Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I got caught up on a bit of reading while I was trying to work myself out of a slight food coma. Dr. Frank Luntz’ book, Words that Work has a lot of good ideas on how to hone your writing skills. I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy for easy reading.
Here are some rules I thought he really hit on the head:
- Use small words. Simplicity counts.
- Use short sentences.
- Credibility is as important as philosophy. People have to believe what you say to buy it.
- Consistency matters. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
- Offer something new. Words that work often involve a new definition of an old idea. Sound and texture matter.
- Creative use of words in novel ways work.
- Speak aspirationally. Personalize and humanize the message. Spark emotion.
- Visualize. Simply paint a vivid picture. Write descriptively.
- Ask a question. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but what you ask that really matters.
- Provide context and explain relevance. Give people the “why” of a message before you tell them the therefore.