How to write with personality…
Be your self
Anyone can write and most importantly everyone has a personality use it through your words.
If the writing is interesting and natural a clear structure will form itself.
Who are you talking to?
Have a real person in your mind:-
- What is their name?
- How old are they?
- What newspaper do they read?
- Where do you think they went for their last holiday?
- What is their favourite TV show?
- If the person was at a train station what sandwich would they buy?
If you create a personality to write to, you will use your personality to communicate to them.
What are you writing about?
The key to any piece of writing is to state the purpose near the beginning.
- In this essay I will show that…
- The business report will justify the expenditure…
- This email is to ensure you book…
Benefits not features
Features are obvious the benefits are what appeal to the person. A banana is yellow and an interesting shape…
- This fruit is really easy to carry in your handbag and eat at anytime during the day
- It is full of potassium which is good for your bones, you may live longer..
These points are all about life and you as a person, the banana being yellow is not adding value.
Always put your conclusion at the beginning. They don’t mind if you tell them who died, chances are they don’t have time to read how they did it, (this is a bit extreme)!!
When creating headlines think of the papers which reader are you appealing to. Keep them factual, however slightly cryptic – “Man overboard in love”, the man did not go overboard on the ship but was on a ship and married his lifelong sweetheart.
Questions are fantastic they engage the reader and get them thinking:-
- Instead of just the Conclusion – What did we decide? – draws the reader in
- Aims – What were we trying to achieve?
- Actions – What do we need to do now?
Use a contents guide even in a long e-mail, everyone loves an indication they are nearly there…
Personality of organisations
Brands are the personality of a business so think about what greeting works for certain companies. “Hi” works for Virgin media, and Mr will work for BT.
Get up close and personal
Try and use we/I/you and be true no qualifiers, if you have messed up just say “sorry”, or if you are grateful just say “thank you”.
Keep it lively
Communication is always best in an active voice.
Grip them at the start
Have a great opening, on any piece of writing, hook them in, on an e-mail this will only be the subject box. Ask a question this will create a thinking pathway in their head and they will want to delve in.
Once upon a time…
Stories are fabulous for hooking readers, and the best are the ones with characters. Disney always ensured that all of his creations had a background so there is bible of each personality, explaining their history and what sandwich they would eat at the station (Mickey Mouse is always cheese)!!
Painting a picture with words…
Metaphors put visuals into people’s heads, they give a situation or a person character. Jeremy Clarkson turns vehichles into dogs/buildings/drinks and women ensuring the readers visualise and link the two.
Just one word…
A sentence can be just one word and what better one now to get you writing with personality