is Dr.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yvette Martinez Vu, and I will be serving as your femtor, providing you with tips and tricks and everything else you need to know to successfully navigate grad school. For over 14 years, I've been empowering first gen students of color along their personal and professional journeys, and I'm really excited to support you too.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, [00:01:00] Dr. Yvette. Today's episode is all about how to captivate any audience for essays, speeches, courses, and social media. What might I be talking about? I'm talking about hooks. Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm not sure if you know what I'm talking about when I say the word hook.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: When I say hook or hooks, I'm referring to a opening line or statement or question or anecdote that you give in different settings, scenarios, contexts that will pique someone's attention, that will grab their interest, that will keep them wanting more. That's what I'm talking about today. Before we get started, I wanted to share just, um, a little bit of a reflection on last week.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So in case you missed last week's episodes, [00:02:00] I had an episode where I reflected on my book launch. My book is Grad School for Me, Demystifying the Application Process for First Gen BIPOC Students came out on April 16th. That same day, I held a virtual book launch party where I invited Lots of people who have been part of my grad school femtoring journey from former folks who I've mentored, um, back when I was a graduate student and they were undergrads and they now have PhDs to, to folks who, um, I've recently met and connected with who aren't even in the higher ed space, but who wanted to support my work.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: To any, you know, any folks in between, I invited some of my podcast guests, I invited my former students, I invited my former colleagues, I invited new colleagues, new friends, a bunch of folks got invited. And it was just such a beautiful, beautiful moment. And it was also really [00:03:00] exciting to find out that the book was the number one new release, uh, in the grad school guides category on Amazon.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So that's a really nice highlight because it's something that's hard to do. It's really hard to, um, get to the top of a bestseller list unless you have a big budget and, or a big time. Team and or a lot of capacity to just be hustling 24 seven to market your book. And I don't have any of those things. We, I have the supportive community in that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I've got a co author. I've had some folks, you know, willing to share about the book, uh, and I have my platforms and I do what I can within my energy levels within, you know, what I'm capable of every single day. But we haven't gone, you know, all out of spending thousands of dollars on marketing or of having this huge [00:04:00] team behind us or of, um, really like going 100 percent diving all in and dedicating all of our time and energy to it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: We haven't. We have other responsibilities too, uh, particularly the things that pay our bills and marketing our book, unfortunately, is not one of those things. And despite that, I still have felt this overwhelming feeling of support and love from our community. So I just want to thank you all to everybody You know, no matter what step you have played from listening to my podcast to ordering the book to requesting it at your local library to, you know, sharing a picture of the book on social media.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Actually, if you have a copy of the book, please take a selfie with it, share it on social media, send it to me if you're comfortable with me reposting it. I would love, love, love to keep spreading the word that way. Another ask that I have just [00:05:00] to be, you know, completely open and honest and transparent is we would love to have y'all leave reviews of the book on Amazon and on Goodreads.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's one of those things. Again, um, I'm not trying to go for vanity metrics, but it helps to for people to know. the impact that the book is having by you sharing that publicly on these two sites, on Amazon and on Goodreads. So if you bought the book, if you started reading it, if you find that it's as impactful as we think it will be, Please, please leave a review.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Don't even worry about whether or not you have finished the book. Just from what you've read, even if it was the first 10 pages, leave a review and let me know that you left a review. Okay? Send me a screenshot or send me a quick email or send me a DM on Instagram or LinkedIn and I will make sure to follow up.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So there's that. [00:06:00] Um, another update that you may have noticed. is that I recently, um, accepted an invitation to be part of a podcasting network. It's called the Boundless Audio Podcasters Network. And because of that, I updated my cover art. I also updated my show notes. And you might notice that There will be, uh, in my outro, a little clip that says that I'm part of this network.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: The reason I decided to accept this invitation is because this year I told myself that it's my year of flourishing. It's my year of floreciendo. That's the word on my vision board, florecer. And along with the book launch, I really wanted to go full force on my podcast. I take my podcast very seriously.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It is a labor of love. And it is a lot more labor, honestly, than it is love in that it's every single week. And I've been [00:07:00] doing two episodes a week, all of this year, every single week, two episodes a week, multiple hours of labor on my end, both of reaching out to guests, scheduling them, following up.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Setting up time for me to record my solo episodes, doing all the editing on my own, doing all of the producing on my own, everything on the back end, sharing about it on social media, every single thing, I'm doing it on my own. I don't have an assistant for that. It's a lot. And I would love to start to get compensated at least monetarily for the podcast.