5 Great way to write with confidence

‘Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words!’ sang Eliza Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’ and sometimes we all feel that pain. But finding the correct words to suit your writing is so important and worth spending time on. I’m selecting language every day to shape the various needs of my clients and if you consider this might range across writing for customer engagement, business change and corporate strategy that’s a lot of audiences to please and all require a different writing style.

The English language has so many words to choose from and this gift needs some careful handling. The words we choose when we speak may just not work in a business context. However, you don’t need to have swallowed a dictionary to get your thoughts across in your writing.

Here are five key ways to help keep your writing fresh and interesting:

  1. Research writing styles

    Simply put, read what’s around you. Are there particular writers you admire or like engaging with? What is it about them that gets you hooked. Are there other businesses in your sector, competitors even, that explain things better than you or describe themselves in words you haven’t thought of.

  2. Tone of Voice

    Adopt a Tone of Voice that feels a good fit for your business and sector. Start with identifying words you feel sum up your business and then write text to match them. Would you say your business is fresh and innovative; knowledgable and experienced or businesslike and professional? You wouldn’t write in the same way for all of these.  Share your chosen Tone of Voice with friends, family and customers and see if they agree that it’s a good fit for you.

  3. Keep it short

    This applies to both words and sentence length. Remember, online and on-page we scan read (online we only ready around 20% of text), so need visual cues to keep our interest. Use short, punchy headings and more commonly used words to match your readership.

  4. Open up your thesaurus

    This is a must! However strong your vocabulary we all have our own pet words and phrases. Dip into a thesaurus and it will inspire with alternative words you may not have considered. A thesaurus supplies a range of formal and informal options and the alternatives can help you check if you’re choosing the right word. Here’s an example: you might describe someone in staff biography for a website or publication as lively and alternatives to this are excited and vivacious. Do you really mean this? Active, dynamic or animated would conjure up a more grounded, business-like impression.

  5. Put your voice to it

    Whatever you write, make sure you read it aloud before you press Post or send it off to print. We can spend hours at our keyboards but it isn’t until we read it aloud that the flow of the work really comes to life. It’s also a great way to proofread mistakes.

The more you write and understand the mechanics of what to do the better your copy will become.

 

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