Are you a bore or a boor?
Looking at the blogs from earlier in the year about boring content got me thinking about bores themselves and why they are as they are. Then, being a lover of homophones (note the spelling there!) my mind took a sidewise twist.
Bores are bad enough, but what about boors?
On the surface, the two seem worlds apart. But they’ve got more in common than first meets the eye. Because they both suffer from the same problem – a complete lack of self awareness and understanding for those around them.
This then got me thinking about boorish content too. There’s plenty of it out there! But how can we learn not to write like the bore or the boor?
The bore that melts your brain
We’ve all made the mistake of sitting next to someone, only to realise, the minute their mouth opens, that they are the biggest bore on the planet. We know what we are in for – an endless drone on the dullest subjects we can imagine. Usually without any chance to escape or contribute ourselves.
The problem isn’t just that bores are dull, it’s that they don’t seem to realise how boring they are being.
And the reason they don’t realise is that bores are usually self-obsessed. They fail to notice that others aren’t as interested in their specialist subject as they are, because they don’t take any interest in other people. Their interest is solely in themselves and what they are doing.
Being passionate isn’t boring
It’s no bad thing to be interested in what you do. It’s always nice to hear someone talk about something they are passionate in. And it’s always nice to read passionate content as well.
But, often, bores aren’t passionate. They are just boring. And the information they are so keen to drill into rarely has any relevance to our daily lives.
Do we need bores?
The answer is, yes … sometimes …
We all dread the person who spouts all the information they’ve ever learnt at us. But there are plenty of times when raw information is useful – when we need to know the ins and outs of how something works.
Likewise, there are times when we need information rich content. But we certainly don’t need to be bombarded with a torrent of data in our first engagement – it’s the sort of thing we look for later, not something we like thrust upon us from the start.
Boors boring into our heads
The boor is a different sort of animal to the bore. But they suffer from the same underlying problem.
Boors are rude, obnoxious, loud and uncouth. They dominate every situation they are in. They are the bully boys … and bully girls, too. And they are like this because, like the bore, they, too, are self obsessed.
They have no concept that anyone finds them annoying. No perception that anyone else’s opinion matters. They bully conversations so that they can talk about themselves, or about their favourite topics (usually also themselves). And they belittle other’s opinions without caring whether it gives offence, because no one else matters as much as they do.
Do we ever need the boors?
Despite being repellant, boors can sometimes be useful. I have met a number of people who were definitely in the boor category, but were very good at getting a job done. By their very nature, they don’t give up. They are tenacious to the end. Their approach may be unsavoury, but, sometimes, they are just what’s needed.
Having said this, you have to use your boors with a certain amount of discretion. You wouldn’t send the boor into the first meeting with a new client – when you need to nurture or coax them. But pick the right time, and they can do the necessary.
So, yes, boors can be useful. But only in small doses.
Content without the boors or bores
For the most part, we don’t usually warm to the bores or the boors. So, creating content that’s useful and valuable means leaving the bores and the boors behind.
There are times when our an audience needs facts. Customers need access to specs sheets, comparison pieces, raw data, etc. But bore them with too much too soon, and they won’t engage at all.
Likewise, there are also times when customers need the a push, particularly in consumer selling – where the punchy, straight-to-the-point headline demands attention. But, most of the time, hard, pushy, aggressive selling turns us off.
People don’t warm to the rude, self-centredness of the boor or the bore.
Make it interesting
People want answers and information but they don’t want to be bombarded with rudeness, or bored to death. The best kind of content – the content that nurtures and converts – is straightforward, interesting and informative.
This can only be created when we stop being self-centred – when we stop talking about our favourite subjects (ourselves) – and start talking about what the readers and customers want to know about.
Be passionate, be hard nosed, when it’s needed. But don’t be a boor or a bore.