Engage Your Audience and Build Your Credibility
Verbal communication is often considered the most advantageous form of communication because of non-verbal cues. From hand gestures to eye movement to the tone of your voice, you are able to achieve a higher level of engagement without saying a word.
How can writing compete with that?
Descriptive language and other tools can certainly make up for the absence of verbal cues – that’s why they exist! However, these tools are often overlooked in articles and exchanged with the dry, shriveled tones of formal language.
Here’s how you can provide the same level of engagement that verbal communication achieves with the written word.
Formal vs. Informal
First, it’s important to understand formal and informal writing. Informal writing is marked by casual, familiar language. It employs creativity and is chock full of originality. It turns sturdy, reliable crackers into a delightful cheese and wine party attended by such a diverse group of characters, you dare not blink for fear you might miss something.
Let’s take a look at a snippet of a formal pasty recipe:
Boil 1 cup of water. Add 1 cup of shortening. Stir; place in refrigerator to cool. Combine 3 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of salt…
Sure, it’s straight to the point, but if you want to exert your credibility as the leading authority on pasty making, this isn’t going to make the cut. You’re nowhere in the piece! You need to invoke your personality into the piece with description, detail, and your own tips or insights to engage your audience.
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil; for you newbies, that’s when it’s bubbling. Then turn down the heat, just a tad, and add 1 cup of shortening. Stir until it’s evenly melted and translucent. Place the shortening and water mixture in the fridge to cool for roughly 45 minutes. Let it develop a waxy sheet at the top; it doesn’t need to harden all the way, just so it’s cool enough to work with. Meanwhile, take 3 cups of flour and add 1 teaspoon of salt; mix it thoroughly…
How to Write Like You Speak
One tactic that will help you achieve a more conversational style: talk to yourself! It may sound odd, but everyone talks to themselves from time-to-time to problem solve and to develop new ideas. Interview yourself by using these 5 steps to incorporate a conversational tone in your articles:
- Consider your method to record your conversation. If you’re a talker, use a voice recorder. If you are more comfortable with a writing implement (pen and paper, computer, etc.), use it.
- Consider a topic and then imagine you’re having a discussion with someone. Before we launch into the discussion points, think about who this “someone” is and how much information they already know about your topic. You can use a persona or have a character in mind to help direct your discussion.
- Consider your discussion points: the facts. In your own words, present the facts or the meat of the discussion. Be direct and be descriptive with every fact by providing your own insights in your own words.
- Based on the persona or character you’re imagining, consider what questions they would ask or points of contention, as well as what will continue to hold their interest. Avoid editing yourself; let your thoughts move fluidly like you would in a 1:1 conversation. If you feel like relating a memory pertinent to the conversation or perhaps something reminds you of another facet of your niche, let it flow and keep recording or writing.
- After your “interview” is over, review your results. Now you can trim anything that is superfluous or irrelevant and break up discernible themes that will stand alone in an article. Incorporate these results in your next set of articles!
Invoke yourself into your articles by using discussion as a tool – even if it’s a discussion with yourself! Discussion can unlock tons of ideas and help you create engaging articles to provide unique, one-of-a-kind insights to build your credibility and provide engaging content.
Do you use this technique to create engaging articles? Share your suggestions or questions in the comments section below!