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And this network really does align with my values. They work with a lot of women entrepreneurs, a lot of women of color entrepreneurs, the type of support that they offer isn't just with helping me to get more sponsors, but really kind of tapping me into a greater community of podcasters. And that's really what I need.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I need more support. A lot of times I feel like I'm doing this on my own. I don't have any mentors or femtors in the [00:08:00] podcasting space who are ahead of me or who are where I want to be. And I hope that I can develop more of those relationships soon because I tend to be that person among my friend groups.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I tend to be the one that people reach out to for support or advice. I might be a few years ahead of them in some area and I would love to have that kind of support too. So, um, just a heads up. Don't be surprised if you notice anywhere where it says something that I'm part of a podcasting network, um, and the great thing is that I remain, um, committed to my values and my ethics and I get to have full autonomy with my podcast.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Nothing's going to change to that. And if there are sponsors, I get to decide which ones are added and which ones. I do not align with and I will refuse to put them on my show. No amount of money is going to have me compromise, uh, what matters most to me. So I really do, [00:09:00] um, care about my audience and I want to be intentional about, uh, what you all listen or what you all hear about through the podcast.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And if I think that any, any, potential ad or sponsor could be harmful. I'm not going to include that. So that's my take on that. And now I want to get to the actual topic. I'm eight minutes in and I haven't even started talking about the topic. And let me tell you why this came up for me. Because, you know, I'm not going to.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: One of the things that I do a lot is grad school admissions coaching and consulting. And with the grad school admissions part of it, I help students with giving them feedback and helping them to revise their grad school admissions essays. And a A big part of that process is helping students uncover their stories, figure out, okay, what is the thing that makes you tick?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And what are these formative moments that help you [00:10:00] to arrive here? And using that combination of the storytelling, really getting to know themselves, personal development side of things, along with, uh, knowing how to craft a strong essay and the writing skill that's involved to do that. Co create a hook, so I'll have them talk about, okay, so what are the things that are coming up for you?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Um, what are important formative moments for you? Is this something you're comfortable sharing on an essay? Okay, out of these options, like which one do you like? Which one would you be open to including at the beginning of your essay? And so we come up with you know, a hook that they want to include to pique the interest of their reader.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And a lot of times this is something that students don't realize that they have to include, like they, they know, okay, I need to talk about my previous research and professional experience. I need to talk about what I want to study in grad school, but they don't think about, I need to [00:11:00] figure out how, like, how does this all fit into the larger narrative and trajectory of my story in life?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And. Writing a powerful hook can help to convince your reader that it makes sense why you're even applying to this program right from the first few lines. That's powerful and that's a skill and it's something that, you know, I, I do think it's worth your time to think about this a little bit more. Think about, um, Okay, how can I learn how to add hooks?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Not just in my grad school admissions essays, but in other, other different modes of communicating. So for instance, I've noticed that hooks also come up a lot on social media. And it's really annoying. I don't know if you've noticed, I'm sure you have, but short form media, especially short form videos, are the ones that go viral.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Why? Because [00:12:00] of the hook. It's all, it's just hook. There's no substance there. If you watch, and if you're scrolling, doom scrolling on your, any kind of, whether it's Instagram, TikTok, social media account, it's the under 10 second videos that perform the best. Even recently, I'm not one to use a lot of reels or short form videos.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Typically, um, but I started to use a couple more as I've been sharing more about the book to try to, you know, get more interest. And my most played video that got over 15, 000 views was me opening my book, His Grads Go 4 Me, with the One of those, uh, what is it? Like the, the viral sounds or the most played sounds.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's literally just me opening a book and showing my table of contents. That's all it is. It's all, it's just a hook. It's a hook. It's like me giving you a preview of the book. I'm piquing your interest. That's a hook. [00:13:00] So if you want to get better at social media, you got to get good at coming up with hooks and identifying the trendy sounds and hooks that other people are using and then using it for yourself.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Now, do I agree with it? I don't really love social media. I don't really love only relying on hooks. Again, it feels like very surface level and no substance. But hey, if I can get that hook to pique your interest so that you then go into the meaty stuff or go into the, that's funny, why am I even using the word meaty?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I don't even eat meat. Um, so you can go into the substance of it. Then great. If that video got you to order the book and the book's going to help you out, Awesome. If a video got you to listen to one of my podcast episodes that again, ultimately is going to help you out. Awesome. That's part of building impact.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So that's another example of why hooks matter is that it can help people to be interested, to find you, to be interested in your work and to ultimately connect [00:14:00] with you and hopefully gain something valuable from connecting with you. Another instance where I've noticed hooks coming up is when working on courses.