Look… we all hate the telemarketer who mercilessly calls our home at all times of the day. So why do we write in that same irritating corporate voice, then?
The problem is that most people don’t realize that their writing wears their readers out and is mind-numbingly dull. Those who acknowledge that their writing needs work don’t know where to find help.
Here are three ways to better engage your readers:
1. Stick to short sentences
You want your reader to feel like she’s gliding through your text. Considering that she’s likely multitasking while reading your content, the last thing you want is for her to have to peruse long, jerky sentences.
Looking for sentences to cut into two will help with the flow of your text. Words such as because (please italicize) or but (please italicize) often indicate where a sentence can be chopped up.
2. Acknowledge your ideal reader
What’s the difference between your best friend and a telemarketer? Well, it’s simple: Your best friend doesn’t pretend you’re dumb, and your best friend asks questions to engage you in conversation.
While engaging writing isn’t synonymous with conversational writing, it’s pretty similar. The most effective writers get to know their ideal readers and subsequently laugh and argue with them.
3. Use emotional words
‘America’s Got Talent,’ the popular reality TV show, is commonly criticized for being more like ‘America’s Got Backstories.’
What this means is that people — and even judges — tend to sympathize with contestants who have surmounted obstacles. The same can be said about writing: sensory or emotional words are more powerful than dull terms.
Here’s a resource that could help your writing (here’s the link: httpss://sites.google.com/a/lovett.org/lovett-ms-writing-handbook/sensory-word-list).