Do You Write the Way You Speak? (You Should!), Part 2
6 More tips on how to write and speak for the digital world.
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Conversational language has become the language of the internet. So if you’re creating digital content, it’s crucial that you write it in a conversational style.
Last week, I gave you 4 tips on how to write the way you speak. Today we’ll tackle part two of the series with 6 more tips for developing a conversational style.
Click here for Tips 1-4.
Tip #5: Use Strong Action Verbs
Action verbs add color and passion. Often we tend towards verbs of being, which sound passive. Instead of saying “Maria is on the couch” (boring), write “Maria sank into the couch” (much more interesting). Or instead of “The house was on fire,” how about “Flames erupted from the second floor windows.”
Try to avoid adverbs or description words that need a verb to cling to. “Emily put on her swimsuit by swaying her hips back and forth” is not as good as “Emily wiggled into her swimsuit.” The point is, a strong well-chosen verb is usually much more powerful than any convoluted description.
Tip #6 Use Everyday Words
My teachers used to encourage me to use 50 cent words (and develop a big vocabulary). Today teachers might refer to these as dollar words or maybe even five dollar words. However, for conversational content, try to choose nickel or dime words.
So why did I just use the word “convoluted” a few sentences ago?
To be clear, what I’m suggesting is that you don’t use a long word when a short one will do. I’m not suggesting you “dumb down” your content by selecting simple words even when the best word to convey your meaning is a big word.
Tip #7 Start With an Emotional Opening Story
Conversational style by definition relies on a story to deliver messages. Stories allow you to slowly and naturally reveal your content in the same way you would in a real conversation. Draw your audience in by starting with a strong, emotional story about the message you want to convey. Effective stories allow you to connect with your audience by tapping into their hopes, dreams and aspirations or by stirring up their fears and frustrations. Check out my three-part series about how to effectively connect with your audience through stories (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)