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So one of the things that I recommend to some of my FemTs and to folks that work with me that want support, not just with navigating grad school, but really a little bit of that professional development as well. Um, especially I've been hearing from more grad students who are either thinking of leaving higher ed or Or just want to know what their options are and want to prepare for having multiple options.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I always tell them, take advantage of your university account and university resources and use your university log on to go into LinkedIn learning and start checking out some courses so that you can develop the applied skills that are going to be helpful in bridging the gap between where you are now and the field that you want to pivot into.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:15:00] And if you start watching LinkedIn learning courses, you'll notice. that there's a lot of hooks every single video. Well, you know, it's whether it doesn't matter what they're teaching you. Usually from like the first couple of seconds, they are including a hook. They want to keep you there. And it's something that I'm learning because I myself am working on a course.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I don't know where it's going to be published. I'm not allowed to say even if I knew I had to sign an NDA for it. But once it's out, I'll let y'all know. And you'll notice that. It's very intentional of adding hooks to get people interested so that they finish watching your videos so that then they get to the goal of the lesson, whatever the learning goals are and the examples and ultimately helping people to take action on what you're teaching them.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So, hooks are very important for course creation, and if anything, it can help you to become a better instructor, even if [00:16:00] you are a professor in academia and you don't plan on creating courses that you sell on your own. It's still great because a lot of courses nowadays are asynchronous courses, or they might be hybrid courses, so there might be some sort of pre recorded component.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And if not, if you're giving live lectures, wouldn't you want to keep your students interested during the entire time and you keep them interested by within the first few seconds, letting them know something that's going to make them want to keep listening. So there's that. I have one last example where hooks are especially valuable, and this is where I'm going to talk Public speaking.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: As you all know, I've been doing more speaking engagements recently. I've been hired for keynotes. I've been giving a lot of workshops, especially a lot of virtual workshops. I'm going to be doing a couple of more in person events this year too. [00:17:00] And. I haven't always been intentional about it, but it is really powerful to have a hook at the beginning of any of your speeches.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Because a lot of times people will make a judgment about you from the first few seconds that they start. To hear your voice or from the first few seconds of when they see and meet you. And so if you don't have that lasting impression in the first few seconds, they're going to tune out or they're going to walk away.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And there's nothing that's worse than that feeling of being up on the stage and seeing people leave. I mean, I don't think that's ever happened to me, but I've had nightmares about it. And so now that I know the importance of a hook, I, um, I try to think about that, like, okay, what can I say at the beginning?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: One of the things that I do do a lot in my workshops [00:18:00] and in my keynotes is I do share my backstory a lot. And I do consider that part of, um, storytelling and less, less part of a hook. It's, it's less of a hook, although it does come at the beginning of my public speaking of, you know, whatever it is, whether it's a workshop or a keynote or a panel, you name it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I do like to talk a little bit more about my backstory, but I know that I could make my speeches even more impactful by starting out with the hook and I'm trying to be more mindful about that, about okay, how can I come up with a hook that is really going to draw people in, that is really going to be impactful, that is going to keep people wanting more.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So that's it. This is not, um, An episode on how to create the best hook. I'm still learning that process for myself, but if you are interested, just think about it as, you know, [00:19:00] this is an opening statement. This can be an opening question. This can be an anecdote, just anything that you share. the first couple of lines in whatever medium you're using to grab someone's attention.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So it doesn't have to be too complicated. It's just thinking about what can I do or say or share at the beginning of whatever I'm doing so that folks don't get bored and don't walk away. That's it for today's episode. I hope you found it helpful and I will talk to you all next time.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thanks so much for joining me in the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. If you like what you heard, here are four ways you can support the show. The first is to make sure you're subscribed and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. If you email me a screenshot, I'll send you a surprise freebie. The second way is to get your copy of my [00:20:00] free Grad School Femtoring Resource Kit.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: which includes essential information to prepare for and navigate grad school. You can access it at the link in today's show notes. The third way to support my show is to follow me on social media. You can find me on Instagram with the handle at grad school, femtoring and on LinkedIn by searching my name.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: The last way to show your love is to order a copy of is grad school for me. My graduate school admissions book for first gen BIPOCs. Thanks again for listening and until next time.

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