Please Talk to Me!
Dawud, I listen to you talk about your friendship with Adam and I hear the respect you have for him and the work he does. So I know that when you say you helped him, you did more than just give him pointers. You showed up with all you are. I hear it in how you tell the story.
Then you ask me (and the folks reading)
What tips can you offer for writing quality, conversational blog posts and website copy?
Did you know that writing conversationally gets brains to tune in more closely than writing formally? It’s true. Our brains know that in conversation sooner or later they are expected to have a response or an answer. So even if what we’re reading isn’t something that is our favorite subject, we pay more attention when the writer writes in a style that is more like conversation.
The most conversational word form is a contraction. If I did not use contractions, my writing would begin to sound stilted and jerky. People do not avoid contractions when we talk. I will not be avoiding them after I finish this sentence.
Great grammar and good spelling are, of course, important too. Yet, they only make for technical quality. For truly compelling, you have to put yourself into what you’re writing. Here’s how to do that.
- Write a clear message first. Let the words come from your mind through your fingers, don’t stop them in your brain on the way out. You can edit them later. Get the message out first.
- Write with authenticity. Use your real voice. Use the voice that you think with, not the voice that you talk with. The voice that you think with is closer to your heart.
- Tell your own truth, exactly as you know it. Do second guess what other folks might think of it. Trying to read the minds of your readers will only dilute and unravel the power of what you’re saying. Readers who come in good faith will be able to find the place where your experience meets with their own. People are more alike than different. The genuine truth of any story resonates with humanity.
- Write for one reader who is a lot like you, but who hasn’t heard your story. Talk to that reader the way you would talk to a person you respect and value. Share your information with sincerity and transparency.
- Read aloud what you write. Listen to how it sounds. Change out any words that don’t sound like you. You know your voice and the words that you use. Keep reading it aloud until it sounds exactly like you might have said it — only better.
It’s not the most important thing to have every comma and period perfect. What makes compelling conversation is a truly interested writer who’s engaged and curious. Show up every thought and every word as important to you because someone you care about is going to read it. Your readers will know that you did.
It shows. No one can hide how much you cared or didn’t. Caring is compelling.
I leave you with this question for next week.
When you go around the Internet, what mistake do you see most often?
If youâ€™re reading this, Iâ€™d love to hear your answer in the comment box below.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
One2One is a cross-blog conversation. Find the answer at dawud miracle on Monday. You can see the entire One-2-One Conversation series on the Successful Series page.
In Case You Missed It: Writing 06-13-07