Home » Science and Technology » Communication

Writing To Get Their Attention - Five Suggestions

Aug 18, 2007
Do you wonder whether your audience actually reads what you write? How often do you glance at an article title or first sentence and just skip reading it? Or read something very quickly just to get to the bottom line?

We have become a scanning society. With the abundance of information in hard copy as well as on the web, taking time to read something thoroughly doesn't happen often. No matter how many good things we have to say, if we don't present it properly, it will be overlooked.

Today's readers tend to be distracted, disengaged, disenchanted and busy! How can you get them to slow down and focus on what you've written?

Five suggestions that really help to draw in your reader are:

- Make it about them
- Write at an appropriate reading level
- Include visuals
- Tell a story
- Simplify

MAKE IT ABOUT THEM and ABOUT YOU

Start writing with a question that relates to them specifically. In order for you to hook your reader there has to be some connection between their life experience and interests and what you have to say.

As you're writing, if you want them to connect with you, it's important that it is really you speaking in the words. If you write like you talk, your reader will be more apt to listen.

WRITE AT AN APPROPRIATE READING LEVEL

How tempting it is to write using all of our wonderful vocabulary and beautiful sentences! Have you stopped to consider what the reading skills and interest of your audience are? The average American reads at a ninth grade reading level. Ernest Hemingway actually wrote his books at a fourth grade reading level! Ads and marketing materials for consumer products is done at a seventh grade level. The New Yorker is written at a 10th grade level.

One's reading level does not correlate directly to educational background. It also depends on how extensively a person reads on a regular basis. Oh, if you're wondering about your own reading level, you can check it out at brainchild's website.

INCLUDE VISUALS

Visuals are important in keeping the reader's attention. This is particularly true of anyone under the age of 32 because of the type of reading materials they've had growing up. The more complicated the writing is, the more visuals are needed.

Visuals include color, icons, charts, graphs, and tables Clip art, illustrations, and maps also add interest.

TELL A STORY

People like to be entertained more than being lectured. My guess is that you still remember stories years after you've heard them. That experience of hearing a story really draws people together.

Stories can convey a message in a subtle and indirect way that can make a huge impact. They allow our emotions to be expressed in a less vulnerable way when we're talking through a story.

SIMPLIFY

"If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter." Mark Twain

Mark Twain certainly expressed it well! It can definitely be more difficult to write something in a succinct way than to go on and on with many words.

Keep what you're writing short. Short words, arranged in brief sentences, paragraphs, and sections will hold your reader's interest as they scan what you've written. The average USA Today article is 300 words.

Boil down your message to its essence. Choose one concept that you really want your reading audience to know. Illustrate and explain everything so that nothing is puzzling to the reader.
About the Author
Exuberant Productivity Coach, Suzanne Holman, MAEd, works with financial service professionals, realtors, and self-employed professionals determined to make every hour they work truly productive so they have quality time and abundant energy for fun and family! For a FREE Exuberance Assessment and tips for increasing your productivity and having a more satisfying life, visit
Exuberant Productivity.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 219
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources