Writing Persuasively 1 – Do You Want to Communicate or Confuse?
“Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.” – David Ogilvy
Words are an undervalued asset in the business world.
Whether clouded in technical jargon, marketing buzz words or hype filled corporate claptrap, writing fails to communicate when it’s trying too hard to sound clever or impressive.
This misguided approach is further crippled by the popular use of vacuous phrases, such as ‘product evangelists’, ‘360 degree thinking’ and ‘paradigm shifts’, which merely sound like a replacement for genuine thought and fail to convey any real meaning.
When readers are bogged down in regurgitated hyperbole and cliches in this way they aren’t going to respond in the way you want, because they’ve either given up reading or can’t understand what you’re trying to say.
Indeed, business writing often fails to communicate, but merely confuses.
Writing clearly and concisely, on the other hand, is the style every business should adopt.
Because writing has the power to influence how people think, feel and behave, as well as differentiate yourself from the competition.
Words can be powerful.
Particularly when you know how to write them persuasively.
What is persuasive writing?
Persuasive writing presents a succinct, logical argument which wins over readers with style and conviction.
It dispenses with the ambiguous, meaningless words and phrases used to sound important.
Instead it adopts structure, concise language and psychology to lead readers along a clear path of thought.
Whether it’s convincing them to agree with your viewpoint or buy your product, persuasive writing is powerful in provoking action because it connects with readers on both an emotional and logical level, crucial for winning the decision making process.
Everyone (including hard nosed business people) makes decisions based on how something benefits them personally; how it helps them avoid pain or gain pleasure.
So persuasive writing seduces readers by convincing them your proposal is the answer to their prayers, and will help them sleep better at night.
Words are powerful indeed when you know which ones to use to mesmerise prospects and spellbind them into becoming customers.
Over the next ten or so posts my aim is to help you discover how you can harness persuasive writing to communicate more clearly, present your viewpoint more convincingly and, hopefully, persuade more readers to take the action you desire.